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Applying Liquid Eyeliner Has Never Seemed So Easy

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then flawless eyeliner application is the drapery that invites you in to enjoy the view. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic cat-eye or a subtle wing, liquid eyeliner is the best product to lay down clean, precise lines that draw attention. It’s also a notoriously tricky product to master. 

Have no fear — this easy-to-follow liquid eyeliner tutorial will teach you how to apply liquid eyeliner like a pro.

October 13, 2022
6
min
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Table of Contents

Tools and types

There are two kinds of liquid eyeliner applicators: felt tips and brush tips. With practice, both products can create the winged liner look of your dreams.

Felt tip eyeliner: A felt tip applicator looks similar to a pen or stylus and is excellent for beginners, mimicking the feel of an eyeliner pencil. This applicator gives you more control and simplifies the transition from pencil to liquid. It creates a thicker line, which makes crafting a bolder, more defined winged eyeliner look a breeze. And because you’re working with a solid tip instead of bristles, you get a deeper, more pigmented color in one stroke. 

If we could only choose one felt-tipped eyeliner to bring with us on a desert island, we’d select Pacifica Eye Love Liquid Eye Liner in Black to make the trip.

Brush tip eyeliner: These are similar to nail polish applicators but taper at the end. If you have time to practice or aren’t a novice with liquid liners, a brush tip is the best way to create precise, thin lines. You can achieve a bolder eyeliner application by building on the lines you’ve already laid down. They’re also better at controlling the amount of product applied than a felt tip applicator.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using a brush-tip liquid liner, consider Covergirl Get In Line Liquid Eyeliner in Black Vinyl to help you get the retro-glam makeup look you want.

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How to apply liquid eyeliner for beginners

It might feel daunting, but this step-by-step liquid eyeliner tutorial will make using this makeup product a breeze. With a bit of practice, you’ll be on your way to developing a technique that matches those of the best makeup artists. 

  1. Set the stage. Dab a thin layer of eyeshadow primer onto each lid before starting. This will keep your eye makeup in place.
  2. Shake it up. Give your product a vigorous shake to mix the contents and remove any lumps.
  3. Set yourself up for success. Rest the elbow of your working hand on a flat surface. Look directly at the mirror and tilt your head back to get a good view of the upper lash line. 
  4. Draw a path. Beginning at the inner corner, make little dots or dashes as close to your lashes as possible. When you reach the outer corner, continue making dashes as far as you like, angling them toward the end of your eyebrow to create the wing. 
  5. Connect the dots. For a steady hand, anchor your pinky against your cheek. Holding the eyeliner brush or pen almost horizontally, connect the dashes starting from the middle of the lid, using short, feathery strokes and working toward the outer corner of your eye. Repeat the process starting from the inside corner and moving to the center to complete the line.
  6. Down below. Repeat the dotting process on your lower lash line, starting at the outside corner and stopping halfway to three-quarters along the lower lid. Trace a thin line using light, small strokes working inward from the wingtip. Don’t forget to connect the lower line to the wing to create a seamless finish.
  7. Seal the deal (optional). Using an angled brush, set your eyeliner by applying a thin layer of a similarly colored eyeshadow to fix the product in place and keep it from smudging.
  8. Keep things neat. Wipe away smudges with a Q-tip dipped in micellar water or makeup remover. You can also sharpen the edges by tracing the lines using an angled brush dipped in concealer. Using a waterproof liquid eyeliner will keep things looking fresh all day long. 
  9. Finishing touches. Add a few swipes of your favorite mascara to your upper and lower lashes, and you’re ready to go.

Tips and tricks for perfect eyeliner application

Here are a few things worth remembering to master this technique quickly.

  1. First things first. Always apply eyeshadow before eyeliner to keep the lines crisp and smudge-free. If you make a mistake, you can always cover it up with more eyeshadow. 
  2. Mind the gap. If you discover a space between your lashes and liner, fill it in using eyeshadow in the same shade. Avoid the issue entirely by using a felt-tipped applicator and pressing it into the roots of your lashes instead of drawing above them. You can also amp up the drama by applying eyeshadow to fill in your waterline. 
  3. Keep on the up and up. Avoid an eyeliner wing that dips too low by drawing a dot where you want the wingtip to end and using that as a guide. You can also apply a small piece of masking tape angled toward the outer edge of the eyebrow to achieve a crisp look.
  4. A fine line. We love the dramatic effect of a thick-lined wing, but too much of a good thing can shrink the appearance of your eyes. If your eyeliner is a little heavy, dip the pointed end of a cotton swab in micellar water and remove the excess. You want a fine line at the inner corner that gradually thickens as it moves toward the wing. The same goes for the liner on your lower lashes.
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The best liquid eyeliner for every look

Ready to start experimenting with your eye makeup? Here are our top picks for easy-to-apply, long-lasting liquid liners that’ll make your eyes pop. 

  1. Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner. Line your eyes with precision thanks to this calligraphy-style liner pen. Its vegan formulation goes on effortlessly and lasts all day long.
  2. Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner. This highly pigmented liner goes on smoothly thanks to its flexible brush applicator. Its long-wear, plant-based formula will take you from morning to night without needing touch-ups.
  3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Liquid Eyeliner. You’ll turn up the heat thanks to this cutting-edge liquid eyeliner with an easy-to-control pen applicator. Its 24-hour water, smudge, and flake-proof formula handles anything you throw at it.
  4. e.l.f. Cosmetics Expert Liquid Liner. This liquid liner has an easy-glide brush applicator that delivers clean, precise lines without tugging and pulling on your lids.

Learning how to apply liquid eyeliner flawlessly requires trial and error. Once you’ve nailed the technique, experiment with styles, colors, and products that express your unique personality. 

Not sure which eyeliner is right for you? Never fear — the Flip community is here with real-time reviews of makeup, beauty products, and skincare options that help make the decision process easier. Thanks to their input, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the products you purchase.

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