Eyeliner Tips & Tricks

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with eyeliner. It can make your eyes pop, play up your best feature, and provide you with a host of looks from playful to sophisticated. But it can also go on crooked, smear, smudge, and make you look like a hot mess. Below are some helpful tips and tricks so you can master those eyeliner skills for a flawless look.

Be Prepared

It is recommended to use a hand-held mirror or one that you can pull close to you so you can see what you’re doing. Brace yourself by placing your elbow on the counter, and even though this sounds weird, clench your toes to steady a shaky hand. Also, have some precision tip cotton swabs and makeup remover or micellar water on hand to easily correct mistakes. (Pro tip: if using liquid liner, make sure your mistake is dry before fixing it.)

Just Wing it

When applying your eyeliner, do the wing first, it’s easier to get the angle right if you focus on it alone. Additionally, you may want to use a pencil liner for the wing because it’s easier to remove if you mess it up, and then trace over it with your liquid liner once you have perfected your look.

Pop on a Post-it

Speaking of those wings, while there are lots of templates and stickers out there you can buy for some helpful guidance, try a good, old-fashioned post-it note to make a clear, straight wing. Simply place the post-it note edge along your lower lash line and angle it up towards the end of your brow. Create your wing, let it dry, and carefully peel away the post-it.

Keep Lids Taut

Don’t you just hate it when your eyeliner brush, pencil or pen skips across your eyelid instead of creating a smooth, continuous line? If you are using a pencil, draw some strokes on your hand first to make sure it is warmed up and soft because a too dry, too hard pencil can skip. Also, for all kinds of eyeliner application, gently pull the outer edge of your lid taut so that you have a smooth canvas to draw on.

Connect the Dots

If you’re using a liquid liner and don’t have the steadiest hands, you can try simply creating a line of dots along your upper lash line and then connecting them together. This can help you from straying from your lash line.

Try Tightlining

Tightlining is lining the waterline on your upper eyelid, and although it can feel a little funny, it makes your lashes look fuller, your eyes look bigger, and adds some oomph! There are helpful videos online that can show you how to easily and gently apply liner to this area. (Note: don’t use liquid liner here as it will run.) You can also line your waterline on your lower lid. Consider using a nude or white pencil on your waterline if you have small or hooded eyes.

Set it & Forget it

Once you become an eyeliner expert, you want your perfect look to stay in place all day. Make sure your eyelids are free of oils or moisturizer before applying eyeliner, and consider using an eye makeup primer to help lock in your look. If you are using liquid or gel eyeliner, you can further make it budge-proof by “setting it” by going over it with a pencil or a powder eyeshadow (in the same color as your liner) on a flat angled brush. A dusting of translucent powder can also help with staying power.


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