• 07/22/2023

How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner

How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner -- just a few easy steps to make sure you look your best every day. Picture displays a person with brown eyes looking directly into the camera, with creative eyeliner wings that stretch over their eyelids.

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Eyeliner is part of almost every makeup routine. You can use it to draw attention to the shape of your eyes or create fun patterns that add originality. Though eyeliner comes in many different forms, knowing how to apply liquid eyeliner is a major skill that takes time. Here’s everything you need to know about eyeliner and the tricky water-like formula of liquid liner.

What Types of Eyeliner Are There?

Anyone who knows a little bit about makeup will know about eyeliner. This tool makes your eyes pop and can help you create unique designs. There are also several variations of eyeliner that can drastically alter your look. Many people interested in creating different makeup looks will have several types of eyeliner. 

All the leading eyeliner brands can be acquired for less than $10, making it an affordable addition. You can play around with different brands and types of eyeliner to see what works best for you. Before you spend too much money experimenting, you should know the different types of eyeliner. The knowledge will help guide you toward the best fit for you.

1. Pencil Eyeliner

Pencil eyeliner might be the most commonly thought of makeup. It’s immensely easy to apply, making it great for beginners. Pencils make it easier to get into corners. However, t’s easy to smudge after you apply it, so you need to be patient. It comes in several colors and is great to add a bit of flair to any look. You do have to sharpen it over time, so keep an eye on it. You can use a pencil to keep your look as natural or dramatic as you’d like.

2. Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliner is another good product for people who may not have a steady hand but still want to experiment with new types of makeup. The brush, which is easy to control, can be dipped in a pot of gel eyeliner. You can control the exact look you want.

This type of liner looks a bit different than other kinds. It often comes with a pot of gel and a fine brush. If you want a sharp, defined look without worrying about shaky hands or a lack of makeup knowledge, gel eyeliner is great. You can make it as thin as you like or build it up to be dramatic and bold. There are several kinds of gel eyeliner — you just have to find one that works well for you.

3. Felt-Tip Eyeliner

Felt-tip eyeliner is a step closer to liquid eyeliner, but it’s still easier to control. Many people call this option liquid eyeliner, but it’s more like a marker or pen than anything else. The makeup from a felt-tip liner just glides on, making it easy for anyone using a light or hesitant touch. Since it doesn’t have a brush-like head, it’s great for building your confidence in makeup. Some felt-tip eyeliners also come with stamps, which makes applying the eyeliner in certain shapes, like wings or hearts, much easier.

4. Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner is for more advanced makeup artists with steady hands who can control a brush head. The formula is like water and can easily make a mess if you aren’t used to it. You need a steady, confident hand to be able to control it, as it can easily turn into a mess if you aren’t careful. Liquid eyeliners are bold and last a long time. Most of them are waterproof, so you can stick with one look the entire day.

However, since liquid eyeliners typically need to be painted on, you have to take care of how you hold the brush. You can create your own technique for drawing a steady line or find hacks that help you through it. Learning how to apply liquid liner is an essential skill that anyone who loves makeup should seek to master.

How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner: Step by Step

Knowing how to apply liquid eyeliner means that you’ve mastered one of the trickiest skills in all of makeup. It’ll take some practice, and it might be messy at first, but you’ll eventually learn how to apply it in a way that works well for you. If it helps, you may want to hold off on doing your face makeup before your eye makeup, so it’s easier to fix any mistakes you might make.

1. Shake Your Eyeliner Well

The last thing you want is any clumps in your line or an uneven application. Shaking your liquid liner first ensures the formula is smooth and will continue to be as you apply it. Since liquid eyeliner is water-based, a seamless application is what you want to aim for. Luckily, the formula itself makes it easy to correct any mistakes — as long as you do so confidently.

2. Lightly Draw a Line

Your first step in learning to apply liquid eyeliner is drawing a simple line. Take your time with it — you might notice that you can’t move as quickly as you can with other types of eyeliner. You may spend a few minutes trying to draw a perfect line, but it’s okay if you can’t get the hang of it right away.

You might find it more effective to draw dots or dashes on your eyelid if you can’t master one stroke. Then, once you’ve put them across your entire upper eyelid, you can connect them using small strokes of your liquid eyeliner brush. This method is an easy way to grow accustomed to drawing longer and longer lines without making you want to give up due to any mistakes.

3. Follow Your Lash Line

With liquid eyeliner, you’ll likely want to create a wing. Follow your lower lash line to get the correct shape that works for your eye. You should start at the center of your lower lash line, then branch out to the outer and inner corners for a seamless look. That way, your eyeliner will look cohesive without worrying about dragging one thin line across your entire lower eyelid.

4. Add the Details

Once your liner is dry, it’s time to add the details. If you want your eyeliner to be a bit thicker, you’ll need to fill it in. Part of learning how to apply liquid eyeliner is knowing how to make your eyes pop, not just following every trending technique. For example, if you have hooded eyes, you may want to thicken or fill in your liner with eyeshadow to ensure your liquid eyeliner doesn’t smudge or make a mess while it’s not dry. You can also add a wing to be as mighty or as small as you like.

5. Clean Up Any Mistakes

If you haven’t applied your base makeup yet, it’ll be easier than ever to tidy up any mistakes, especially on the wings. Just use a cotton swab to dab at any issues. If your eyeliner is waterproof, saturate one end of the cotton swab with your makeup remover of choice. A bit of tidying can go a long way and show you that mistakes are nothing to stress over when learning how to apply liquid eyeliner.

When Do You Apply Eyeliner?

Eyeliner can either be one of the first steps in your makeup routine or one of the finishing touches, depending on whether you like to work on your base face first. While it’s up to you, you might think it’s better to prime your face and eyelids first, then get to work on your eyes before using foundation or any other product — especially if you’re still learning the techniques of certain eyeliner types.

When you look at your whole face and consider doing the base makeup first, you’ll be working on your eyes seventh out of your entire routine — if you focus on every part of your face. A couple of steps you should always do include skincare and primer, which ensure your skin stays healthy and that your makeup stays there all day. However, the part of your routine that involves your eyes should always stay in the same order.

As you’re getting used to liquid eyeliner, you may want to practice it on its own. You might like to create beautiful eyeshadow looks, but messing up with liquid eyeliner might ruin something you spend a while on. While you’re still learning how to apply liquid eyeliner, try holding off on eyeshadow looks and just go with the bare liner. You might save yourself some stress of getting ready while you’re learning your new skill.

Tasks like putting on mascara and curling your eyelashes should wait until after you finish your eyeliner. They can make it trickier for you to get a straight line, and it’s also an easy task to help you take a breath after concentrating so hard on your eyeliner.

As a quick review, here’s how you should do your eye makeup:

  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Curl Lashes
  • Mascara

Anything from there is up to you. Of course, you don’t need every single one of these elements for your look to be complete. You can wear as many or as few of them as you like, but when you’re incorporating several of them, you should try to stick to this order.

Over the past few years, the percentage of people wearing makeup has decreased. Now, about 27% of Gen Z women don’t wear makeup at all — but those who do might have a variety of makeup routines to fit them best. Millennial women are more likely to wear makeup daily than the younger generation, and if you want to create a variety of looks, liquid eyeliner is one of the best tools you can have in your bag.

Choose the Liner That Matches You Best

Though liquid liner is undoubtedly the smoothest and most professional-looking of all eyeliners, you shouldn’t push yourself into thinking that you must master it. Different types of eyeliner work best for different types of people. Learning how to apply liquid eyeliner is a remarkable feat, but you should remember that plenty of other types of eyeliner can give you a similar effect. Do what you can, and in time, you may learn makeup tricks you never thought possible.

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