5 top tips for lining your eyes

It takes the steady hands and near-precision of a surgeon to put on eyeliner. These expert tricks will help you line them up like a pro.

Step-by-step eyeliner guide

  • First, choose the right eyeliner formula. For a clean, straight line, use a liquid version with a felt tip. To create a softer, more subtle line, pencils are best.
  • Dust a sheer, loose powder on the upper and lower lids so the eyeliner sticks better. If you’re going to curl your lashes, do it now. (Otherwise, you could smudge the line.)
  • Rest your elbow on a hard surface to minimise shaking. Starting in the middle of the eyelid, drag the liner to the inner corner of the eye, drawing as close to the lashes as possible. Go back to the centre of the eyelid, and repeat the process outward.
  • To make eyes look smokey, dab eyeshadow (in a similar shade) over the line and lightly fan it out. This will also help the liner to stay in place.
  • If liner smudges, don’t reapply more. Instead, clean up the line with a dampened cotton bud.

Expert eyeliner tips

Don’t be afraid to apply eyeliner more thickly than what you might think is “normal”.

Try lining them according to what it looks like when your eyes are open, instead of closed – even if that means creeping up toward the eyelid territory.

Extending the outer corner of the eye gives the illusion of a larger eye (this is what makes a cat-eye look so amazing on people with smaller peepers).

The trick is to add a little length and little flick upward at the end – it does wonders at opening up the eye.

Don’t just stick with safe, natural shade liners and the standard application. Break out and experiment with different colours, and how you apply your liner.

For the perfect winged eyeliner

Instead of doing your foundation first, start with your eyeliner.

Apply liner starting near the inner corner of the eye as close to the lash line as possible.

It’s best to use a freestanding mirror so you can look down into the mirror with a stretched out lid.

Then, starting on the outer edge of your line, slightly extend and wing out your eye liner, then gently work backwards to fill in any gaps and strengthen the line.

Next grab a make-up wipe and place it just below the “wing” and swipe it gently upwards.

This instantly sharpens the wings and helps you to even them out, if need be.

Plus if you make a mistake, you can wipe it away and start again.

More makeup how-to guides:

Written by Nikki Yazxhi.