(This has taken me forever to post, but here is my personal non-professional guide to eyeliner! Check out Foundation 101 too!)
Here are the basics to eyeliner. It’s really amazing how much better I feel by just drawing a line on my eyelid; it may seem really insignificant, but it makes such a huge difference.
Eyeliner is one of the easiest products to buy. While there is a huge variety in type, it can be found nearly anywhere and is such a makeup staple. It’s small and easy to store, and once you’ve gotten enough practice, you can do it on the fly!
Practice, practice, practice! If it looks all smudgy and weird the first time you try, that’s okay! It happens to everyone!
Steady hands are key.
Eyeliner goes on top of eye shadow.
Start small and work your way up. If you’re brave enough to jump right into a liquid liner cat eye, go for it! Just know that it may be difficult and frustrating, and will be much easier to start smaller.
Be adventurous! Eyeliner is a perfect way to switch up your look in subtle way before diving headfirst into something super adventurous, like a bold lip.
If you are lining your bottom lid/lashline, back sure you are lining your top lid/lashline as well! Lining just the bottom will make your eyes look tired and heavy, which you may not want unless you are specifically going for that look.
Invest in some good makeup remover, especially if you are using waterproof eye makeup. (Remember, always always always remove your makeup at night!)
As with foundation (or any makeup you’re trying out), watch YouTube tutorials! I’ll provide specific links, but here’s a list to get you started.
If you are wearing eye makeup, it’s easy to forget, so don’t rub your eyes. It will majorly smudge all over the place.
Opening your mouth while putting on eyeliner actually does help!
Start the line very thin on the inner corner of your eye, and thicken it as you move to the outer corner of your eye. Play around to find the thickness and shape that you like the best.
Whenever your eyeliner is becoming brittle/gluey/generally unpleasant, throw it away. It’s probably old and you’re more likely to get an infection from old/dirty eyeliner.
The eyes are very sensitive, not only because of your eyeballs, but because the skin around your eyes/eyelids is the thinnest on your body. So be careful!
Q-tips (cotton swabs) are your friends. It is very easy to mess up or go overboard, so make sure you have q-tips on hand to help you clean up smudges or excess liner.
When in doubt, try again! It’s okay if you mess up, just wipe it off and start over.
Pencil eyeliner is the easiest, most basic type of eyeliner. It literally looks like a pencil and you can buy eyeliner sharpeners to sharpen it. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to find a good-quality eyeliner; convenience stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Boots have plenty of options. To test whether or not a pencil eyeliner is good quality or not, check for a few things:
Does it break easily? If it does, it’s no good.
Does it glide on easily? Remember, your eyelids are very sensitive, so an eyeliner that draws smoothly is very important.
Is this the right color for me? Black eyeliner tends to look a little harsh on lighter complexions and lighter eye colors. Play around with colors to find the one you like the best.
Is it super smudgy? Believe me, smudgy eyeliner is not worth it. You want an eyeliner that will remain where it is for the whole day, so you don’t end up looking like a raccoon by lunchtime.
If it covers all this criteria, you are good to go!
For daytime/informal places like school or babysitting, less is more. A simple line on your upper lashline will probably be just fine. It’s super easy to overdo it, so have a friend or someone else you trust give you an honest opinion. For smokey eyes, night time events, or if you feel like being a little more fancy, try different colors and play with the thickness of the line.
What I use: Pencil eyeliner is what I use most frequently. I’m a big fan of the eyeliners you can twist up when you need more, instead of the ones you have to manually sharpen. My favorite pencil eyeliners are from Maybelline and Sephora’s makeup brand. I like to use black eyeliner on my upper lid and brown on my lower. Brown is less harsh and looks a little more natural, but still gives definition.
Liquid eyeliner is the holy grail of eyeliner. It is much trickier and messier to work with, but once you master it, it’s so worth it. It often looks cleaner and sharper than pencil eyeliner, and a cat eye can make you feel awesome. But before we get ahead of ourselves, make sure you’re getting the right thing. The formula can’t be too watery and thin, nor can it be too thick and gluey. Otherwise things will turn out horribly. Liquid eyeliners come as felt-tip liners, which look very much like very thin markers and they also come in a tube, with a tiny little brush at the end. Paying a little more for better quality eyeliner will definitely pay off.
What I use: Currently, I’m using L'Oreal (I think), and I like the formula, but it’s getting a little old, so I need to throw it out.
Gel eyeliner is not as watery as liquid liner and has more of a creamy consistency, which allows you a little more control. It typically comes in a little pot and you apply it with a small angled brush or a lip brush. Gel liner often provides the same looks as liquid eyeliner, so use whichever one you prefer!
After sampling honeslty, around 20 mascaras over the years, I have to say Maybelline’s line of The Falsies Volum’ Express masacaras are THE BOMB!
The first one I bought was the “Black Drama” version and it took a bit of getting used to the fibers in the formula, but I eventually got it to work for me. I think the formula of this one is wetter than the other two. With a fiber-y masacara, you want to wiggle the brush at your lash base and then pull up and out. This way, you lengthen the lash instead of packing on the product which leads to spiderweb lashes. ick :/
I then bought the waterproof version (blue label) for the summer. This is my least favorite formula as it dries too fast. But, I still use it when going to the beach or hiking because it really does stay on and is water-resistant. The brush is still the same, just a little difference in the product formula.
My latest addition is the Flared verison (silver writing). This one is the best out of all three hands down!! The brush is bigger, the formula is nice and wet, and it glides on miraculously.
I bought these the first two at Rite Aid for about $8.00 (much better than Sephora prices!). Rite Aid often has Maybelline sales like buy 1 get one so its worth a looksy. The Flared version is from my trip to Ulta. I got it on a buy one get one 50% off deal (I also bought the gel liner from Maybelline. Testing that soon) I kinda think Ulta is cheaper. What do you guys think??
If you’re really fed up with expensive mascaras that dry out, flake, or just plain suck, you might just be surpised by this drugstore gem!