I’d say one of the things I get asked about most is eyeliner. Whether its how to apply it, what type is best, and how to stop it from smudging! In this post I’ve given an overview of some of the different types out there, along with application tips and how to stop smudging.
Probably the most well known and simplest technique of them all. Ideal for applying in the water line and for basic lash line looks. They don’t tend to blend all that well so are best used when the look you want is quick and simple. Ideal for handbags as there’s no mess or risk of leaks but unless the tip is really sharp, not great for winged liner looks. Most brands offer a range of colours as well as waterproof/smudgeproof pencils. Eyeliner’s labelled ‘kohl pencils’ are different to one’s just labelled as pencils. Application is the same but kohl’s are softer and more blendable so best suited for a smokey eye.
Application: Sharpen regularly, for hygiene as well as ease of application. When using in the water line you can soften the tip slightly on the back of your hand so that the application is a bit smoother on more sensitive areas. Apply the pencil as close to the lash line as possible to ensure a neat clean finish and to enhance the root of the lashes. On a more mature eye, applying the liner underneath the top lashes (waterline) is a great way to create definition without have to pull or drag the skin on the upper lid.
Gel liner is a personal favourite of mine. Longer lasting than a pencil, and more versatile than liquid, this is my go-to choice. It’s really workable and blends well before it dries. This gives you plenty of time to apply in stages and to have the option of a clean line or a smokey/smudged one. Unlike liquid you can use most gel liners in the waterline too. As long as it’s waterproof/resistant it’ll last for hours before it needs to be reapplied.
You’ll need a small brush to apply the gel, my favourites are this one for flicks and this one for general application. Some brands such as Maybelline, provide a mini brush upon purchase, but often aren’t the best quality so it’s worth investing in one that is precise and will last. There are definitely lots more shades available now than when they were first released, again Bobbi Brown is my favourite range for gel liners.
Application: I find the best way to apply the gel is to take a small amount on your brush, and use the back of your hand as a palette. Make sure both sides of the brush are coated, including the tip. If you try to apply with the brush straight from the pot, you’ll end up plonking a clump of product onto the lid, giving yourself a very thick line whilst you try to blend it out. Wipe your brush clean after EVERY use. This is a great convenient spray. The gel will dry hard on the bristles if you don’t, meaning your brush will turn into a crusty mess before long, and that will do your eyeliner application skills no favours. No one likes a crusty eye. No one.
I’d say as equally long lasting as the gel, possibly slightly longer. If your looking for a clean cut, defined, prominent eyeliner then this is the one for you. Glides well onto the skin but it is definitely the product that requires the most skill. It dries very quickly so not great for those with anything less than a steady hand. If you make any mistakes, its likely that you’ll have to wipe off and start again. To my knowledge, it cannot be used in the waterline, and personally I wouldn’t risk it. The thought of getting that bad boy in my eye makes me queasy. Which type of liquid liner you buy is personal preference. They generally come in three different forms. A pen, bristle wand or a sponge like wand. Personally I prefer the sponge and this is because the application wand shape never changes. The tip stays precise throughout its life, whereas a bristle wand runs the risk of the hairs having a mind of their own and splitting up when they’ve had enough of each other.
Application: Best used on the upper lash line, and lower if you’re looking for an intense look. I find looking down into a mirror helps with application as you don’t have to fully close your eye, so you can see what your doing the whole time. You have to be fairly quick with this product as it dries fast and isn’t blendable. When applied correctly, you’ll get a fantastic wing and a clean line.
How to stop the liner from smudging
Pencil liners will be the worst culprit here. Unless their completely budge proof, they’ll transfer anywhere. The main reason for this is because we all tend to have oily lids. This oil, that’s produced throughout the day, will slowly break down the liner in the same way that a cleanser would and before you know it, voila! you’ve got liner half way up your forehead. The best way to combat this is the mattify your lids. I see lots of people using foundation or concealer, but unless they are oil free this won’t work. I also don’t advocate using foundation on or around the eyes but that’s for another blog entirely! Regardless of what eyeliner you use, what you need is an eyelid primer.
These come in a few different forms from a standard primer to a tinted one, to a crease proof cream eye shadow. Personally I like the ones that come with a tint and resemble the colour of your concealer. Not only do these prime the eyelids and stop the smudging, they also neutralise the lid colour by getting rid of any redness, veins or other discolouration that we find ourselves confronted with on a Monday morning. These primers will work great for the upper lid, but what about the lower lashes I hear you cry?! The key here is a setting powder, (as well as a waterproof/smudge proof liner of choice.) Whether you use one on your skin or not, they are great for under the eyes (and on lids.) After concealer, pack a decent amount of powder (my MAC fave) under the eye, right up to the lashes. Not only will it prevent your eyeliner from smudging, it will keep your concealer in place too. For those with long lower lashes, it will stop your mascara from transferring too!
I hope you’ve found this information helpful! Any burning questions please do get in touch via Facebook or email!0