Eyeliner Tips I Wish I Learned Earlier

May 17, 2022
Caitlyn Martyn
By: Caitlyn Martyn | Makeup.com by L'Oréal

Eyeliner can be very intimidating, especially if you’ve never used it before. The product has the power to define your eyes and dictate what the rest of your makeup looks like, so it’s understandable if you’re hesitant to pick up a pencil and start drawing. 

Many of us have been there before, so to help you get started, our editors are sharing their best eyeliner tips, below. Keep scrolling to find the tricks we wish we knew sooner. 

How to Use White Eyeliner

While I’m still perfecting my cat eye, I’d consider myself a pro when it comes to white eyeliner. Although white might not come to mind when you first think of eyeliner, it’s one of the best makeup tools to help brighten up the appearance of your eyes. Take a white eyeliner pencil (I personally love the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Wear Liner Stick Long Lasting Eyeliner Pencil in Pure White) and gently line your waterline — being extra careful not to poke yourself in the eye. You’ll notice right away that one simple stroke has the ability to make your eyes look more awake and your eye makeup look more vibrant. — Caitlyn

How to Do Smudgy, Diffused Eyeliner

My favorite lazy way to do eyeliner is by dragging a super creamy pencil along my lash line, then either smudging it out with my finger for a messy look or elongating the line by applying a little extra pencil at my outer corner and winging it out using an angled liner brush. This creates a soft, slightly diffused wing that’s pretty on its own, but can also serve as a guide to draw a liquid liner on top for more intensity. My favorite pencil eyeliner is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil because it’s easy to smudge, has great lasting power once it dries and comes in about a million colors. — Ari

How to Use Dots for Eyeliner

If you’re just starting out with eyeliner, one trick that really blew my mind is a dotting method from TikTok. It involves taking any liner and making a couple dots to outline the shape. I usually take my Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eyeliner and make three dots starting from the outer edge of my eye to where I’d like my wing to end. I’ll do another three dots from the center of my lid, angling them to meet the middle dot of the original set I just made. After that, I can go in and just connect the dots to create the perfect wing without the guessing game! This hack is definitely a must-try for beginners! — Kat

giorgio armani smooth silk eyeliner

How to Use Eyeshadow for Eyeliner

My favorite eyeliner hack actually doesn’t even involve eyeliner. Because I’m not great at drawing on a perfect line with a liner pencil or pen, I like to use long-wear eyeshadow, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Bronzed Taupe, and an angled shadow brush to define my lash line. As a rule, I try to choose a darker shade than what I’m wearing on the rest of my eyelids. I find that this trick helps create a subtle and soft eye makeup look. — Victoria

How to Create the Perfect Wing Every Time

The perfect cat eye has taken me years to master, but this trick has helped me along the way. When applying your winged eyeliner, I recommend sitting down, putting your elbow on the makeup surface you’re using and anchoring your wrist under your chin. It sounds weird at first, but try drawing on your liner in that position and you’ll see that it will help you keep your hand steady every time. Once you’ve had enough practice, you’ll be able to recreate the motion without doing this hack, and you’ll be amazed at how good you’ve gotten at mastering the cat eye. Pro tip, use a gel liner and a small angled brush — my favorite is the Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. — Alanna

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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