10 Pro Eyeliner Tricks to Upgrade Your Look
Use a Business Card to Create the Perfect Wing
It’s not just for networking—a business card can help the not-so-steady-handed master winged eyeliner. Holding the card on the diagonal, line it up with the outer corner of your eye. Then use your liner to trace your wing right along the card’s outer edge. Line the rest of your upper lid from outer to inner corner. Done. No more wonky wings.
Don’t Connect the Lines
If you want eyes that look larger, steal this runway tip: Don’t let your lower lash liner meet up with your top liner—it closes up the eyes. Instead, leave an intentional gap to create the illusion of wider eyes.
Mascara Before Liner
Most of us reach for the eyeliner first, but Stila celebrity makeup artist Sarah Lucero says it’s smarter to start with mascara. Why? “You’ll see the full shape of your eye, so you’ll know exactly what to enhance with liner,” she says.
Dot the Line
To make your lash line look fuller without mascara, use an ultra-fine tipped liner to draw teeny-tiny dots in between each individual eyelash. By darkening the base of your lash line, your fringe looks darker and thicker instantly. Try it with Pixi Lash Line Ink in Black Silk ($14; target.com) or Girlactik Beauty Precise Eyeliner Marker ($20; girlactikbeauty.com).
Prevent a Mid-Day Meltdown
To stop smudgy eyeliner before it starts, use a makeup brush to press translucent powder just underneath your lower lash line. It acts as a barrier, keeping your liner in place, says Kerry Cole, style director at Becca Cosmetics. Another cool idea: Stash your liners in the freezer to harden up the oils and waxes. A too-soft pencil is more likely to slide around your face. Try it with Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Translucent Pressed Powder ($27; sephora.com).
Double up on Your Water Line
Lining your water line (the inner rim of your eye) is a no-fail way to get a more dramatic look, but it tends to disappear in, well, the blink of an eye. To make it last longer—and look more intense—makeup artist Stephanie Flor says to dip your black pencil into black cream liner before applying. Gently pull down your lower lash line and apply just along the rim.
Add a Pop of White
White eyeliner was all over the spring runways—and for good reason. A quick swipe of the stuff can make you look wide-eyed and more awake. Celebrity makeup artist Stevi Christine likes to use it to create a high contrast, mod-inspired eye: Line lids—top and bottom—in black and then apply a layer of white liner along the water line. “It adds an extreme pop to the eye,” she says. Try it with Rimmel London Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Pure White ($4; ulta.com).
Get the Low-Down on Color
Bold-colored eyeliners can be intimidating and what we’re about to suggest may seem down right daring, but trust us here: Only wear colored liner on bottom lash line. It’s fresh and unexpected, but because your can stick to your regular look on top, you won’t feel too far outside your comfort zone. Try it in the very on-trend electric blue. We like CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Blue Bloom ($8; drugstore.com).
Turn up the Heat
Transform any basic pencil into a high-intensity gel liner. Simply hold the tip under a flame for one to two seconds. Let it cool for 15 seconds. Then apply. You can also smudge it out for a smoky effect, says Cole. In a pinch, do it with your blow dryer.
Blur the Lines
A smoky eye can be pretty labor intensive—unless you try this quick cheat. Line lids—top and bottom—with black pencil. Then use a makeup brush or Q-tip to smudge on black or charcoal gray shadow. Simple. Smoky in seconds!