Applying Eyeliner

Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated March 1, 2021)

I know women who shy away from eyeliner because it can be a complete disaster. This fear is warranted; eyeliner is transforming. In just a few simple strokes, a face can go from sweet 16-year-old to questionable streetwalker. It can however, with a few well placed strokes, also go the other way to polished sophistication. If you prefer the latter option, it is by no means an impossible task.

Before focusing on eyeliner, I'll outline the basic objective of everyday makeup. The goal of makeup: enhance rather than destroy your features. Eyeliner's purpose is the same. I've seen women (and men scarily enough) with eyeliner that makes it virtually impossible to see the real face. It's supposed to draw attention to the eyes, but not so much that you fail to see the rest of the face. You want it to look as natural as possible. An oxymoron of sorts, you don't want it to be noticeable. Your eyes should be enhanced enough so that on a first glance, people notice the eyes rather than the makeup.

Choose a color that's not too overbearing and that matches your skin tone. If you're a blond Caucasian, don't opt for a jet-black liner. If you're African American, don't choose a light twiggy color that won't show up. You have natural coloring so go with it! For most people a mid-brown tone works well; it shows up enough to make a difference, but doesn't take over the eyes. Brown eyeliner can also greatly enhance eye color—with the right shade of chocolate eyeliner, brown eyes can pop! Regarding blues and greens, it's not completely forbidden—just remember to keep it looking as natural as possible. (Combining colored eyeliner with a natural brown is a good way to keep colors balanced).

While it is called eyeliner, you don't want to line your entire eye. Rather than complementing the eye, all-over eyeliner will shrink it. Line your eyes about 3/4 of the way in on the bottom and you can go a bit farther on the top. Apply with a moderate stroke, keeping it on the thin side. Too thick a stroke will invariably lead to a tipsy Jack Sparrow look and too thin won't enhance the eye at all. If the thought of a using an eyeliner pencil makes you uneasy or nervous you can always opt for dabbing a little bit of a dark brown eye shadow on the corners of your eye with a thin angled brush to achieve a more defined look.

The core rule of all everyday makeup, including eyeliner, is enhancement, not defacement. Keep it natural. You can now lean toward the side of refinement rather than raunchy, style as opposed to sleazy.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood


Understanding Puts and Calls

Puts and calls may sound confusing but really they're just one more facet of that sometimes overwhelming world of ...

Discover More

Overcoming Fear of Dentists

Going to the dentist is rarely a pleasant experience. If you harbor a fear of dentists, then here are some tips to help ...

Discover More

Stop Split Ends

If you suffer from split ends, your hair may not be as unhealthy as you might think. Follow these simple tips, and see ...

Discover More
More Beauty Tips

Picking the Right Eyeliner

Just as with the rest of your makeup—foundation, eye shadow, blush, and lipstick—choosing the correct ...

Discover More

Should I Use Liquid Eyeliner or Dry Eyeliner?

The only real way to determine if you should use liquid or dry liner is to try each for yourself. Liquid liner usually ...

Discover More

How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner

Applying liquid eyeliner can be tricky and requires a great amount of practice and patience to get the right look. It's ...

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)