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Soft eyeliner creates a smooth line along your upper or lower eyelid without pulling, dragging or skipping. If you're prone to shaky hands or find liquid eyeliner too messy, a soft pencil offers an easy alternative. While the best soft eyeliners last all day without smudging, too many of the pencils on the market break, smudge, smear or just don't work well.
Using Eyeliner Pencils
With a sharpened eyeliner pencil, dot along the upper lash line. Work from one corner of the eye to the other. Blend the dots together with your finger or a cotton swab. This creates a soft line, perfect for daytime wear. For a more dramatic eye, draw a smooth line from the inner corner to the outer corner. Keep the line strong or smudge for a smoky look.
Soft eyeliners come in two basic forms. The traditional eyeliner pencil requires sharpening and can be sharpened to a very fine point. These liners are available in every price range. If you'd rather not sharpen your liner pencil, retractable eyeliner pencils work much like a mechanical pencil. These liners have a soft point, rather than a sharp one. Many of these have a smudging tool on the other end. Both retractable and traditional eyeliner pencils are come in waterproof and smudge-proof versions ideal for all-day wear.
Department Store Brands
While you can find soft eyeliners at budget prices, department store brands do offer the perk of try-before-you-buy convenience and may have better return policies in case you don't like your liner. InStyle recommends the MAC Eye Kohl pencils as the best eyeliner of 2011. Elle suggests the Stila Eye Kajal liner pencil for soft, all-day wear. Clutch Magazine likes the Dior Crayon eyeliner for its smooth glide and easy use.
If you don't want to splurge on an eyeliner pencil, visit your local drugstore or discount store for a soft eyeliner at a bargain price. Elle rated L’Oréal Paris Wear Infinité Soft Powder Eye Liner as one of the top five eyeliners on the market today. Clutch Magazine suggests budget-friendly Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds liner, if you prefer a retractable pencil rather than one you need to sharpen.