Applying eyeliner can be tricky but here are tips and tricks to help you master it
Basics first: If your go-to look involves tracing your entire eye (both the top and bottom eyelid) with jet-black eyeliner, think again. This can ‘box in’ and downsize your peepers, says makeup artist Larry Yeo, who has worked with countless celebrities, models and real women. Try lining the upper eyelid with black, and the lower lid with brown or khaki to soften the look. Or, experiment with dark navy eyeliners such as Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liner in L20, $38, and Charlotte Gainsbourg for NARS Nuit D'Encre Kohliner, $40 – blue liner compliments brown eyes beautifully. Dry crepey eyelids can make your eyeliner look dull and lifeless. “Try Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Anti-aging), $38, to create the illusion of smoother-looking skin and impart a little colour,” explains Larry. If you have dry skin, you should also ditch your pencil liners – they can tug on the skin and create ‘dashes’ instead of a straight and perfect line. Trade them for gel formulas that glide on effortlessly. Want your liner to last through a steamy beach date or a tropical drizzle? Waterproof liquid formulas such as Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner, $42, are your safest bet. “The film formula won’t dislodge with sweat or sebum, and has more staying power,” says Larry. If you are out of eyeshadow primer, loose or pressed powder eyeshadows can double up as a base to even out skin tone, though they won’t give your eyeliner the same longevity that a primer would. However, never use your concealer as an eye primer – its dense skin-toned pigments will mute the colour of your eyeshadow, warns Larry. For amateur beautyphiles, pencil liners are the best entry-level options because they are easier to wield. “Simply trace and smudge with fingers for a softer effect. If you need more definition, apply another layer,” says Larry. Try Shu Uemura x AMBUSH Lasting Soft Gel Pencil in Intense Black, $37, and Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in 847 Terra Rossa, $38. Pencil formulas don’t tend to last for as long as gel and liquid formulas. To give your pencil liner staying power, layer it with an eyeshadow in the same shade to set it. If ‘natural beauty’ is the name of your makeup game, black eyeliners may be too intense for daywear. Define your eyes with a brown liner such as Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner in Black Brown, $18.90, instead. Brown tends to be softer, and can achieve a more youthful effect. Don’t start from scratch whenever you make a mistake. Always have a few Q-tips ready and soak them in eye makeup remover to erase mistakes. Touch up those areas with a little eye primer, if necessary, and voilà, you are ready to start over. Can’t perfect the feline flick? Try using a curved-edged business card as a stencil to nail the curve of your wing tip, and simply fill it in to complete your feline flick. Don’t stick to boring black – try winging it in bright colours such as blue or green, or add a touch of shimmer with Make Up Store Black Eyeliner Silver Glitter, $39. Keep the look modern by pairing it with a natural cheek and lip colours. Had one too many late nights? Here’s a fuss-free two-minute hack. Apply a nude eyeliner such as ETUDE HOUSE Super Slim Proof Pencil Liner in Skin Beige, $14.90, to your waterline (the inner rim where your eyelid meets your eyes). You will instantly look like you’ve clocked a few extra hours of shuteye. Another bonus: nude liners are practically blotch-proof and perfect for tired mornings. If you are going for statement peepers, gel eyeliners such as Shiseido Inkstroke Eyeliner, $43, (pictured) and liquid formulas such as Dolly Wink Super Black Liquid Eyeliner, $25.90, will give you more intensity and oomph. Since these tend to be less forgiving, they will require more precision. Quick tip: If you have shaky hands, sit down, rest your elbow on a flat surface, and rest your pinky on your cheek to stabilise your hand for smoother application. Want to accentuate your eyes without looking all made-up and ready for the prom? Try tightlining – apply eyeliner between your lashes from the underside of your lashline to makes your blinkers look naturally fuller. The law of optical illusions applies to eyeliners as well – outlining peepers in white will make them look larger. Apply a white eyeliner such as Innisfree Always New Auto Liner in Shade No. 11, $15, to the inner corners of your eyes and along your waterline. You can also use this on your brow bones and blend well for a lifted look. Excessive sebum production can seriously ruin your eyeliner game. If you have greasy eyelids, Larry recommends prepping your peepers with an eyeshadow primer. “Most come in a liquid form, go on like soft cream and set into a thin film,” he shares. He recommends Laura Mercier Eye Basics, $45, to prevent eyeliners, eyeshadows and concealers from migrating. One of the most common beauty faux pas is tugging at your delicate eye area to remove smudge-proof and waterproof eyeliners and mascara – this can inadvertently contribute to fine lines and crow’s feet! Soak your cotton pad with makeup remover, and press it over your eyes for 10 to 20 seconds. Then, gently wipe it downward to lift off any eye makeup.
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