Wondering how to apply liquid eyeliner in a way that naturally flatters your eye shape? It’s easier than you may think. Liquid eyeliner can seem… intimidating to the uninitiated. But with the right tools and a little practice, you can take your liquid eyeliner skills to the next level. Read on for a great liquid eyeliner application tutorial to help you get started.
What Types of Liquid Eyeliner Are There?
There are two types of liquid eyeliner: brush tip and felt tip liquid eyeliner.
Brush tip eyeliner comes with a mini brush at the end of a wand. It’s great for precise detail, like wing tips and fine lines. Brush tip liquid eyeliner can be difficult for beginners to control.
The end of a felt-tip liner looks like a pointed marker – it’s thicker at the base, and it tapers down to a point. This type of liner is easier to control than a brush tip. Felt-tip eyeliner is great for creating cat eyes and thick-to-thin lines. This type may be a good choice of liquid eyeliner for beginners.1
Which Type Of Liquid Eyeliner Should You Choose?
- Brush Tip: if you need ultra thin precise lines and you have a steady hand, you may like a brush tip for liner application.
- Felt Tip: if you want the eyeliner to be thicker in some sections — or you want to try a cat eye — go with this one.
How To Apply Liquid Eyeliner: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
How To Apply Liquid Eyeliner For A Natural Makeup Look
- Pick Your Liner. Try a brush tip or a felt tip liquid liner in black for this look. If you have very light skin, you can go with brown, but black tends to be universally flattering.
- Prime Your Lids. Cover your eyelid with a shadow base. This can help the liner stay put.
- Tilt Your Head Down. To get the best view of the base of your upper lashes, tilt your head down and get close to a mirror.
- Connect The Dots. Draw a few dots along your lash line, as close to the base of your lashes as possible. Connect the dots using tiny, gentle strokes. Trace your entire upper lash line with liner. For a natural look, do not extend the line past your lid.
- Clean It Up. Don’t be afraid to go back in and clean up your line if parts of it are too thick. You want a thin, uniform line for this look. Take a pointed cotton swab or a clean angled brush, dip it in moisturizer, and carefully erase any eyeliner mistakes.
- Fill in Blank Spots. When you’ve finished an eye, look up at yourself in the mirror. Take your liner and gently push it in between your lashes and fill in blank spaces with a small stroke.
- Finish With Mascara. Swipe on a coat of black mascara to finish in your natural eyeliner look.2
How To Create A Cat Eye Look With Liquid Eyeliner
- Pick Your Liner. A felt tip liquid eyeliner pencil works well for a cat eyeliner look.
- Gently Close Your Eye. Lower the eyelid of the eye you’ll work on first. If you’re having a hard time closing just one eye, you can also tilt your head down to give yourself a smooth surface.
- Draw The Wing First. Grab your felt tip liner, and draw a line from the outer corner of your upper lashes up at an angle. To get the angle right, try to imagine it as an extension of your lower lash line, going up. Draw a longer line than you think you’d need – it will look smaller when you open your eyes.
- Draw A Triangle. Starting at the end of the line you just drew, draw a second line down toward your lash line. This will create an angled triangle shape. You’ll want to end this line near the outer edge of your iris.
- Fill In The Triangle. Hold your felt tip liner at an angle, and fill in the empty space inside the triangle. Be sure to fill it in evenly with plenty of product.
- Line Your Lash Line. Take your liner and line your upper lash line, ending at the triangle. Use the liner to create a gradual slope between the triangle and your lined lash.
- Touch Up Mistakes. If your liner looks too thick or uneven in places, take a cotton swab covered in moisturizer or makeup remover and gently dab away mistakes.
- Finish With Mascara. After your eyeliner has dried, finish your look with two coats of mascara.3
Use Liquid Liner On Your Lower Lashes For A Dramatic Look
- Add Winged Eyeliner To Your Upper Lashes. Using the tutorial above, add a wing to your upper lashes.
- Extend The Wing To Meet Your Lower Lashes. Using a felt tip or brush tip liquid liner, draw a line from the outside of your lower lashes up toward the wing.
- Trace Your Lower Lashes. Continue tracing the line from outside of your lower lashes toward the inside corner of your eye. Keep the liner as close to the base of your lashes as you can.
- Finish Your Line Below Your Tear Duct. To help enlarge the look of your eyes, end the line slightly below your tear duct, and fill in the blank space with color.
- Fill In Any Gaps. Use your liner to trace over your lower lash line, and fill in any blank spaces.
- Finish With Mascara. Let your eyeliner dry. Once your liner has dried, apply a few coats of mascara.4
Special Tricks For Lining Different Eye Shapes
Everyone’s eyes and eyelids are different. For a liquid eyeliner look that works best with your eye type, consider these application tips.
For Round Eyes
- Start your line from the outside, and move toward the center of your eye.
- Stop drawing your line when you reach the center of your eyelid, over your pupil. This will help you maintain an open, awake look.5
For Deep-Set Eyes
- Consider skipping the liner on the center of your lid, as that can look dark and heavy. Try to flick a minimal wing just on the outside of your lash line.6
For Close-Set Eyes
- Focus on the outer edges of your eyelids, and keep the inner section free from eyeliner.
- Try loading up on mascara on your outer upper lashes to add drama and draw the eyes outward.7
For Downturned Eyes
- Draw your wing at an exaggerated, upward angle to draw your eyes up and out.8
For Hooded Eyes Or Monolids
- Curl your eyelashes, and apply mascara before you line your lids, as it can change your eye shape.
- Keep your eyes open when you add liner. Draw your line on the area of your lid that is visible when your eyes are open. This may be higher than your natural lash line.
- Try drawing a thick, exaggerated wing. Since you can’t see much of your eyelid when your eyes are open, you can go heavy on the eyeliner.9,10
Practice Your Lines
Liquid eyeliner is a fun tool that can take your look to the next level. If you’re just starting to experiment, try a natural look or a minimal cat eye. As you gain confidence in your liquid eyeliner skills, you can continue to practice more dramatic looks for a date night or special occasion. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll likely love liquid eyeliner for its long-lasting, head-turning effects.
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