Can You Wear Liquid Eyeliner on the Inside Part?

Apply liner along the waterlines for eyes that demand attention.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Your fashion choices are anything but typical, and your makeup should be as bold as your wardrobe. Eyeliner is a staple in your makeup routine, but lining your lids alone seems so last season. A little liquid liner on the inside of your lid, commonly referred to as the waterline by those in the know, will leave your lids popping and your eyes begging for attention.

Inside Where?

Eyeliner is a tricky subject, and even the most fashionable diva may have trouble knowing exactly where it goes. The inner waterline is the little rim of flesh that goes around the inside of your eyeball, directly above your lower lashes and below your upper lashes. The inside part of the eyelid is often ignored because many women are sensitive and the liner irritates their eyes, or those who can wear it get frustrated because the liner thins and disappears within minutes of application.

Pick Your Liner

Picking the right liner is necessary for liner that stays put. Pencil liners aren’t heavy enough to stick to the damp waterline, and gels are too thick to apply evenly along the eyelid. Liquid eyeliners are perfect for both upper and lower waterlines because they are thin enough to go on smoothly, and opaque enough to provide even coverage for eyes that wow. For extra staying power, pick up a tube of waterproof liquid liner.


Preparing your eyes prior to putting eyeliner on the inside part is paramount. If you wear contacts, put them in at least 15 minutes before putting on your makeup. Apply your foundation and eyeshadow as normal, and pull up gently on your upper eyelid. Hold the tip of the liner against the inside corner of the upper waterline, and trace over it to the outside corner. To apply liner to the lower eyelid, look up as you pull the lower lid down, applying an even coat along the entire bottom waterline.


Test the eyeliner along the lash line before applying it to the waterline. If your eyes get red, itchy or swell up, you shouldn’t use the liner on your waterlines. Invest in makeup removing face wipes to completely remove liner from your eyes. Look for wipes that are specifically made for eye makeup to remove all traces of liner and prevent dreaded raccoon eyes.

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