The Perfect Eyeliner

Like a word in a sentence that is bold, underlined or italicized, we line our eyes for emphasis. Eyeliner can accentuate beautiful eyes, or make ordinary eyes seem to dazzle. Deftly applied, it can make small eyes seem larger, and close-set eyes seem wider apart. Most importantly, eyeliner can simply make you look less tired.”

To be able to execute these small miracles first you need to understand the different products available. There are eyeliner pencils, cake eyeliner (the kind you wet before using) liquid liners, and the newer generation of liners that are increasingly popular gel/cream liners.

For some. pencils seem less intimidating to use. However, they don’t last long enough, they fade and sometimes run; if you don’t need staying power then go for it, but it still requires some skill. 

Be sure to get the pencil (as with all liners) as close to your lashes as possible, otherwise you’ll look like you have drawn a line on your eyelid. Do not close your eye or pull the eyelid taunt while applying; this changes the result when the eye is opened and in a neutral position. Hold the pencil or brush like a pen and position it either parallel or perpendicular to the eye. Look in the mirror and steady your hand by resting your pinkie on the face, thereby balancing your hand. A bit awkward at first, but easy after a few practice strokes. Think about it this way, you would never write a sentence on a page without balancing your wrist on the paper—so it is with making a line on your lid—you must find a point of balance. 

In addition to keeping the line close to the lashes, the line should be thickest at the outer corner of the eyes and thinnest toward the nose. This will elongate the eye and make it seem larger. The line should never go past the where the lashes start at the inner corner, if the line goes too far in it will make your eyes look close set. When it comes to lining under the eyes keep it subtle. Like the top line, the bottom should be thickest at the outer corner and gradually get thinner as it goes toward the inner corner. For a sultry look you can line the bottom inner lid. Certainly, this can be done with pencil—think of that ‘60s kohl liner look. But for a lasting line use a gel, a liquid that often comes packaged to look like a pen, or use a cake liner that is activated by using water. Ben Nye makes a terrific cake liner.  

  MAC’s Blacktrack gel liner is a great choice. MAC’s gel liners come in a range of colors. Their Dipdown is a soft nutty brown shade. 

For any gel liner, or cake liner you’ll need a great brush for control. It needs to have a fine point and be stiff enough to allow you to make a smooth, straight line. Makeup Forever has several great liner brushes. You can also shop for these in art supply stores.  

            Whether you’re using a pencil, a cake, or gel, the trick to making all liner look great is blending.” After applying any liner take a brush, one that works well is  MAC’s # 228, and dip it in a bit of shadow, a dark brown or a black, like, MAC’s Ebony, or MAC’S Brun and apply that over the eyeliner. This takes away from making any liner look harsh. 

            If you want a bolder look where the eyeliner is more prominent, like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s forgo the shadow over the eyeliner. It will take some practice to execute that fine line complete with the little tail, also known as a doe eye. Try doing the movement with the brush several times before applying any product. The look is dramatic, and great for evening.

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