What are your tips & tricks for applying eyeliner evenly?

I think a lot of it is in finding the type of formula that works for your needs and application skills/techniques. If you’re someone who has a very sure hand, a more fluid, one-stroke kind of product might be most suitable, but someone who has shakier hands, something that functions well for shorter, more overlapping strokes can be a lot easier to work with.

— Christine
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9 Comments

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Since I almost always use pencil liners and an even line isn’t a priority – I much prefer something more smudgy than a sharp, crisp line – I don’t really have a tip but I like to avoid a gap or margin between my lashes and the line I make. I find that taking my time, wiggling the pencil up against my lashes and using stubby smudging brush (one with short and dense bristles) all help with making sure the line goes all the way into my lashes.

Which ever eye is harder to do, do that one first. It’s way easier to make the good side slightly less perfect to match the bad side then to try and make the bad side match the good side.

Put your elbow on a stable surface. Use short strokes rather then long ones that can drag and get choppy.

Plan blinking the way you plan breathing while swimming. While blinking, move your hand away from your face.

Don’t look at your hand. If you see something coming at your face it’s a reflex to smush your eyes shut and move backwards. Look at the mirror and only at the mirror.

I know I’m in minority, but I quit wearing eyeliner a couple years ago. At the time, I replaced it with using an almost black powder shadow just to accentuate my lash line, but I ended up discontinuing doing even that except for very special occasions. The reason why is that no matter what products or tricks I tried, I wasn’t able to remove all of the liner (the pencil or powder shadow) from in-between the lashes. If I spent more time and effort removing the stuff that remained, I then lost eyelashes then or the next day. So I just quit… I know you didn’t ask that in your question but thought I’d share anyway. I’ve never ran into anyone else ever talk about or mention this so maybe this is a result of my being older and/or having hypothyroidism (so maybe my lashes or less durable than others) or less skilled in makeup removal or something.

I actually stopped using eye pencil on my waterline after seeing the residue of make-up on my eyes during and eye scan, I totally understand your point on not being able to properly clean you lashes. Well… I might still do it on a special occasion, but that daily nude eyeliner in the waterline and the weekly brown in the waterline are goners.

For my upper lash line wing, I tilt my mirror back so that I’m looking downward, then using an angled eyeliner brush I first do the outermost part of my wing first and drag that inward towards my mid-lid. Because I have puffy eyelids, I will then punch in the liner on the inner lid if I intend wear it there that day. A rarity that I hardly ever do.
For the bottom lashline I gently pull the skin a little bit taut to get a smooth surface. And then apply one of my many colored pencils along the lower lashline in smaller strokes for even coverage and to control the dry time, as I usually like to smudge the edges a bit for a softer effect.

Number 1: Steady hand!
No matter the technique or tool you use, identify how to get a steady hand. Some manage to have a steady hand naturally, some need to place the elbow on a surface. Steady hand includes steady fingers and a good grip, so experiment with hand position until you identify the right one for you hand and eye anatomy and limitations.

Number 2: Identify the formulas and techniques that work for YOU.
If I were to follow all the make-up tutorials for liners, I would go wrong most times. Some praise it’s easier for beginners to use a separate brush, never worked for me. See, I actually prefer a stiffer eye pencil, I can’t work with creamy or gel like formulas. For liquid liners I can only work with felt and stiffer brush tips. Anything flymsy or liquid and… my eyeliner is a mess.

Number 3: Practice.
Eyeliner is one of those things you have to practice. Do it at night before removing make-up or in quarantine when nobody sees you. Once you practice it enough, you train you hand muscles and it becomes and automatic motion you can do half asleep.

I defiteky have tried quite a few eyeliners in my day — pencils, gel, etc. I am now settled on using a wet NYX brush and either Pat McGrath or Smashbox black powder. I find using primer is a must on upper lash line. I get frustrated with pencils because they seem so inconsistent with wear time.

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