Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Mastering different eyeliners

Let’s take it back to basics and learn about the differences between pencil, liquid and gel eyeliner and how to use each. Welcome to Eyeliner 101!

Applying eyeliner

It’s been said that eyeliner dates back to Ancient Egypt in 10,000 B.C. Apparently a combination of ash, copper, lead, burnt almonds and more secret ingredients were used to line the eyes and help protect them from the glare of the sun. Well, we may not use burnt nuts anymore, but getting the hang of eyeliner can sometimes still feel like an archaic task. We talk you through the various kinds of eyeliner on the market and offer a few fail-safe tips.

Pencil eyeliner

If you’re just starting out with eyeliner, pencil might be the best way to go as it gives you the greatest control over your lines. Make sure it’s sharp, but also look out for a pencil that’s soft and the right colour for you. For example, a green pencil can bring out brown eyes, while purple can often suit blue eyes. Pencil eyeliner is especially good to line the waterline of your eyes.

Liquid eyeliner

If you’re confident using a brush, a liquid eyeliner gives a distinct, inky line that should last you through a busy day or fun night. Keep in mind that liquid eyeliner tends to dry very quickly, so keep a cotton bud handy to wipe away any mistakes. If you have a steady hand, you can create a dark, sharp line to frame your eyes beautifully.

Gel eyeliner

Gel eyeliners typically come in a pot with a thin brush for application. You’ll need a bit of practise to master this, but once you have the hang of it, lining your eyes will be a cinch. Gel liners have been said to be the ideal option when attempting to create a winged eye (where the flick extends beyond the outside corner of the eye).

Expert’s tips

  • Keep your handy steady. This is essential to creating a smooth line, so rest your elbow on a table or your hand, if necessary.
  • Practise makes perfect. No one said applying eyeliner was easy, so keep some cotton buds, makeup remover and patience handy!
  • Start with pencil eyeliner and move on to liquid or gel as you gain confidence and better application of strokes.
  • Apply eyeliner as close to your lash line as possible. If necessary, you might need to reapply a line from underneath the lashes. Gaps between the lash line and your eyeliner are not a good look, so run the liner as close as possible to your lashes and clean the highest strokes away.
  • When applying your eyeliner, work from the inside of your eye to the outer corners.
  • Experiment with techniques to find the right one for you. If you want to lengthen your eyes, apply winged liner to the outer corners or if you’re trying to make your eyes look rounder, dab the line thicker in the centre.

More for your eyes

Makeup tricks to make your eyes pop
Eye exercises to improve eye health
Makeup staples you should always have on hand

Leave a Comment