One sweep of the perfect eyeliner can transform your look by accentuating and defining your eyes. Because eyeliners come in a variety of textures and formulas, it’s easy to get confused. Here’s how to find the liner that will work for you:
1. Pencil Liners
The lowdown: Whether you’re looking to subtly enhance your eyes or draw more attention to them with bold lines, a pencil liner is the best place to start if you’re venturing into the world of eyeliners for the first time. Although they’re available in an array of colours, stick to soft blacks, browns and charcoals for daytime wear. If you struggle with oily eyelids or migrating makeup, opt for a waterproof formula that will stay put all day. And don’t forget to invest in an eyeliner sharpener so that your pencil has a precise tip before you apply it.
Get the look: Warm the pencil on the back of your hand, swiping it back and forth a few times”the heat from your hand will warm the product and allow it to glide on with ease. Gently hold your eyelid taut or tilt your head back and look down as you draw a line as close as possible to your upper lash line. For a soft, blended look, work the colour into the lash bed with an eye shadow brush or cotton swab.
2. Liquid Liners
The lowdown: Once you’ve mastered the pencil liner, liquid liner is a great choice, especially if you’re ready to experiment with bolder looks. These days, they come in almost any shade, from classic black to bold purples, greens and blues. Look for a liner that has a firm brush or felt-tip applicator”both will give you more control. Bonus: most liquid liners are more smudge-proof than pencils.
Get the look: Support your elbow on a flat surface or rest your hand on your cheek for a precision application. Instead of trying to draw a line in one big sweep, try applying the liner in soft, short strokes close to your lash line. Remember that liquid liners tend to dry fast, so be sure to work quickly. To create a classic cat eye and give the illusion of larger, elongated eyes, extend the line slightly upward at the outer corners. To add pizzazz to a basic black or brown liner, layer a shimmery liquid liner on top to add sparkle and dimension.
3. Gel Liners
The lowdown: Gel liners offer the best of both worlds: they have the bold pigmentation and staying-power of liquid liners, but the soft, workable texture of a pencils. To apply them, you’ll need to invest in a small, angled brush”it’s your best choice for precise application.
Get the look: Coat both sides of your brush with the gel and then follow the same application technique you used to apply liquid liner. Unlike liquid liners, however, gel liners can be effortlessly applied to the upper and lower lash lines. Avoid connecting the top and bottom lines at the outer corners of your eyes”this will only make your eyes appear smaller. You can soften the look of your gel liner by smudging it out with a brush or cotton swab. Its creamy consistency means you have more time to work with the product before it dries.