Finding the right eyeliner is a daunting task — there are so many brands of eyeliners, and each brand has it’s many types and many colors. We’re breaking down a few of your choices to help you decide the best eyeliners.
Liquid eyeliner pencils take a steady hand and a lot of practice, but once you’ve perfected the liquid pencil, you’ll enjoy precise, bold coverage that becomes easy and quick to apply.
Most liquid eyeliners are more like brush markers — they’re contained in a pen-like tube with a pointy brush at the end. The liquid, which is inside the pen, drains down through the brush onto your eye. When comparing liquids, look carefully at the brush applicator — I find a firm brush with an almost needle-like point to be easiest to apply.
Most make-up artists brush the brush from the middle to the outside, then from the center of the eye, out. Depending on the look you’re after, you’ll determine how far out your liner will go, as well as the thickness of the line. One reason I prefer thin applicators is that you can always thicken the line.
You may recall my dot-line trick, that I use to creating a more voluminous mascara effect, using liquid liner.
My Favorite Liquid Liners:
- Pixi Lash Line Ink, Black Silk, $15
- stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Intense Black, $20
- L’Oreal Paris The Super Slim Eyeliner by Infallible, Black, 0.034 oz., $7.16
Your most basic eyeliners, pencils are usually the most simple to apply — just sharpen the pencil and draw a line as close to the lash as possible. Many women choose to keep their pencil points fine, but pencils with more dull points can add a thicker effect, almost substituting for your more-basic shadow. Pencils can also be used as a shadow, simply by applying more over the eyelid and smudging.
I find the brand of pencil makes a big difference. Some pencils are very No. 2 pencil-like — more abrupt and difficult to apply, whereas others are more cream-like and glide easily. I far prefer the cream-like pencils and have them in many colors.
My Favorite Pencil Eyeliners
Shadow As A Liner
I have to give credit to Chanel for teaching me this one — sometimes your favorite shadow can make your best liner. The secrets are a dry shadow, a strong, flat angled brush, and a dab of water. Just dampen your brush, dab it in the corner of your shadow and lightly brush the liner as close to the lashes as you can.
I prefer to do this after I’ve applied shadow to highlight a great color. The lined shadow will be a bit more bold and heavy as it dries into place.
My Favorite Shadow-As-Liner Supplies
- Make Up For Ever Angled Eye Shadow Brush, $24
- LORAC Unzipped Eye Shadow Palette, $42
- Benefit World Famous Neutrals, $30 ($48 value)
Gel/Cream Eye Liner
Similar to shadows, gels and creams are generally supplied in a pot, and you’ll use a brush to apply in much the same way. They’re often more bold than a shadow, and can be used as a base for eye-shadow, adding more color, drama and depth to the eye. They’re easy to smudge and create more unique looks.
Favorite Gel/Cream Eye Liners And Supplies
- Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush, $26
- Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Liner Brush, $28
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner, $25
Oops! Time to take it off!
If you’re just getting started trying out new eye liners, you’ll definitely want a good make-up remover. I keep a huge box of q-tips nearby to fix my errors quickly, and have recently switched to Gentle Eye & Face Makeup Remover. It’s truly the most gentle remover I’ve tried, and it never feels greasy or oily.
Sets For Learning And Playing
Usually, the easiest way to play and learn about eyeliners is to purchase a kit that offers instruction for application. Doing so is how I’ve learned of most of my recommended make-up, above. Sephora has fabulous kits that offer bundles at a savings, hoping you’ll love the product enough that you’ll want more. Here are a few to consider:
- Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner, set of 3 for $45
- Ardency Inn Modster Eye Liner Trio, $27 ($59 value)
- Sephora Collection Craig & Karl Eyeliner Set, $39 for 5 liners