Tightlining is that sort-of mysterious eyeliner technique everyone talks about but can be difficult to explain. It’s championed in the beauty world for its ability to create the illusion of fuller, darker lashes and add definition to the eyes, all while maintaining a no-makeup look. The technique may seem a little intimidating at first — you are trying to line underneath your top lash line at first — but trust us, it’s easier than you think.

To tightline, you can use any gel, cream or pencil eyeliner, but we recommend staying away from liquid eyeliner. The consistency of liquid is too wet for this technique and can get in your eyes (trust us, it’s not pretty). We love Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion — an ultra-black liner that won’t budge, no matter how much you blink.

Ready to give the try it yourself? Follow the step-by-step tutorial ahead.


Use your finger to lift up your eyelid so you can see the base of your top lash line. That’s where you are going to be depositing the pigment.

TIP: It helps to position your mirror so you are looking down slightly during the application.


Press your pencil directly onto the waterline. Using short strokes, wiggle it back and forth to really work the product into the underside of your lash line. The finished look should leave no gaps between your lashes and the liner. For a defined lower lash line, you can use the same technique on your bottom waterline.

TIP: Never tug at the delicate skin under your eyes when you’re tightlining.

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