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Liz Who?


My name is Liz and I blog as a hobby. I like all things bright and beautiful!

Email me at liz [at]

Disclosure: Most of the products I review here are press samples unless stated otherwise. FYI!




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How to apply eyeliner like a boss (plus a stub on drawing a mean cat eye)

Whoever invented eyeliner has bestowed womankind a great gift. From the ancient Egyptians, to its rise in the 1920s flapper era, to today's modern woman, eyeliner has served us remarkably well by opening and enhancing our eyes. A simple black line can do wonders for our face - provided it's applied correctly, of course.

Eyeliner can be difficult to use in the beginning, but trust me, practice is the best way to get your perfect line. Why when I started using it in my teens, I was such a klutz! I couldn't get an even line for all I was worth. I just kept repeating and repeating though until my wobbly line became straight and fine.  

Tools: Charm Vegan Pointed Eyeliner Brush and Kanebo Kate Gel Eyeliner

Now, there's no one true way to apply eyeliner. The techniques I'll be sharing here is what I prefer to do with my own eyes, so feel free to experiment and find a method that works best for you. I used a gel eyeliner and a pencil brush for this tutorial but the principle is still the same for pencil, powder, and liquid liners.

Ready? Here goes!

Step 1: Start in the middle of your lash line, then draw outwards. Make sure your brush is loaded with just enough product so you don't smear black all over your lids. It's okay if the line is not immediately perfect, since you can go back later to correct it.

Tip: To keep your hands steady, you can rest two fingers on your cheekbones! Don't blink if you can help it; the quicker you draw the line, the less wobbly it will be.

Step 2: Stop the line at the outer corner of your eyes. Now, you can subtly wing it up from that point.

The shape I like best for my eyes (and my guess is, it looks good for all eye shapes) is the almond shape. It's usually thicker in the middle, thins a bit as it goes outwards, then has a slight flick up at the end.

Step 3: From the inner corner of your eyes, connect the line to the middle part. This line has to be thin, because you're trying to mimic your lashes being thicker at the outer fringes of your eyes. If your eyeliner is too thick here, it may look too fake and obvious.

If the latter part of your line looks wobbly or if you just want a really sharp look, draw over the edges of the line in one straight stroke.

And that's it! Super easy, really. It just takes practice. From this basic line, you can thicken or extend it as you like. Here's a short tutorial on making a cat eye:

Step 1: Extend your eyeliner from its edge, going up. Your "guide line" for this is the slope of your lower lid, like so.

Step 2: Once you have your long flick, draw a small triangle from the base of your line.

like so:

Step 3: Fill the triangle in. You can make the cat eye more exaggerated if you wish - this is just a general idea of how to do it.

And that's it. :) Again, easy after a bit of practice. Before I leave, here are some more practical tips on eyeliner application:

  • To prevent your eyeliner from smudging, use it on top of a power and/or primer base. You can also set it with a similarly colored powder. It's the same principle as drying ink quickly by dusting it with sand. 
  • ...If your eyeliner still smudges after all this hoo-ha, then you are using a crappy eyeliner. Replace it. Here are some of my top five eyeliners

  • ....If the eyeliner still smudges, then perhaps your lids are just too oily. I suggest you pile on a water- and oil-proof mascara instead, to get the illusion of a line.
  • Should you do a thin line or thick line? Depends on what you like! There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to eyeliner shapes and sizes. Just wear what looks best on you or, if your look requires a certain eyeliner style, then do that.

And that's it! Hope this helps. :) Let me know if you still have questions and I will try to answer them.


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    How to apply eyeliner like a boss (plus a stub on drawing a mean cat eye) - Project Vanity - Project Vanity

Reader Comments (26)

Hi Liz,

Thanks for the tutorial. Now I'll remember to draw a triangle and fill it in :) Can you also make a tutorial for eyebrows? I've been dying to know how I can shape my eyebrows, I feel that I can totally give myself a makeover by having well shaped eyebrows. Not in a hurry though :)


January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurplechef

Hey Iko! No problem. Already did a brow tutorial!

January 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLiz Lanuzo

nice tutorial Liz. I personally find it easier to use a stiffer, shorter brush like the free one from Maybelline gel liner or an angled eyeliner brush.

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteresquire

Wow, Liz... you make it look so easy here. I need more practice! Tee hee! Thanks!! :)

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril

Wait... how about for the waterline? Do you also use your gel liner in there? I find it harder to apply liner in that area... or maybe I am doing something wrong???

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril

Were you using charm vegan eyeliner brush. thats super awesome! its my fave for gel liners!

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKumiko Mae

I always find it tricky applying eyeliner on my uneven eyes so what I do is line it with eye shadow first then trace it with my favorite in2it water-proof eyeliner! You make it look effortless I'm envious hahaha

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterQueenbee

I am really loving your step-by-step photos. Very pro and very helpful. I find it difficult to get even lines. Once I line my right eye perfectly, the line on my left eye would be ugly. :( But I guess, practice makes perfect!

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvy

great liz! thank you so much for that. i agree with you, practice makes perfect. really at first it's so hard to apply eyeliner, but once you get the hang of it, you can do it perfectly afterwards. more please! :p

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergen

A must-have article for everyone, thanks! I just wondered why black is most often used? Doesn't brown or dark brown give a more subtle, natural effect?

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersoleil

Liz, what brush are you using here? Is this better than the Charm double ended brow brush? :)

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRomzs

great tips liz! im not that expert when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner, and my best weapon is to apply eyeliner pencil first and then top it with liquid eyeliner.. i find it easy to use this technique

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermera

i love it liz! thanks for the tips! im also using majolica majorca perfect automatic eyeliner and i love it!

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabbey

Thank you Ms. Liz for the great tips. Applying eyeliner or gel liner is something I need to perfect up to this moment. When I do, I need to use brown color eyeliner or gel liner for a more subtle effect. I have almond shape eyes, it will look bigger and harsh if I use color black.

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteraidisan

Great tutorial! I love applying liners! And cat eyes is my most ♥ look of all! :D

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

nice tutorial. im definitely keeping this in mind.

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterscarlet's walk

This was really helpful liz! Thanks :)

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterteeneecruella

Great tutorial!

I don't have steady hands and I find it difficult to make the shape of the eyeliner on one eye match with the other. I spend an eternity trying to make them pantay. haha. I guess I need more practice.

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterelaine

Hi Liz,

I'm not really good at this. I put mine on the waterline, is this wrong? I noticed that most people apply it just above the waterline, but will that just make my big eyes appear bigger?

Thanks for your feedback! :)

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRiaLity

Wow thanks for this tutorial. Very informative! I kept buying eyeliner in all forms but never get around to using it. Might as well pick them up and try this look.

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatsy

great post! i love tutorials especially in applying eyeliner

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Wow, thanks for this Liz. Putting on eyeliner has been a struggle for me. I can't seem to perfect it. Will try your trick next time around! Thanks!

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKei

Hi Liz thanks for this post. I do have a question regarding liquid liners (I'm a makeup noob btw). When I tried applying it then opened my eyes fully, nag smudge dun sa upper part of the eyelids. What am I doing wrong?

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Hey Pat! Probably the eyeliner is still wet or tacky. Wait for it to dry completely first; you can check with your finger. If it is indeed dry and it still smudges on your lid, it's probably the eyeliner's fault na. Replace it!

June 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterLiz Lanuzo

will bookmark this page so that i can always take a quick look every time i need to line my eyes. very helpful indeed. :)

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjen

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