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18 Useful Tips For People Who Suck At Eyeliner

Forget wings: Sometimes you just need help drawing a straight line.

1. First: Know that there are three basic types of liners.

Pencil eyeliner is easy to apply, but sometimes doesn't spread as smoothly or thickly as gel or liquid liners.

Gel liners are matte and glide on easily. They sometimes come in a little pot with a brush.

Liquid liners are used for their precision, and usually come in a tube with a small brush, or "pen-style" with a brush tip. They can take some time to dry after applying, though.

Here's a bit more starter info on each of them, and here's an in-depth guide.

3. The shaky-hand struggle is real — but there's a way to solve it in three easy steps.

1) Sit down.

2) Plant your elbow on a flat surface.

3) Rest your pinky on your cheek. Stabilizing yourself as much as possible = fewer (probably) jerky mess-ups.

Here's the tutorial.


6. When applying liner, try not to pull the skin on the side of your face. If things get a little messy, clean up your line with a makeup remover–soaked cotton swab.


8. Start by drawing a messy line, then clean it up with a little petroleum jelly.

To avoid globs of jelly on your eyelid, wipe the swab on the back of your hand after dipping it in. (And, uh, you will probably need a little help from makeup remover pre-jelly if you accidentally cover your entire lid with eyeliner.)


12. If you think eyeliner looks a little too intense on your face, try tightlining — which is putting the liner *beneath* your lash line.

Waterproof liner is ideal because you don't want all that effort to rub off as soon as your eyes water. Read more about it here.

14. Once you have your eyeliner where you want it, prevent the dreaded crease stamp with the help of a little translucent powder.

15. Not ready to fully commit to liner yet? Use your favorite shadow as a faux-liner so you can get used to a similar look.


16. You can also tailor your eyeliner shape to your eye shape, once you feel confident in your application skills.

But no pressure to do something super specific before you're ready! This chart comes with this palette, but it's helpful advice no matter what kind of makeup you're using.

17. Put the liner on your eyelash curler to save time and help you get a straight line.

This technique uses a soft eye pencil, and will at least get you started; you may need to trace over the resulting line on your lid with the pencil.

And HEY: Don't feel bad if you don't get it the first time!

Or the second time, or the third time! Practice makes perfect.

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