How to Apply Eyeliner

How to Apply Eyeliner

  1. Choose an eyeliner that is appropriate for your eye color. Browns, gilded bronzes, and plums are great for lighter eyes, and darker eyes can pull off a more dramatic black backdrop. Forest greens can make brown eyes pop. Silvers and charcoals look best on green and blue eyes; rich red browns for green eyes and golds for blue eyes.

    • Note: Red tints make eyes look redder and blues make them whiter. Make sure your liner complements the color of your shadow.
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    Consider the type of look you're trying to achieve. Pencil eyeliners will give your eyes soft definition, while liquid versions offer precision and drama. There is a wide variety of powder liners available, and you can also moisten dark eyeshadow and apply it with a small, flat brush to double as liner.


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    Make sure everything you need is handy (and ready to go) before you start.
    • If you are using a pencil, sharpen it (see Warnings). Warm and soften the very tip of the pencil by heating it with a hot zap from a hair dryer. This will help it write smoother.
    • A liquid liner should be checked for clumps or excess.
    • Assemble your smudging pencil and/or brushes in a convenient spot.
    • Prepare a cake (powder) liner or a dark eye shadow by applying a small amount of water (usually one or two drops) to your brush. Move the wet brush gently through your cake liner or dark shadow, holding the brush or pencil as you would hold a pen.

Applying the Eyeliner

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    Rest the elbow of your dominant arm on a hard surface, and rest your wrist on your face.

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    Tilt your head back slightly and bring your eyes to a half-open state. This creates a good angle for application, while allowing you to see what you're doing.

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    Use your left index finger (if you are right handed) or your right index finger (if you are left handed) and pull your eyelid gently to the side and slightly up, toward the far end of your eyebrow. This step is optional, because some people find it easier to draw accurately on a relaxed eye; also, stretching the eye may encourage wrinkling. Try both ways to see what is best for you. To prevent the eyelid from shaking if you do not pull it, focus gently but intently on your eyes in the mirror. If you are applying eyeliner to someone else's eyes, ask them to choose one spot on the wall to look at. Keep your arm steady.

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    Draw a line across the upper lid on the lash line (as close to your lashes as possible while still on the lid). This creates the desired illusion of having thicker lashes.

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    If you're using liquid liner, allow it to dry before opening your eyes all the way, or the color may transfer into the crease of your eye.
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    Soften the look by gently smudging the line with your brush, a cotton swab or your finger. If you desire a crisp, straight line, as is the case with liquid eyeliner, do not alter unless it's messy. Any cleaning touch ups should be done with a cotton swab dipped in eye makeup remover.

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    Remember that there are many variations on eyeliner looks . If this is your first time, you might want to start with a smudged eyeliner look
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    Line the lower lids . Trace the outside of your eye (close to the lower lashes). Moving from the outside edge inward, draw a line lightly, but don't go for perfection, you can go back over the faint line and darken after the stroke. Your line should be slightly thicker at the outside corner, becoming thinner as it moves in toward your nose. Follow the shape of your eye. It looks more natural.

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    For a natural look, apply brown or black/brown eyeliner to 1/3 of your top lash line, and 2/3 of your bottom lash line. Blend the line with a cotton swab.
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    If you want a dramatic look, try double winging your liner. Or try a thicker line. Try different styles and find your favorite. But a classic line always works great.


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