Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to the Basics Pt. 2 - Eyeliner

Oh, yes.  We've all seen it.  It creeps up behind us at the pool, and at volleyball games.  It lurks in the shadows, waiting to reveal itself.  We've all seen, and almost all, have been, this dreaded beast.

The raccoon.

Although you may think you look all rocker chic like Taylor Momsen...

You really just look like this...

Let's fix this, shall we? 

Eyeliner is not eyeshadow.  It isn't meant for your whole eye.  "Oh, but NYX has a line of jumbo eyepencils!" Yes.  Yes they do.  Those are bases for your eyeshadows.  Not eyeliners. 

Confusing these two products, eyeliner, and eyeshadow, can be traumatizing.  Confusing types of eyeliners can be traumatizing.  So let's beat eyeliner to it's punch and learn how to use it properly.  

Pencil Eyeliners

A pencil eyeliner is the first eyeliner you should ever pick up.  This eyeliner is used for your waterline and your tightline.  What's your water line?  Your waterline is where your eyesocket meets your eye.  It's located above your lashline, which, obviously, is the line that all of your lashes are found.  Lining the waterline can be tricky.  You don't want this area to be too dark because then the raccoons inevitably come out to play.  If you're going for a more natural look, go with a light brown eyeliner on the first third of your waterline, from the outercorner in. This will frame your eyes and brighten the whites of your eyes without raccoon effect. 
As for your tightline, this line is directly beneath your upper lash line.  This type of lining your eyes can be a bit initimidating, but is absolutely worth it. Lining your tightline will enhance your lashes, making them look darker and fuller. Once you grow accustomed to performing this type of line, it becomes second nature.  Remember the first time you put on eyeliner at all?  How your eyes and skin were so sensitive and watered?  Tightlining will feel like that for a while. All you do is lift your eyelid a tad so you can see the skin underneath the lashes. That's where you line. Remember you probably won't feel comfortable with it the first time.  Practice makes perfect. 

For the waterline, I'd recommend a waterproof eyeliner, seeing as it will be weathering tears, sweat, watery eyes, eyedrops, etc.  Try the Revlon Color Stay Eyeliner .  It lasts up to 16 hours and glides on without tugging or pulling at your eyes or lashes.

For your tightline, you need something easy and fast. I recommend a coal liner, like MAC's Kohl Eyeliner. It's very pigmented and will make the lashes appear fuller and darker. Always use a tightline color that is the same as your mascara. 

Liquid, Gel, and Cream Eyeliners

These eyeliners are secondary eyeliners, to be used after the tightline eyeliner and waterline eyeliner is applied.  To keep a look more natural, ditch these babies, and stick to the pencil.  But if you're looking for more of a "makeuped" look, here's your guide.  Use liquid, gel, or cream eyeliners for your top lashline.
  Using a thin eyeliner brush, like the Sigma E05, for the gel or cream, or the built in brush, with the liquid eyeliner, apply on and right above the lashes.  Start at the  outercorner and come in-  you want the line to be thicker on the outer corner and thinner at the inner.  This will make your eyes appear bigger, wider, and brighter.  If you prefer, wing it out slightly, dragging the brush up and out.   Whether you choose liquid, gel, or cream is simply a matter of preference.  No one is "better" than the other.  However, you probably will find you prefer one consistency over the other.  Explore!  Find out what you like best.  

The three products I recommend are these:  For liquid- the ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen  (a thinner, more maneagable consistency) and Urban Decay Liquid Liner (heavier consistency).  For gel- Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner or Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Eyeliner.  For cream, Loreal Hip Cream Eyeliner or ELF Studio Cream Eyeliner.

Tips and Tricks 
  • Use a white eyeliner on your waterline to brighten your eyes and appear more awake!  This is a great tip for back to school if you go to a brick and mortar school.  Early mornings are no fun, but white eyeliner will make you look like you've been up for a while.
  • Using a smudge brush on your lashline after applying a cream eyeliner will give you a smokey effect, you won't even need eyeshadow!  But remember to smudge on the upper lashline, and ONLY A LITTLE.  No raccoon eyes, ladies. 
  • Using different colored eyeliners will enhance your eyes.  If you have green eyes, try a plum color.  If you have blue, try a dark brown.  Brown eyes will be complimented by any color.
Good luck, ladies!  Foundation/Concealer BTB coming up next, so stay tuned.  



  1. this is soooo helpful! Thanks!

  2. I think I should work more on putting on eyeliner more often. I do it only about once a week, and it usually makes my eyes super teary, specially at night when I'm tired.
    And mom gave me a liquid one and I absolutely FAILED at it. But you're probably an expert.......... :)

  3. Oh, thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to know! YES. Okay, now I have to get some eyeliner....

  4. Hey Em, What about removing eyeliner? Can you recommend some safe, gentle makeup removers and/or techniques that won't cause wrinkles?? Thanks :)

  5. The best way to remove eyeliner and any type of eye makeup is by liquid remover and a cottonball/qtip. While facial cleansers and wipes are good at removing face makeup, like foundation and blush/bronzer, it's not good for your eyes. Using a qtip doesn't tug at your eyes. It's not the formula that gives you wrinkles, it's the pulling and tugging you have to do while using a cleaner or a wipe. The skin around your eye is the most sensitive on your entire face. That's why when applying eye cream you use your ring finger- because it's the finger that applies the least amount of pressure. Although using a liquid remover is more tedious, it keeps your skin youthful. I would suggest Lancome's Double Action Eye Makeup Remover, or Nuetrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover. I've used both and both work very well. Just don't forget to apply an eye cream afterwards to rehydrate the skin!