Is applying liquid eyeliner your biggest beauty frustration?

September 9th, 2009

Wanna know how to do designer liner? Think Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie. Yes? Watch the video tutorial and follow the instructions below:

Prepare your peepers!

1) Apply concealer to the eyelid to even out any discoloration and then apply a light layer of loose powder over the top. A dusting of powder will help both your eyeshadow and eyeliner adhere smoothly and last longer.

2) Apply your eyeshadow as normal.

Eyeshadow as eyeliner

Use pencil as a stencil!

1) Before applying liquid liner, draw a guide line with an eye pencil or matte eyeshadow first.

2) When you have a perfect line, trace straight over it with liquid eyeliner.

Why draw a guide line? I prefer to draft a line with pencil or powder first because these formulations are more forgiving when it comes to mistakes than their liquid counterparts. Because they don’t tend to set hard or dry completely, errors can easily be smudged away with a dry Q-Tip (cotton bud). And, once you have created a precise powder or pencil line to follow, you will be less likely to go wrong when it’s time to apply the liquid layer.

Pointers for using a pencil! Always sharpen an eye pencil before use; and prior to application, warm the point on the back of your hand to soften it. If the tip is too sharp, it may drag or damage the delicate skin in the eye area. Ouch!

If you prefer powder over pencil, sketch on some shadow! Take a small amount of matte eyeshadow on an angled eyeliner brush, knock off any excess and then carefully stipple it along the lash line.

Makeup artist tip: Good eyeliner defines and shapes the eye. To achieve a perfect lash line, apply the eyeliner as close to the base of the eyelashes as possible and work it in between them.

Powder eyeliner with a wing

Elongate the eyes by creating a wing at the outer corner of the upper lash line.

Wanna know the trick to achieving the perfect flick?

1) Look into a mirror and draw the wing on with your eyes open. This way you are more likely to position it correctly.

2) To get the right angle, imagine you are drawing a line from the corner of your nose to the outer corner of your eye, and simply extend the line in an upward direction toward your temple. If you can’t visualize it, lie a ruler across your face.

3) To start, draw a very faint, fine line and gradually modify it to achieve the desired width and intensity.

How to apply liquid eyeliner

Unleash the liquid!

1) Take a small amount of liquid eyeliner on an eyeliner brush and wipe the tip on the back of your hand to remove any excess.

Makeup artist tip: Just learning? To get familiar with your brush, paint a few lines of varying thickness on the back of your hand.

2) In front of a mirror, tilt your head backwards and gently pull the eyelid taut with the fingertips of your free hand. Tightening the skin will help eliminate creases and gaps.

3) Following your pencil or powder guide line, start in the middle of the eye and work outward along the top lash line using a series of short, overlapping strokes. Lastly, line the inner upper corner of the eye with any product remaining on the brush.

Makeup artist tip: For a precise and controlled application, use an eyeliner brush with a very fine head. Press the side of the brush against the eyelid to create the line, not just the tip. This way you can sweep the liner on flawlessly.

Applying liquid eyeliner

Mucked up?

If you make a boo-boo with liquid eyeliner, you generally have to call for heavy-duty help! If a liquid eyeliner emergency does strike, administer First Aid as follows:

1) Wet one end of a fine Q-Tip with an oil-based eye makeup remover and gently wipe the mistake away.

2) Use the dry end of the Q-Tip to remove any traces of oil from the skin. If any residue remains you won’t be able to reapply the eyeliner properly, so be thorough!

3) If the mistake was a monster, don’t forget to reapply the base products you have erased (i.e. concealer, powder, eyeshadow) before you reattempt the eyeliner. If you don’t, the end color may appear patchy.

Winged eyeliner

What’s the best eyeliner look for my eye shape?

Makeup artist tip: For a classic look, only use liquid eyeliner on the top lash line. For less mess and improved durability underneath the eye, use a matte powder or pencil along the lower lash line and/or inner rim.

Round eyes: On the upper and lower lash lines, draw a thicker line at the outer corner of the eye, tapering toward the inner corner.

Almond-shaped eyes: Wear thick or thin eyeliner the whole way across the eyelid, both top and bottom.

Small eyes: Paint a fine line right at the roots of the top lashes and leave the bottom lash line bare.

Protruding eyes: Draw a thick, dark-colored line along the upper lashes to help push back the pronounced eyelids. Line the outer corner of the lower lid if desired.

Remember: Practice makes perfect. Go forth and make liquid eyeliner your signature statement!

Shopping List!

Powder line:

MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon. Buy it online from: MAC, MAC and MAC

Shu Uemura Natural Brush 6 o b. Buy it online from: Shu and Shu

Liquid line:

MAC Liquidlast Liner in Point Black. Buy it online from: MAC, MAC and MAC

MAC Eyeliner Brush 25 (discontinued). Its replacement in the current range is MAC Precise Eye Liner Brush 210. Buy it online from: MAC, MAC and MAC

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30 Responses to “Is applying liquid eyeliner your biggest beauty frustration?”

  1. Kerryn says:

    This makes it look soooo easy, will def be giving it a try!

  2. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Kerryn, please let me know how it goes! x

  3. Laura says:

    O.M.G. This makes it so much easier! Will definitely be trying it out. Thanks Little Miss Makeup!

  4. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Great! Please report back when you have given it a try. Go, Laura! x

  5. Janine Waghorn says:

    Yay, finally some sound advice about applying eyeliner, thanks Little Miss Makeup!!!

  6. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks, Janine. Happy eyelining! x

  7. Abbie McKinlay says:

    As much as I love the look of liquid eyeliner, I have always been a bit wary!!! Thanks for the tips – will definitely be giving it a go! x

  8. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Yay, Abbie. I’m looking forward to receiving your progress report! x

  9. rae says:

    Thanks for the awesome liquid eyeliner tips!!! It really is so much easier than other advice I’ve had in the past … and it does look very Audrey Hepburn. :-) Thanks!

  10. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks, Rae. Happy to help! x

  11. Jodie says:

    Wow, I am learning to do people’s makeup and that was so much easier than the way we were taught. And looks better too!

  12. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks, Jodie :). Pleased you found it helpful! x

  13. De Silva says:

    “Skin O2” does a fab waterproof, no-smudge eyeliner pencil.

  14. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks for letting me know, De Silva. I’ll have to check it out!

    LMM x

  15. Kathryn says:

    I’m going to a wedding today and I’m going to try this. Thanks!

  16. Little Miss Makeup says:


    Perfect! Let me know how you go.

    Thanks lots,
    LMM x

  17. Sweet_babe_xo says:

    OK, this just took applying liquid eyeliner to a whole new level. 😉

  18. Jennie Tylee-Porter says:

    Loved watching this clip, it is going to make applying liquid liner so much easier for me! Thank you!

  19. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Pleased you found it helpful, Jennie. Take your time, and remember practice makes perfect!

    LMM x

  20. Manuel says:

    OMG, loved it!

  21. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks lots, Manuel.

    LMM x

  22. Ellie says:

    You make it look easy but that’s rubbish because it isn’t easy.

  23. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Dear Ellie,

    The right tools certainly make it a lot easier and practice truly does make perfect!

    LMM x

  24. Britt says:

    Thanks. These great tips will help me when I’m applying eyeliner. Ha ha! Xx

  25. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thanks, Britt. I hope so!

    LMM x

  26. Strawberry says:

    OMG, I have tried everything possible and I’m sorry to say that this doesn’t help at all. Can you please post more videos using more affordable brushes that are easier to find. Thanks.

  27. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Sorry this post didn’t help you, Strawberry. You don’t have to use the same products/brushes that I do. Maybe you could try some of the tips and techniques I suggest and improvise with products/brushes you already own. Similar items are probably available at drugstores and pharmacies, if this is more your price range. There are lots of helpful tutorials on YouTube, so I recommend you have a look there. Don’t give up, practice truly does make perfect!

    LMM x

  28. Alexandra says:

    Very useful video.

    I was just wondering what song you used in the background. Spencer and Hill’s “Back in the love”? Which remix, if you wouldn’t mind telling me?

    I loved the song.

    Thank you.

  29. Little Miss Makeup says:

    Thank you, Alexandra.

    Track: Back in the Love (Afternoon Club Mix). Artist: Thomas Cajal. Album: Annex Trax Vol. 16.

    LMM x

  30. Husnaa says:

    Seems 2 b easy. Gonna try right now.

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