How To Apply Eyeliner

Eyeliner is one of the most impactful makeup items in any beauty kit, able to change the shape of your eyes, accentuate them, and add to the overall effect of any eye makeup look. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the trickiest kinds of makeup to apply. With so many different eyeliner types and eyeliner techniques to choose from, it can be difficult to know which eyeliner to choose and how best to apply it!

In our guide to applying eyeliner perfectly, we’ll talk you through all things eyeliner from eyeliner pencils vs liquid eyeliner to which eyeliner technique will suit you to troubleshooting some of the most common eyeliner woes.

What To Apply Before Eyeliner

You may be wondering whether you should apply eyeliner or eye shadow first but it’s actually pretty simple – we recommend that you always apply your eyeshadow before eyeliner so that you don’t cover up the effect of your eyeliner with stray powder from the eyeshadow. To keep your eyelids in top condition, make sure that you work a good primer into your makeup routine so that both the eye shadow and liner sit smoothly and evenly on your skin. Once you have your eyeshadow and eyeliner in place, you can go ahead and apply your mascara fuss free.

Eyeliner Pencil vs Liquid Eyeliner

Most people will have a preference in the eyeliner pencil vs liquid eyeliner debate, and the deciding factor may be as simple as which you find easiest to work with! But if you’re still undecided, it’s worth looking at the pros and cons for both eyeliner pencils and liquid eyeliner to work out which you might prefer.

Pencil eyeliner is best for creating a smokey eye look as it can be smudged and blended much more easily. If you’re wanting to try out different eyeliner colours, eyeliner pencils tend to have much more variety from neutrals such as black and brown to bright colours such as blues and purples. However, if you’re after a super bold look with a precise edge, liquid eyeliner offers a much stronger impact than pencil liner. Liquid eyeliner can require a steady hand, so if you’re feeling a little shaky using a liquid liner brush, why not try a liquid eyeliner pen instead? It’s the perfect alternative to the traditional liquid eyeliner.

How to apply eyeliner

Tips For Applying Eyeliner

Whether you’ve chosen an eyeliner pencil or liquid eyeliner, there are a few methods of application that work universally:

  • Make sure that you are seated and can rest your elbow on a surface for stability
  • Gently pull the outer corner of your eye without tugging the lash line
  • Begin applying the eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible
  • Draw with dots and dashes to connect afterwards if you’re not feeling confident about having a steady hand!

How To Apply Eyeliner on Top Lid

The upper lid is the area that needs the most eyeliner and can be the most fiddly area! Whether you’re planning on a bold, thick line or a thinner more natural line, it’s best to start applying from the outer corner of your eye. Loading a ton of pigment into the inner corner of your eye isn’t a good look, so starting with the outer corners ensures that you only ever get a light sweep towards the inner corners.

Start by creating a thin line which can be thickened later if you want a cat eye or winged effect. Once you’ve done both eyes, take a step back from the mirror and try to work out if they’re even. If one is a little bolder than the other, add a little more here and there until they look balanced.

How To Apply Eyeliner on Bottom Lid

Your lower lid is the area that’s most likely to see your eyeliner smudge or travel down during the course of the day, so it’s important that you nail the application to avoid these issues. Place the pencil as close to the lash line as you can before you begin, then gently draw a thin line from the outer corner towards the inner corner. This should be much softer than the upper lid line, but if you think it still looks a little too harsh, gently blend the eyeliner with a cotton bud.

Make sure that the upper lid and lower lid lines join together at the outer corner of your eye – just be careful not to apply too much eyeliner here (unless you’re creating a cat eye or wing) as it could smudge!

How to apply eyeliner

Where To Apply Eyeliner for Small Eyes

A great trick for making your eyes appear larger when applying eyeliner is to line only the outer 2/3rds of your eyelid rather than taking the line up to the inner corner. To make your eyes look a little more awake as well as larger, try applying a touch of light eyeshadow or highlighter to the inner corner of your eye.

Whatever you do, avoid a complete circle of eyeliner around your eyes as this can cause your eyes to appear smaller and can actually smudge much more easily throughout the day!

How To Apply Eyeliner for Big Eyes

Rather than accentuating the size of your eyes, you may wish to make them appear a little smaller. Eyeliner can help with this – specifically, liquid eyeliner can help to visually minimise the eyes with a precise line. Other techniques such as wearing eyeliner on your waterline to the inner corner, or creating a cat eye or wing at the outer corner can also help to minimise the size of your eye…

Can You Apply Eyeliner On Your Waterline?

Applying eyeliner to your waterline has its advantages, but it must be done carefully if it’s going to be comfortable for you to wear, and stay in place! Here’s how:

  • Apply a light touch of concealer just below the waterline to keep the eyeliner in place for longer
  • Use a cotton bud to gently dry your waterline to help the eyeliner stick
  • Gently pull down your lower lid so that the eyeliner pencil has no chance of touching your eye during application
  • Run the eyeliner pencil along your waterline in one sweeping motion

How to apply black eyeliner

How To Do Winged Eyeliner

Cat eye or winged eyeliner is timelessly popular, so if you’re looking for a bolder eyeliner look it’s worth learning how to do winged eyeliner!

  • Draw a thin line across the upper lid keeping close to your lash line. Stop just before you reach the outer corner of your eye
  • Take a cotton bud and angle it between the end of your eyebrow and the outer corner of your eye. This should give you a guiding line to create the wing of your eyeliner
  • Draw a dot where you want your eyeliner wing to end, then connect the dot from the end of the eyeliner on your upper lash line
  • Fill in the outline you’ve made if there are any gaps

How To Apply Eyeliner with Eyelash Extensions

There are a few hard and fast rules to remember when it comes to wearing eyeliner with eyelash extensions, but there’s no reason to avoid it completely! All you’ll need to bear in mind is that you should choose a non-waterproof liquid eyeliner (for easy removal which minimises friction), the eyeliner should be applied gently to avoid loosening your extensions, and that you shouldn’t tug on your eye or lashes in order to apply your eyeliner.

Choosing a Quality Eyeliner

A higher quality product is almost always going to be easier to apply and have a much longer lasting effect, but you don’t always need to go for huge beauty brands to get a top quality eyeliner! Popular brands such as W7 eyeliner and LA Colors eyeliner can be just as effective and long lasting, meaning you can achieve your eyeliner look for less! Discover our full range of eyeliners at Beauty Base for must-have eyeliner for your makeup collection!

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