How to Perfectly Apply Eyeliner

Create the cat-eye effect with liquid liner and a lot of patience.

Photo: Ralf Nau/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Eyeliner can make your eyes look bigger and more dramatic. It can make them look smoky and hot. But it also can make them look terrible. Love the look of expertly applied eyeliner but always end up looking more raccoon than Rachel McAdams? While some liners -- especially the liquid ones -- can be a challenge to apply, using a few tricks recommended by makeup pros can take your eye makeup from hot mess to just plain hot.


Prep your lids. Swipe lids with an alcohol-free makeup remover to prevent smudges on this naturally greasy body part. Follow with a light layer of foundation and translucent powder to create an oil-absorbing canvas. Go ahead and apply your eyeshadow before lining; it'll help your liner stay put.


Choose the right liner. In the "Marie Claire" article "Master Class: How to Apply Eyeliner," celebrity makeup artist Rae Morris suggests that women with roundish eyes use gel and powder eyeliners, because they will smudge to give the eyes more of an almond shape. And for those lucky ladies with almond-shaped eyes of their own, she recommends eyeliner pencils and pens.


Assume the position. In her blog, "Faces by Farah," Toronto-based makeup artist and beauty editor Farah recommends shake-proofing your hand by resting your elbow on a counter or other stable surface. And put that pinkie finger to work; resting it on your cheek can give you all the support you need.


Pull your lid taut. Apply the liner in one stroke, starting at the inner corner by your nose and extending out. Always get as close to your lash line as possible. Just can't do it freehand? Morris recommends making yourself a stencil. Take a piece of clear tape, put it on and pull it off the back of your hand a few times to reduce its tackiness, then place it across your closed lid just above where you want your eyeliner. Fill in the space below it with liner, allow the liner to dry if needed, then carefully remove the tape to reveal a perfect line.


If using liquid liner, limit it to your top lashes. Farah says that liquid liner can appear too harsh on lower lids. To line your lower lashes, use a stiff brush to apply a cream-style eyeliner among the roots of your lashes. This method, recommended by makeup artist Troy Surratt in "Cosmopolitan," allows you to get in close and avoid a liquid liner lower lash disaster.


If you mess up, simply erase the evidence with a cotton swap dipped in makeup remover. Then try, try again. Practice makes perfect.

Things You'll Need


1.Makeup remover



7.Cotton swab

2.Cotton ball




Tips & Tricks


Keep your eyeliner pencils sharp for error-free application. To make it easier, put your pencil in the freezer for half a minute before sharpening.

Never share eyeliners. When you do, you also share bacteria that could lead to infections.


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