Let’s line those eyes! Pencil, liquid and gel liners

Since ancient Egypt women have known the power of eye makeup.
Re-shaping the eye, adding depth to eyes, as an artistic expression..

Probably most women have an eyeliner of some kind in their makeup bag.
Everyone has their own favourite color and product and technique, but here’s my thoughts about eyeliners.

I also recommend that you check out Marlena’s video How To Apply Eyeliner and other thoughts about eyeliners.


Pencil liner is probably the most known liner in the market.

  • + Available in countless colors and textures and it’s remotely easy to use.
  • + Most pencils can be also used on waterline
  • + Easy to smudge for a sultry sexy look
  • – Needs to be sharpened regularly
  • – Harder to create sharp, thin lines
  • – Smudges easily, doesn’t necessarily last all day

Personal favourites:

Liquid liners:

Liquid liner comes right after pencils in popularity.

  • + Comes in countless colors
  • + Different tips so you can use what’s best for you
  • + Usually long-lasting
  • + Precise in creating thin and intense lines
  • + Great for more dramatic looks
  • – Needs steady hands, may not be suitable for beginners
  • – Not to be used on waterline
  • – May be harder to remove

Personal favourites:

Gel liners:

Gel liners are my own personal favourites.

  • + Large range of colors
  • + Usually suitable for waterline
  • + Long-lasting (usually waterproof)
  • + Sort of combination of pencil and liquid, good for creating what ever line you desire
  • + Can be used also as an eyeshadow
  • – Needs a specific brush
  • – May dry fast in the jar

Personal favourites:

Using pencil or gel liner on waterline:

Black gel liner on waterline to make eyes look smaller or more dramatic (MAC Blacktrack fluidline)

White pencil liner on waterline to make eyes look bigger (NYX eyeliner White)

Colored pencil liner on waterline to make eyes pop more (Illamasqua Debonair)

Nude pencil liner to open and brighten the eyes (Isadora  inline kajal Blonde)

Different eyeliner styles:

Black gel liner applied thickly all the way.

Black gel liner applied thicker on the inner corner. ( Warning: can make eyes look more droopy)

Black pencil liner used on upper waterline (great way to add depth, make lashes look longer and eyes look more intense).

Black gel liner used really thinly on upper lashline.

Classic winged liner using black gel liner.

Heavy lining both on upper and lower lashline, as well on both upper and lower waterline. Great for making arabic looks.

Profile photo of Jangsara


Comments are now closed on this article.

Thank you for this article! Very helpful. I am particularly intimidated with eyeliners. I feel like if I line my waterline, it accentuates my eyebags. This is cool and I’ve learned different ways to put it on :) good job as always! Thank you sooo much

awww, what a great article! thanks! btw, for liquid liners, I absolutely <3<3 the l'oreal super liner, even for me as a eyeliner-beginner it's easy to handle

This was tres helpful. Thank you. I have the hardest time with liner sometimes (being more “creative” with it). This gave me ideas. Thanks again.

Great article. Im going to check into getting the nude eyeliner. My eyes are smaller so if I put black on the waterline it makes them look really small. I’ve learned so much by Marlana.

Can you recommend a good eyeliner brush for gel eyeliner? One good and one cheaper version would be great, thanks!

Oh My God, Jangsara, thank you soooooooooo much for this! It must have taken you ages to do all those different looks, and your photo’s are crazy good quality! Extremely helpful article!
Greetings from Switzerland

Thank you so much for this article.I have small eyes and love to wear eyeliner but a little intimidated,this has helped to find the right product as well the right technique thanks a bunch.

Great article! It’s great that all the photos show your “nude eyes” with only the liner. Now we can see the effect of just the eyeliner!

Great! I needed help with eyeliner! I also wanted to make sure that all the MUG staff and Muggies keep Marlena in their prayers! We love you Marlena!

<3 Grace <3

I have tried everything and nothing stays on my waterline. Lately I’ve been tightlining my top lashes only with a Laura mercer product and somehow that ends up underneath my eyes looking like a raccoon . I’ve read all the tutorials and articles… Do most contact lenses wearers have this problem? I love the look but have stopped wearing it because of the mess.

Great tips! I’m new to trying fun makeup techniques and this answers a lot of my questions like “How did they do that?” and “What’s so different about liquid and pencil liners?” Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas and tips.

This is amaazing! I was just wondering though, what eyeliners can you suggest for the waterline? :)