Let's Explore: Eyeliner Techniques

Let's Explore: Eyeliner Techniques

In my highly esteemed (just kidding!) opinion, eyeliner is some of the best makeup to play around with when it comes to your day-to-day and your special occasion looks.

It’s so versatile, allowing you to easily switch from light, natural looks, to heavier, dramatic looks. This week, I thought we could take it back to the basics and go over the different ways of doing eyeliner.

Lining Your Upper Waterline (A.K.A "Tightining")

This easy technique is super handy when you’re in a rush and you just need something to brighten up your eyes and make your lashes look fuller. All you do is take your eyeliner pencil, hold your eyelid up and lightly brush the pencil between your lashes.

Be careful though and don’t poke your eyes out! But really, it looks way harder than it actually is.

Here's a little tip: Warm up your eyeliner pencil by rubbing some on your hand to soften the tip. This will help it apply smoothly, without feeling sharp.


I feel like lining the waterline is often overlooked by many people for some reason, but just a touch of eyeliner that can honestly make a world of difference! It’s important to know what kind of eyes you have to do this, though.

If you have smaller eyes, waterlining will make them appear bigger and rounder. If you have bigger eyes, waterlining can make them appear more closed in! I have bigger eyes and what I find to be cool is that if you put lesser in the inner halves of the water lines and go heavier on the outer halves, it elongates your eyes and emphasizes the shape, giving it a nice almond look.

To waterline, follow the exact steps mentioned in part one, but on your lower waterline. This is a really quick way to brighten up your eyes in the morning, or to pull together a smokey eye!

Waterline and tightline.

Waterline and tightline.

Lower Lash Liner

I’m late for an exam, I’m late to meet a friend, I need to get out of the house right now because there’s a fire; doesn’t matter. I will never forgo lining my lower lash line. And when I apologize to my friend for being late, well...who could stay mad at these doe-like eyes?

Lining your lower lash line makes your eyes look deep, expressive and very defined. You can use a pencil liner, gel liner, or my tool of choice, a kohl stick. This is one of the easiest looksto do because there is really no true way to mess up.

You can line it thinly, if you want a natural look, or you can go thicker, even smudging it, for a sultry, smokey look. Nothing is wrong here!

Top Liner

Top liner helps you achieve the eye shape that you want and makes your eyes look bigger.You can do this with any kind of eyeliner; pencil, gel, kohl, or liquid. I recommend pencil when you’re just beginning because it’s easier to fix if you mess up and it looks more natural.

Once you get used to it, gel or liquid is the way to go! Kohl is better used on the top to smudge out for a smokey look.

Top Liner (But Only Half!)

If you’re an eyeliner fiend like me, you’re probably used to putting eyeliner on the top lash lines. But perhaps this is something new for you to try! By only lining the outer half of your eye— from the center of the lid and out—it creates the illusion of wider-set, more alert eyes. I actually love doing this and rarely line my eyes fully anymore. 

Cat Eye & Winged Liner

This ‘50s look has been super prevalent lately, and it’s obvious why. It’s so cute and totally ups your makeup game. The terms cat eye and wings are pretty interchangeable, but to me, a cat eye is more pointed and thick, and a wing is more of a little…flick upwards.

The best eyeliners to use for these are gel or liquid. All you do is draw on your top liner, and then trace up towards the outer tip of your eyebrow. This is a good marking spot to make sure both sides are even.

Nude Eyeliners

So remember earlier, we talked about lining your waterline? You don’t have to use black eyeliner. When your eyes are red and tired looking from a long night, you should actually use a white (if you’re more fair-skinned) or light brown/ beige (if you’re darker-skinned) pencil on your waterline. This makes the white of your eyes look bigger and brighter, cancelling out the redness and the puffiness.

I like to put some on the inner half of my lash line and the inner corners of my eye in a “v’ shape, as well as on my waterline, to give me a bright eyed look! Don’t let anyone know how long you really studied for!

Hopefully, this gave you some new insight (no pun intended) on the various ways you can do your eyeliner and how each technique actually works! Have fun experimenting, because every eye is beautifully different!

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