10 Eyeliner Tips for Beginners

June 01, 2020
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
10 Eyeliner Tips That Will Seriously Up Your Liner Game

Eyeliner is a staple in our beauty routines. From the most artistic cat eyes to a small flick, we simply can’t complete a makeup look with adding some liner. It’s an easy way to subtly call attention to your eyes, make your lashes look longer and even make yourself look more awake. Granted, perfecting a tightline or cat eye takes time. But if you’re a newbie to the eyeliner scene and are just getting started, fear not. We’ve got a bunch of tips, tricks and pointers that’ll help you master your eyeliner application in no time!

EYELINER TIP 1: Pick Your Product Wisely

Whether you choose pencil, gel or liquid, each has its own special application and skill level. An eyeliner pencil is perfect for an everyday look and is arguably the easiest to use. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not regularly sharpening their pencils, which helps you achieve a sharp line as close to your lash line as humanly possible. For a no-tug pencil that’s easy to use, we love the IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Gel Eyeliner Pencil

IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Gel Eyeliner Pencil

Gel eyeliner, typically comes in a pot and is applied with a brush. These can be a little trickier because you need to pick up the right amount of product to apply. Gels have an amazingly creamy consistency that lets them glide across the eyelid without pulling or tugging like a pencil. One drawback is that unlike pencils, which are good to the last sharpening, gels can dry out faster than other formulas. If you want to try a gel option, give the NYX Professional Makeup Gel Liner and Smudger a try. 

The most advanced liners fall into the liquid category. They can be unforgiving if you make mistakes, but once you master the delicacy needed for proper application, these inky beauties are unparalleled at creating cat-eyes and other dramatic eye shapes. For a liquid option, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Waterproof Liquid Dip Eyeliner

L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Waterproof Liquid Dip Eyeliner

EYELINER TIP 2: Hold Your Eye for More Control

You’ll find that most liners tend to get stuck or skip across your lid, so start off by creating a smooth canvas for your liner to glide across. Using your pointer and middle finger, pull the skin above your eye taut for a smoother, more precise line. Instead of free-handing it, prop your elbow up on the counter to steady your hand. Just be sure to be gentle — you don’t want to tug too hard. 

EYELINER TIP 3: Choose the Right Color

You don’t always have to go with a classic black shade, especially if you are just starting out. Brown and gray are great training colors because they’re more forgiving if you make a mistake. You can also make your eyes appear brighter and more vibrant by using a color-enhancing shade. For blue eyes, try a color in the warm brown, bronze or copper family. Green eyes should try violets and purples, while brown-eyed girls can go bold with bright blues or keep it simple with navy. 

EYELINER TIP 4: Don’t Forget to Blend

When using a pencil, blend it out for a more natural look. A dual-ended pencil with a sponge attachment at the end makes this process a lot easier. The pressure you apply will determine if your line is slightly softened or completely smoked out.

EYELINER TIP 5: Line Your Waterline in a Nude Shade

Instead of using black on your inner rims, choose a nude shade for a bright-eyed effect. This is a perfect trick for when you’re tired and want to look more awake. You can also use a champagne or metallic rose hue to really brighten things up.

EYELINER TIP 6: Trace Your Way to a Flawless Cat Eye

If you’re ready to attempt a cat eye but are nervous about getting the perfect slant, try this trick:Hold a business card diagonally against the corner of your eye and trace alongside it with a pencil.You can also put a piece of tape in the same area and use that as a guide. Another idea? Use the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Waterproof Eyeliner to get an instant, easy cat eye. 

EYELINER TIP 8: Fix Mistakes With Cotton Swabs

Mess up? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Instead of starting from scratch, dip a cotton swab in makeup remover and use it like an eraser to carefully remove any mistakes. Just remember to get to it quickly —it’s easier and less of a mess to erase it while it’s wet than it is when it dries down. 

EYELINER TIP 9: Give Your Liquid Liner Time to Dry 

After applying liquid liner, keep your eyes closed for 30 seconds. This will prevent any accidental smudging. You can also lock in the product by dipping a small shadow brush in translucent powder, like the Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder. Gently dab the powder over the top of the (dried) line. 

EYELINER TIP 10: Finish Off With a Setting Spray

After taking a serious chunk of time out of your morning to apply that cat eye, you don’t want it rubbing off after a couple hours. Make sure it stays on all day long by finishing off your look with a few spritzes of a setting spray. We’ve been loving the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Setting Spray

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