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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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The 101 on Eyeliner Brushes

We all started with pencil eyeliners. But the more we learn about makeup and application techniques, the more we crave for precision and different effects for our eyes. If you're a bit advanced in makeup then I'm sure you're starting to explore (or have already explored) cream/ gel eyeliners. This post is all about the basic brushes you can use for those wonderful pots of cosmetics!

For your reference, the gel liner I used below is the Kanebo Kate Gel Eyeliner (it's amazing and affordable too!). Please also check my tutorial on applying eyeliner, with a short stub on how to do a cat's eye. ;)

The flat angled eyeliner brush can be difficult to master at first, but it's probably the best brush for that perfect winged or cat's eye line. It draws the outer line thicker so if you have round eyes (like I do) then this brush can elongate them and make them look narrower.

This brush can also be used for shading the eyebrows with a wet product (such as wax or eyebrow gel).

The flat rounded brush is not just good for detailed eyeshadow work or spot concealing - you can also use this to create thick lines with both gel/cream eyeliner or cake/powder eyeliner. If you don't like the winged-out tip for your eyes, use a rounded brush like this. It can also be used to smudge eyeliner since it's a little bushy and is made of animal hair.

This brush is probably the best for beginners since it's easy to control and can be used with a variety of formulas. 

The pencil brush is long, slightly stiff, and very narrow. This creates thin, natural-looking lines close to the lashes, but I like that you can increase the thickness according to the look you're going for. This is probably my default brush for lining my eyes; it's so versatile! I can create a daring cat eye, a simple natural look, or a rounded line with this single brush. 

It does take some skill to master but the right brush (stiffness is an important factor) will definitely make things easier.

The bent pencil brush works exactly like the classic pencil brush - it's just that the bent shape can actually help you get a more even line. You don't have to awkwardly angle the brush as much with this genius development. ;)

So there you go! The brushes featured here are from Charm (except the round one), by the way! What's your favorite eyeliner brush? Do you prefer a specific eyeliner shape?

Reader Comments (15)

Thanks for the info, Liz. I've attempted the cat's eye several times with liquid liner. Gel would probably be way easier to control. The liquid eyeliner saturates the brush, so I tend to apply it too thickly. I've mostly stuck to pencil liner because I'm usually in a hurry, but I'm willing to try out the gel formula after seeing those pretty Stila pots. :)

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatromao

gosh, i prefer applying eyeliner directly from the pen, hehehe im not yet trained on applying it from a jar. pero siguro if im going to buy a brush, that would be an eyeliner brush!

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermiz eloise

I love using flat angled eyeliner brush as it's easier to use (after some practices) and a lot of product gets on the first swipe. Tried the flat rounded brush but I seem to always pick up the flat angled in the end.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhellohalloumi

ooohhh!! I love the flat angled eyeliner brush!! I mostly use it to set my eyeliner with eyeshadow powder,it helps to prolong my liner and make it smudge proof and wont migrate under my eye!! :)

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersheena

I use a flat slanted eyeliner brush for an easy completion of a cat eye look; and a pencil brush works best for me when I just want to create a thin line over and under my eye

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLian

Thanks Ms Liz! My friend has the Charm Pencil brush and Flat angled eyeliner brush and she's practicing with them. I'm not eyelining yet pero I'm planning to start with a pencil eyeliner muna then proceed with a brush after I get the hang of eyelining.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris

I use liquid eye liner (although I'm still not good at it :( ) . But it's interesting to know something about these brushes. I might need it one day.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFayne

My favorite to use for eyeliners are flat rounded brushes, but I also use angled flat ones sometimes. Most of the pencil brushes I've seen are not as stiff as I want them to be kaya I don't use pencil brushes. I should check out Charm's. Thanks for this post :D

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAya

This is off topic, but I think I saw you at glorietta 1 this afternoon. I wanted to say hi but you were on the other side so I didn't, and you might think I'm some sort of a stalker. haha.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergem

Flat angled brush + dipdown MAC gel liner, winner!

It's amazing how a little eyeliner can change your look. You will look bright and awake and nobody can put a finger on what's different in your face, except for us beauty junkies of course :)

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTin

I want to explore gel liners using a brush but I dont know where to start. I am so happy I get to read this post and the one with Maybelline gel liner. This will help beginners like me!

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAubrey

where to get or better yet, what pencil liner brush to get(brand)?
i want stiff, thin ones.
not splayed of course.
i have hooded eyelids and i can't go thick. an angled liner brush is just hard to work with.

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPong

I love the swatches! A picture is worth a thousand words. I'm only used to using a flat angled brush but I'd like to practice with a pencil point.

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEula

I use a flat angled liner brush cos I find it easier to control esp when you do the cat's eye. I have yet to try the pencil brush. I'll buy one nga! Heeeh. Great detailed post as always! And the swatches are very helpful!

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKhristine

Such an informative post Ms. Liz. Post like this makes me miss reading your blog regularly. My work schedule is really sucky at the moment. I love this post, because eye make-up is really my waterloo. So I gobble any information that helps. I really envy people who can line their eyes with ease and those that can make the perfect cat eyes.
by the way, how do you compare the kanebo kate with the maybelline studio ones and the mac fluidline?

March 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercouchpotato_md

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