Eyeliner101: How to Apply Eyeliner

Eyeliner101: How to Apply Eyeliner

Eyeliner can be difficult to apply, even for the most seasoned of makeup users. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many new techniques and types of eyeliners on the market, but it doesn’t have to be! 

Our team here at Alleyoop has put together the best guide for upping your eyeliner game. Whether you're going for the perfect cat-eye look, or just trying to get a straight line that doesn't look like you applied it in a moving car, we're here to help. 

Keep reading for our best tips for applying your eyeliner! 

The Basics of Applying Eyeliner  

Before we dive into the basics, it’s essential to acknowledge that eyeliner can seem intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never used it. But once you have the basics down, it's super easy to use. Promise.

Choose Your Favorite Eyeliner 

First things first: what type of eyeliner should you be using? In general, sharp, defined looks call for liquid or cream liners, while soft, smudged looks call for gels, pencils, and kohls. The choice is up to you, but a pencil liner may be the best option for newbies, or if you’re trying a new technique, as pencils will give you the most control. (Plus, they're the most forgiving.) 

Start With a Thin Line  

The thinner you start your lines, the better. Remember: You can always go thicker, but you can never go thinner (unless you wipe it all off and start over, but who has time for that!). You can always start with a light pencil line, then add a layer of liquid eyeliner if you want to try a winged eye or something a little more intense. 

Make Small Dots 

If you’re having trouble making a thin connected line on your eyelid, you could try making a row of tiny dots and then connecting them after you’ve reached the corner of your eye. This will help keep your line steady, and is a great method regardless of what type of eyeliner you're using.

Relax and Breathe 

If you’re having trouble keeping your hand steady while applying your eyeliner, step away and take a deep breath. Sometimes when you’re trying to concentrate too hard on making it perfect, your hands (and sometimes your arm) will become shaky, and it'll be challenging to make a straight line. 

Don’t worry! It happens to all of us. Remember, practice makes perfect!

It's All In The Wrist 

Trying a new technique such as winged liner can be intimidating. But it isn't impossible! If that's the look you're going for, start by lining your eye as usual. Then, place your eyeliner in the outer corner of your eye where you want the cat eye to begin and gently flick your wrist to draw the wing upwards. It sounds confusing, but with a bit of practice (and a lot of patience), you’ll have it in no time! 

Tips for When You’re Having Trouble Applying Eyeliner   

If you just can't get the line you're looking for, take a step back and look at your liner! You may need to sharpen your pencil before you can get the smooth, even line you want. 

Winged Eyeliner Never Matches  

If you’re constantly having trouble getting both of your eyes to match, remember that it’s always best to start with a thin line regardless of what type of eyeliner you're using.

The thinner the line, the easier it will be to add more to one eye to even them out. 

If you've already applied too thick of a line, there’s no need to start over—simply use a cotton round or makeup remover cloth and lightly remove the excess eyeliner. This method will gently and quickly get you to a thinner line that will be easier to even out.  

If Your Eyeliner Constantly Smudges  

Smudging can happen quickly, especially if you’re active or in a humid climate. Always try to make your eyeliner lines thinner and closer to the lashes to reduce the chances of smudging. If that still doesn't solve your problem, you may need to invest in a powder or a waterproof eyeliner.

What Is Your Eye Shape?  

It's important to remember that your eye shape influences your eyeliner choices. Learning more about your eye shape will help you choose the eyeliner that suits you best and enhances your natural shape, as opposed to something that competes with it. 

The following are a few of the most common eye shapes and the best way to apply eyeliner for each: 

Round Eyes 

For round-shaped eyes, the options for eyeliner styles are endless. Round eyes are often large, making them the perfect canvas to enhance or even change the shape of your eye. The best option for round eyes is to use liner on the upper lash line and then try something bolder in the outer corner, such as a cat-eye, or the extended wing. 

You can use liquid or pencil liners to create an illusion of width by drawing attention to the outer-eye area. But in general, you have a lot of freedom with this eye shape.

Down-turned Shaped Eyes 

If you have down-turned eyes, this means the outer corner is slightly lower when compared to the inner corner of the eye, and you should focus on ‘lifting’ your eyes. This will help to create the allusion of wider, brighter eyes. After making a steady line along the upper lash line, try moving upward and outward at the corner to make your eyes feel more awake.

After that, it's up to you if you want to leave the bottom lash bare or if you're going to add a thin line of eyeliner. However, with downturned-shaped eyes, lower liner may make the eyes seem heavier. 

Hooded Shaped Eyes 

If you have hooded eyes, aim to draw focus to the outer corners. You don’t have to worry about bottom eyeliner with hooded-shaped eyes because you can make the top eyeliner as thick as you want to create a more open and defined shape. To do this, draw a narrow line on one-third of the eyelid, then create a vertical wing on the outer corner. 

Cat eyes are a fun way to style hooded shaped eyes because you can see more of your eyeliner and create the illusion of wider eyes. A pro-tip for hooded eyes is to use a fast-drying eyeliner with a precision tip for total control.

Almond Shaped Eyes  

Similar to the shape of an almond, this means your eyes are almost symmetrical with a slight lift. Almond-shaped eyes have a lot of room to work with, so the best eye looks for this shape are the cat eye and winged liner. With either, you can choose to create a more subtle or dramatic look depending on your style.

How Do You Choose the Right Eyeliner for Your Eyes?  

Ready to achieve the perfect look? Look no further than the 11th Hour: Cream Eyeshadow Stick. This waterproof, smudge- and crease-proof formula delivers incredible payoff that lasts 11+ hours. It also includes a sharpener at the end to turn each stick into a precision eyeliner for any look you want! 

In need of a compact, on-the-go solution? Our multi-functional Pen Pal was made for you. It’s a 4-in-1 touchup pen that includes eyeliner, lip liner, a brow pencil, and highlighter all in one easy-to-use click pen! The best part? All of our products are compact and TSA-friendly

Invest in a Good Eye Makeup Remover 

When using eyeliner or any eye makeup, don’t forget to invest in a good eye makeup remover. We recommend Tip Off: Makeup Swabs—not only are they tough on stubborn makeup, but they allow for precise application to clean up any liner mishaps. 

And of course, every evening before bed you'll want to thoroughly remove any remaining eye makeup while cleansing the rest of your face. Removing the day’s eye makeup will remove any irritants, germs, and bacteria that may irritate your eyes.


So, what are you waiting for? It's time to find the eyeliner style that works best for your eye shape and take your liner game to the next level. 

P.S. Have you joined the #alleyooptroop yet? We’d love to hear about it! 



7 Eyeliner Mistakes You Need to Stop Making | Glamour 

11 Different Eye Shapes - How to Apply Eyeliner to 11 Different Eye Shapes | Cosmopolitan

18 Useful Tips For People Who Suck At Eyeliner | Buzzfeed

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