These Dreamy Pastel Eyeliners Make You Look Wide AwakeMay 07, 2021
If you want to add a pop of color to your spring makeup routine, look no further than soft pastel eyeliners. Easter egg hues like pink, lilac and pale yellow open up the eye for a wide-awake effect that flatters every skin tone and eye color. You can pair your pastels with an equally dreamy cotton candy eye or go subtle with no-makeup makeup on the rest of the face. We asked NYC-based makeup artist Tony Tulve for his favorite ways to use pastel eyeliner and rounded up our top liner picks of the season.
6 Ways to Use Pastel Eyeliners
Accentuate Your Waterline
Tulve confirms that there truly are myriad uses for these colors beyond just adding a cool color to your look. “These shades look great in the waterline,” he says, because they add lightness that helps open up the whole eye area and makes the whites of eyes appear even whiter.
Use It as an Eyeshadow Base
Not only will the pale hues brighten up a lid, but they also work as “a good base for glitter or more iridescent pigments to keep them in place,” Tulve says. The pastel liner adds extra vibrancy to whatever shadow you layer on top.
Elongate Your Eyes
If you want to be sneaky, one of Tulve’s favorite tricks is to extend the liner just outside your waterline to create the illusion of a wider eye.
Highlight Your Brows
Use a more neutral shade like white, peach or pale pink to give your brows the illusion of a lift. Simply draw underneath and a bit on top and then gently smudge the line for a subtle highlight effect.
Recreate the Cat-Eye
You’re probably so used to doing this look in black that you can’t imagine it any other way, but a robin’s egg blue or mint green wing will breathe new life into the classic look, while also adding a fresh burst of color to your face.
Spotlight Your Inner Corners
The area between your nose and corner of your eyes can appear dark, which is often why makeup artists add a touch of highlight there to help open up the eye. Usually done in a shimmery white, peach or pearly gold, use just a small amount to subtly add light without looking like a disco ball. Or use a yellow or green liner to extend all the way around the tear duct (top and bottom), and across top and bottom lash lines. The yellow neutralizes blue or purple (like dark circles) and the green helps to diminish redness so your eyes look bright.
The Best Pastel Eyeliner Shade for You
We asked Tulve to tell us how he uses his favorite hues. Check out his guide, then grab a liner and go to town. We’ve done you a solid and rounded up some of our faves. Use any one of these beauties to add light, dimension and a fun dash of color to even the simplest of looks.
“This is great to place in the waterline to make the eyes appear whiter. Pair it with a chunky mascara for a modern take on Twiggy’s iconic look.”
“Wrap this around the tear duct and waterline, then blend out to create a wide-eyed effect. It can also be used to add a soft bit of light under the brow bone and on the cupid’s bow. And you can easily use this shade to lighten up the center of any pink, fuchsia, or red lip.”
“This makes for a fun cat-eye, paired with a neutral taupe shadow. I also love using this as a base under more opalescent shimmers to really make them stand out.”
“This is a great alternative to a grey liner for a soft, smoky effect around the eye — it looks great with brown and hazel eyes. Or use this liner as a base for your grey and plum shadows to take your look to the next level.”
“White is great for using as a shadow base, to clean up a brow or lip, or to sketch out a graphic eye. A flick of white liner as a soft cat eye gives great lift to the eye and looks modern.”
“I like this shade in the waterline on deeper skin tones — it adds enough brightness to the eye without looking as strong as a white. This also makes a great base for golden glitters.”