Ask Belle: Eyeliner Tips and Tricks
Mar 19, 2015
Can you post about eyeliner? I wear mascara every day, but I’ve never ventured into eyeliner. I don’t know what kind to buy or how to apply it. Would love, love, love some help.
Hope you can answer my question! Liv
To the uninitiated, eyeliner can seem intimidating. But let’s see if we can cover the basics.
Pencil vs. Liquid vs. Gel. For first timers, pencil is the easiest. If you don’t apply it perfectly, you can smudge it a little and it will still look good. However, one downside to pencil liner is that the pigment isn’t as intense. My favorite pencil liner is CoverGirl Queen Vivid Eyeliner ($9)–smooth application, doesn’t wear off easily or flake.
Unlike pencil, liquid liner gives you a glossy finish that usually lasts all day. Unlike pencil, liquid liner requires a bit more doing to get a clean line and covering mistakes is much more difficult. But with a little practice, you can use liquid liner to master more complicated liner looks. My favorite liner is from Tom Ford, but Stila Stay-All-Day Liquid Liner ($20) is a great option.
Lastly, if you want to use a brush to apply your liner, instead of a pencil, gel liner is a good option. It gives you the most intense pigmentation, can be smudged to cover errors, but can also be used to create precise lines. Basically, it can give you the best of both worlds.
I don’t use gel liner every day because I like the ease of the liquid-pen application. But I have used the Bobbi Brown gel liners ($25), and with a narrow brush, I like the application. Want a drugstore brand? NYX makes a decent gel liner ($8).
Tutorials. Applying eyeliner, like a new styling a new updo, is something that requires practice. I’d start on a weekend when you have a little more time to practice, and then work it into my daily routine. As for tutorials, here are a few I found helpful.
This video goes over the basics of pencil liner. I like that she applies the product in short strokes, as it’s the way I learned. I think too many makeup pros try to apply pencil liner the same way they apply liquid, and that doesn’t work as well.
If you want to learn how to apply liquid liner, Elle.com has a photo tutorial you can use. The video above does an excellent job of showing a basic eyeliner application and explains how to turn basic liner into winged and cat-eye looks.
Have any favorite eyeliner tips, looks, or product recommendations? Leave them in the comments.