Friday, 12 May 2017

Eyeliner 101

Just taking a quick peek at the eyeliner sections at your local makeup store might be a daunting task if you aren't sure what to look for. The first use of eyeliner was in Ancient Egypt as early as 10,000 BC and it wasn't only for aesthetics. In fact, eyeliner also protected the skin from the desert sun. Now, eyeliner is almost exclusively used for cosmetic purposes and there are more options now than ever before.  
Depending on its texture, eye liner can be softly smudged or clearly defined. There are many different types of eye liner available on the market: each produces a different effect.

Pencil Eyeliner

A basic eye pencil should be a makeup bag staple of every woman. Pencils are quick and easy to work with, and they’re the gold standard when it comes to versatility. Use pencil eyeliner to add definition to the top and bottom lash lines, line the waterline, or smudge it out to create a dramatic smoky eye. To get as close to the lash line as possible, make sure your pencil is always sharpened to a point. Look for a high-pigment pencil that is soft enough that it will not tug the skin. For the smoothest application, start by warming the tip of the pencil between your fingers and apply in short strokes across the eye. 

Pencil liners are easy to apply. A standard pencil liner will create a very thin precise line. If you are looking for something more intense and wider, go with a gel liner pencil. Choose a kajal formula, if you prefer a slightly smudged, sexy look. Look for long-wear formulas to keep your makeup in place all day.

Cream and Gel Eyeliner

Creams and gels are a great alternative to liquid liner. They can be used to create the same precise lines, but the formulas are thicker allowing for an application that is more forgiving of shaky hands. Use potted cream and gel eyeliners with an angled brush to craft your cat eye or choose a smaller precision brush to create an ultra thin line. Cream and gel formulas are also ideal for tightlining the waterline because an eyeliner brush can really push the color into the base of the lashes. Whether you go defined and precise or smudged and smoky, choose a long wearing formula and set it by pressing eye shadow on top of the liner to ensure its staying power. 

Gel liner can also provide an intense crisp line. It is also smudge-proof, water-resistant, and long-wearing. Gel liners usually come in a small pot, along with a thin brush applicator. For newbies gel pencil versions are an easier-to-apply option.

Liquid Eyeliner

The coveted winged eyeliner look can be achieved using any of the options above, but for the cleanest, most precise line, liquid liner is a must. Liquids tend to be the favorite of women with hooded eyelids and oily skin because although wet when applying, once dry they won’t budge. With that in mind, keep pointed q-tips handy to clean up mistakes as you go. With liquids, you can choose a formula that dries to a matte finish or a patent leather-like gloss. Look for a product with a small, thin brush or applicator. That will give you the most control, allowing you to create subtle definition as well as bolder lines. If you want a thicker line, apply more pressure to the brush or build up the line by layering your strokes. 

Liquid liner will give you an intense rich line. However, it requires some patience and practice to get it right. For that retro glamour winged liner or a cat-eye look, liquid is a good choice.

Step 1. Starting from the outer corner of the eye, line your way across the lash line until your it looks smooth and even.
Step 2. Repeat and make sure there are no gaps between the liner and lash line.

Step 3. If you want a softer effect, use your finger or a brush to smudge.

Winged liner adds a little extra drama and is surprisingly easy to create. It can be done with any eyeliner formula, but I find it is easiest with a pot of gel eyeliner and a thin tapered brush. 
Step 1. Apply liner from the outer corner all the way across the upper lash line to the inner corner.
Step 2. Going from the inner to outer corner in smooth long strokes draw over the line filling in any gaps. The liner should get wider as you go across, so the widest point is in outer corner. 
Step 3. To create the wing, extend the line from the outer corner so that it goes up and out tapering to a soft point.
Step 4. How long the wing is, is up to you. You can draw it farther out and straighter, or create an upward flick. Make sure the two sides are mirrors of each other. 

If you want added definition, try lining the lower lash line too.
Step 1. Gel and liquid liner are often too intense for the lower lash line.  I recommend using a pencil or powder. Using a pencil or powder brush, draw a thin line very close to the lashes from the outer corner in.
Step 2. It’s up to you how far across you go. I recommend either keeping the bottom line very short and just connected to the upper lash line, or going all the way across. Never line halfway.
Step 3. It is important that you connect the upper and lower lines at the outer corner of your eye.
Note: If you have a lot of undereye darkness, lining the lower lash line will highlight the issue. A better option is to use waterproof mascara on the lower lashes.

You don’t have to stick with just one type of liner. Combining two formulas can give you a unique look. Here’s what to try: 
  • Powder liner can soften the look of gel liner. Try lining with a gel liner and a brush first. Layer a dry powder liner applied with a thicker liner brush or a smudge brush for a party-ready look.
  • Try a thin pencil liner followed by dry powder. It creates a slightly more intense look than just pencil alone and is highlighted by the softness of powder. 
  • Gel or ink pen liner on top of a powder helps create a sexy, smoky eye with a cool, sharp edge.
  • If you make a mistake, a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover is an instant fix.
  • Never line halfway, always line all the way across.
  • If your line appears too harsh or intense, just use your finger or a cotton swab to smudge slightly.
  • Always apply liner after eye shadow. 
  • Always make the thickest part of your liner be on the outside corner. The line should taper a bit as you go across with the thinnest point being in the inner corner. This will visually lift the eye and highlight your eye shape. 
What type of eyeliner are you wearing today? Tell me below!

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