Tightlining: Why it’s life-changing

By Sarah, Makeup Artist

Sarah Cormier is a self-taught makeup artist in Cincinnati, OH. She mostly does wedding makeup but also has experience working on various photo shoots, fashion shows, and films. In addition, she is a freelance artist for her favorite line, MAC!

When she isn’t busy with makeup, she teaches Spinning classes at her local gym, and also attends Body Pump, Pole Fitness, and Cardio Kickboxing classes. Her other hobby is shopping, favorite stores are Nordstrom, the MAC store, Lucky Brand, and White House Black Market. Sarah is happily married to her wonderful husband of two years, Nate. Check out her blog, Sarah C. Makeup and sarahcormier.com.

Photo by Melloveschallah

Tightlining: Why it’s life-changing

Many of us have experienced those moments where we discover a new technique that changes everything in our beauty routine, or at least, puts things into perspective. One such moment for me was when I saw the difference the simple act of filling in/reshaping eyebrows made to just about any face. It forever changed my approach to makeup because of how much it brightens the face, lights up the eyes, and creates an overall more polished look.It was like finishing a favorite outfit with the right shoes/purse/belt, etc.

But there has been another technique that trumped my eyebrow epiphany. It is the one trick in my back pocket to that puts the finishing touch on any type of look, from the smokiest eye to the “no makeup” makeup look. It works for all clients, regardless of age, race, eye shape, gender or skin tone. With the right tools, anyone can do it in two minutes or less. Ladies and gentlemen, the miracle move that I am speaking about is none other than tightlining.

Tightlining, for those who are not familiar, is where you apply eyeliner directly to your lash line, preferably from the underside of the lash line. Once you get good at it, you can do it within seconds. Tightlining is great for enhancing a smoky eye, but also if you prefer a very natural look and want your eyes to look brighter, bigger, and more awake. It can also make your lashes look longer and fuller. I consider tightlining to be somewhat of a miracle move because its such a minuscule effort but makes such a tremendous difference in your look.

The technique itself is simple in nature but could take a little practice for those who don’t have the steadiest hands. With one hand, gently lift your top eyelid so you can see your upper water line. With the other hand, apply liner into the underside of your upper lash line. There is another method for tightlining that involves sitting at your vanity with a mirror lying flat in front of you and looking down at it with your eyeballs while keeping your head up. I personally find the latter more difficult, but it is ultimately up to the individual to find which one works for best them.

Regardless of your preferred method, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of placing the product into the lash line (as in where your eyelashes grow out of), versus the waterline, which is the thin wet area of skin directly below the lash line. Granted, you can certainly line your waterline and also achieve a lovely result. But doing so is not considered tightlining. Lining the waterline can cause the product to transfer to your lower waterline since the area is wet. Because the lash line is dry, tightlining yields longer lasting, cleaner, and more defined results,.

Tightlining can be achieved with various types of eyeliner products including gels, pencils, and liquids.  One of my favorite products for tightlining is Laura Mercier Tightline cake eyeliner ($22.00), which requires a simple flat topped brush such as the MAC 212 or Nars #2 (my two favorites) and a little bit of water. Having been a MAC addict my entire life, I only recently discovered the Laura Mercier cake liner, and let me tell you, it changed everything! I am going to be filling my kit with it the first chance I get!

What about you? What are your favorite makeup techniques? Have you tried tightlining? What did you think of it?