Types of Eyeliners and How to Use Them

Liquid, gel, shadow, pencil…when you’re selecting an eyeliner, there’s a lot to consider! With so many different types to choose from, we know it can be overwhelming, BUT this is not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into—your choice will have a major impact on the application process and the end result. So, we’re here to break down the pros and cons of each kind—read on to determine which type of eyeliner is the right fit for you!

Liquid Eyeliner

 

Love dramatic winged liner? Liquid eyeliner may be your best bet! Typically, liquid eyeliner comes in a tube with a very thin brush or fine-tipped marker to apply the product with. Liquid eyeliner offers a bold, slick look and is useful for creating precise lines or the perfect flick. It is regarded as the most difficult to apply since the tiny tip can be a little bit challenging to control. However, if you’ve got a steady hand and a little bit of patience, give liquid eyeliner a go!

  1. Start at the middle of the eye, as tight to the lash line as you can get, and use short strokes as you make your way from the middle to the outer corner of your eye.
  2. Next, go to the inner corner of your eye and again use short strokes to connect the liner from the inner corner to the middle of your eye (where you first started).

If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with pencil eyeliner and working your way up to liquid eyeliner. Practice makes perfect— once you’re able to master liquid eyeliner, it’s amazing for Arabic makeup and killer cat eyes!

 

Pencil Eyeliner

New to the eyeliner game? Pencil eyeliner is where it’s at! Pencil eyeliners are the most commonly used because they’re the easiest to control. They work just like any other pencil does, except they’re safe (and much gentler!) on the eyes. To apply, simply draw along your lash line. Sharpen your pencil as needed. Be advised though, regardless of how sharp you get your pencil, you won’t be able to achieve the same level of precision as you would with liquid eyeliner. The result will be a little less crisp, but that’s the tradeoff for easy application.

Pro Tip: If you want to add color to your waterline, we recommend using a pencil eyeliner.  They come in a variety of colors and are easy to find at your local drugstore. Look for ones that are ophthalmologist tested in order to prevent eye irritation—better to be safe than sorry!

Gel Eyeliner

Is a smoky eye your go to? Gel eyeliner is probably the way to go! Gel eyeliner generally comes in a pot that you can dip into with an angled or otherwise fine-tipped brush. Get the product on your application tool of choice and glide along the lash line for a quick, clean line. The thick, creamy formula is pretty easy to work with and manipulate into whichever eyeliner shape you’re after. Plus, the fact that it’s creamy means it’s easy to smudge (a wonder for smoky eyes!) and usually feels pretty comfortable on the lids. On that note, gel liner does have a tendency to move around a bit and usually takes a little longer to dry—make sure your eyes are primed (especially if you have oily lids!) and try to avoid blinking for a few seconds after you apply to prevent product from transferring.

Pro Tip: Use gel eyeliner as a base under eyeshadow to add intensity to your look and give it a little more staying power.

Eyeshadow Eyeliner

 

A fan of simple and subtle? Look no further than your nearest black eyeshadow! Using eyeshadow to line your lashes is super fast and creates a polished, yet undone, look. Use a stiff angled brush or a small pencil brush to pick up the eyeshadow of your choice and draw or smudge along your lash line. Eyeshadow lining won’t last as long as other eyeliners will, but it’s great for daytime and the color possibilities are endless!

Pro Tip: We don’t recommend using eyeshadow on your waterline—it won’t stick very well and the powder will likely irritate your eyes.

Posted in Makeup Basics on (last modified: March 8, 2016)