Picking the Right Eyeliner

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated November 9, 2020)


The first thing to consider when picking the right eyeliner is choosing the type of eyeliner that will work best for you. There are six categories of eyeliner; liquid, gel, cream, pencil, powder, and permanent. Within those categories, there are several types, and not only are they each applied differently, they each produce a different look. Here are some great tips about the different types of eyeliner to help you decide how to pick the right one for the look that you want to achieve:

  • Liquid liners come in a tiny bottle with a handle attached. The handle serves as the liner applicator brush. The liquid produces a solid line of color that won't smear or smudge. If you want a more dramatic look, a liquid liner is the right one for you.
  • Gel. Applied in the same way as liquid liners, gel liners can be smudged to create a softer look, yet are more defined than pencil liners. If you still want a dramatic look, yet not quite as harsh as liquid, choose a gel liner.
  • Cream liners are almost the same as gel liners, except that you have to have a separate brush to apply them. They also last quite a bit longer throughout the day than does a gel liner. Because you can apply cream liners precisely where you want them, with as tiny or broad of a stoke, you can create very different looks using a cream liner.
  • Pencil liners are named as such because they are manufactured like a writing pencil—in a wooden tube. And, just as with the writing instrument, you must sharpen the pencil eyeliner with a sharpener to get at the product. Pencil liners can be hard or soft. Choose a quality product and resist the urge to buy the least expensive one, since those pencil liners are typically so hard that you cannot apply the product to your lid. Some pencil liners come in a retractable tube and require no sharpening, but the product is very soft. Pencil liners create a softer look since the product smudges across the lid, instead of producing a sharp line.
  • Powder or cake liners come in a tiny compact. You add a little water, rub a brush across it, and apply the product—the consistency of mud—to your lid. My mother used Maybelline cake eyeliner for years, spitting her own saliva onto the cake before rubbing the half-inch hard plastic applicator into the stuff. Powder liners create a smudged look that can be quite dramatic, depending on how much you apply.
  • Permanent eyeliner is a cosmetic tattoo applied to one or both lids. You can choose from many colors, not simply black. Since the procedure is permanent, think of all of the ramifications of having the procedure done before committing to it.

Today, all eyeliners are offered in every conceivable color, and not simply the traditional black. When used correctly, eyeliners can change your appearance dramatically or simply enhance your natural beauty. The best way to determine which eyeliner is right for you is to practice applying them to create the look that you want.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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What is 3 + 5?

2012-07-12 10:59:05


They are very useful.