Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Makeup Lesson: How to Line Your Eyes

Good morning, my beauties!

Recently, my friend Carol the Cookie Monster asked for tips to apply eyeliners. People always assume lining your eyes is a simple and easy task but the truth is very far from that assumption. It took me years to master the art of lining my eyes with pencil liners and many years after that to get over the fear of being poked in the eyes by a liquid liner. Just when I thought I was a pro, I found myself stuttering when I lined my friend's eyes. You see, applying eyeliner is not that simple and I guess it is time for me to write a tutorial about this topic.

What you need: pencil liner (Teddy eye kohl from MAC) , a slanted eyeshadow brush (I use MAC 266), a powder eyeshadow (mine is Hazel Brown from Aura Science, a discontinued makeup line at Victoria's Secret), an eyeshadow primer (optional, I use MAC Bare Canvas paint pot), an eyelash curler (mine is ELF, also need to review it!)

Not shown: a mascara (I use L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black)

 Optional step: prime your eyes with an eyeshadow primer
Even when I don't use any eyeshadow, I apply Bare Canvas paint pot so my eyes would have some nice glimmers. But most importantly, I have oily eyelids that tend to crease and the eyeshadow primer helps my eye makeup to stay put.

Step 1: Curl your eyelashes

Although curling your eyelashes before or after applying eye makeup is still up for debating, I prefer to curl my lashes first. To my friends who are not into makeup (or are guys), curling eyelashes looks like something from Guantanamo Bay. A friend of mine always refers to the eyelash curler as a torture device. The truth is, it doesn't hurt at all!

Step 2a: Warm up the tip of your pencil eyeliner

While I have other eyeliners, I prefer the Teddy eye kohl for this tutorial because it is soft and glides more effortlessly than the other eyeliners I have. Looking back, my failure line my eyes was mostly due to the pencil I used. Hard ones are more pokey and do not tend to glide that well. Soft ones lack control and if you mess up, it is hard to fix. MAC eye kohl is between hard and soft, which is why I prefer it on days I just need to line my eyes really fast and go.

Warming up the tip of the pencil will make it even softer and hence, make it a lot easier for you to work with.

Step 2b: Make a silly O-face

Remember my fear of being stabbed in the eye by an eyeliner? Well, I blink too much, which increase my chance to have beauty-related injuries. The muscles around the mouth and around the eyes are connected. Therefore, when you make an O, your eyes will not blink. Seriously, I'm not making this up. I learned it in "Human Anatomy and Physiology 1"!

Step 2c: Start lining the eyes

Finally, some action! I prefer to line my eyes from the inside out but you can do whatever way you want: line from the outer corner, from the middle, from the Moon (?!) Well, you get the idea, right? Right?

The secret to getting a straight line is not to line it at once but to connect the dots.

There, I said it. Please write it down, underline it, and highlight it. This is important! It took me years to figure that out because there was no YouTube and Michelle Phan's channel when I started with makeup. Seriously, RiceBunny is a genius!

What you need to do is to move your pencil liner bit by bit connect the dots until you get to the outer corner of your eyes. It should look like this:

Nice, right?
In fact, it's perfect. Now, imagine it is not and I need to fix it. I know it's kind of hard but just use your imagination, ok?

Step 3: Correction

If you did part 2 well, chances are you don't need to correct anything. But for the sake of having a complete tutorial, let's say I messed up big time and I need to fix my goop without having to start all over again, which is a pain in the you-know-what.

So, how can I do it? With a slanted eyeshadow brush and a powder eyeshadow, of course! I use brown because my eyeliner is brown. If you use a different color, make sure your eyeshadow matches, otherwise it would be tres weird :)

With the slanted eyeshadow brush, I dipped it into the eyeshadow pot and apply it over my liner. If there is anything I need to fix or smooth out, my brush will help me do that. Also, if your eyeliner is not waterproof, doing this will enhance the lasting power of your liner a lot longer. (This is a trick I learned from a famous makeup artist whose name just escaped me!)

Optional: line your lower lashes
It's really really optional, most of the time I do not care but recently, I find doing so makes my eyes look more mysterious.

Apply mascara and voila, you're done!

Eyeliners are a lot of fun. I consider it the best part in eye makeup because I hardly wear eye shadows these days. With eyeliner on, you can look put-together fast without using any extra eye makeup on top. Also, I find the eyeliner/paint pot combo gives me a clean and professional look with the least effort.

Carol, I hope this helps you. If anybody has any questions/comments/requests, please let me know! I really appreciate your feedback and they do make my blog better. So please speak up, ok?


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  1. LOL im with u! i thought putting eyeliner on is simple!i only use pencil thats all maybe thats why ots not pretty!haha

  2. This is excellent! I'm a newbie at eyeliner and have been trying to apply but tend to mess up most of the time. I will try your method tomorrow.

  3. Dao! Thanks for tip on applying eyeliner. I'm willing to give it another go this weekend when I put on makeup. I often mess up on my eyeliner too, so I'll definitely give the slant brush a try. Thank you!

  4. oh man, i rem how long it took me to perfect my eyeliner, all the way back to grade 8 where I only put eyeliner on the outer corners of my eye in an effort to make my eyes look "bigger" (a myth btw)
    I can now pretty much do it without looking.
    Right now, the secrets of the perfect cat eye are still eluding me!

  5. Thanks for the tips. Applying eyeliner is not easy, it took me years to master how to do a straight line with pencils. I still make mistakes of I'm in a rush though but now I know how to fix it thanks.

  6. Hi Vanilla,

    After I got over the fear of stabbing myself in the eyes with the eyeliner, it still took me years to master the art of lining my eyes. I'll do a liquid eyeliner tutorial in the future, how about that?

  7. Hi Lyn,

    Please give it a try and let me know how it turns out. And remember, practice makes perfect. It took me years to line my eyes properly.

  8. Great tips :) I think I'm getting the hand of it but I don't know any good eyeliner pencil like the one you described. Thanks ;)

  9. Hi Carol,

    Yay! Bring on your enthusiasm when you apply your makeup, girl! I'm sure you can do it. Just go slowly with the liner and you'll have a nice line. The brush will help you smooth out the line, I know that for sure!

  10. Great tutorial! Every girl needs to know how to line her eyes... it really makes a difference! Do you line your waterline? It's the one area I have a big problem with - I find certain eyeliners just won't go on the waterline.

  11. This is an awesome post. I've been doing that a lot these days, just paint pot and eyeliner (I just use eyeshadows or powder eyeliners these days too) hahaha... and gotta love eyeliners, it truly makes a dfrnce to our eyes ^^ especially asisn eyes.

  12. Hi Dao

    great post and great tips! thanks

  13. Hi McNunu,

    I tried to reply to your comment several times yesterday but I got cut off, gah! I'll do a tutorial on the cat eyes, how about that?

  14. Hi Gio,

    I'm glad my tips can help you. Sometimes I mess up with my eyeliners too, especially when I'm in a hurry. I'll do another tutorial about liners soon since most of you want extra tips about this topic.

  15. Hi Daniela,

    The one I used in this tutorial is MAC eye kohl named "Teddy". It's a bit expensive but it's very soft. For a more affordable alternative, you can try Wet n Wild and Rimmel London eye liners. They're also very soft and glide easily. It's just that they're not waterproof (and neither Teddy!)

  16. Hi Feeyona,

    Unfortunately, I don't line on the waterline since my eyes are quite sensitive. I think you need to use a very thin brush for that.

  17. Hi Dana,

    So true! I love eyeliners very much and they are so fun to play with. Since I don't have a lot of time to do my eyes, the paint pot and eyeliner combo works like magic!

  18. Hi Lavender,

    Thanks! I'm so happy that you like this tutorial.

  19. Hi Dao, Thanks for the eyeliner tutorial. However, I always wonder about how people remove their eyeliner properly, especially when the waterline is involved. I usually will pull off a few eyelashes with the rubbing and get the remover into my eyes in the process. It always take me a long time to remove the eyeliner and there is always just tiny bits between the root of my lashes that I just can't get rid of. Does that happen to you or anyone? Help~

  20. LOL great tutorial! I enjoyed reading it, and look forward to seeing more! Plus the colour you used is super pretty =)

  21. Great tips! I'm hooked on Urban Decay liners... I have a bunch of colors and haven't been using them much... Now I can practice! Thanks.

  22. Hi MoonRabbit,

    I guess it has something to do with the eye makeup remover I use. Usually, I saturate a cotton pad with eye makeup remover, close my eyes, and place it on my eyes. I let it sit for a few seconds to let the liquid loosen up the eye shadows before removing it. That way, my eye colors would be removed a lot easier and with less pain.

    You should try my home-made eye makeup remover solution. Just search my blog and you'll find it. Since I started mixing my own, I don't buy eye makeup remover anymore and it removes everything, including waterproof stuff.

    To remove the stuff close to your lash line, just dip a q-tip in the eye makeup remover solution and remove it. That way, you get close to the root of things (no pun intended!)

  23. Hi Marce,

    Teddy eye kohl is my favorite eyeliner and I'm so sad that the Aura Science eye shadow I use is discontinued. It is soooo pretty!

  24. Hi Elle,

    Please practice! I've heard a lot of good things about UD eyeliners. I have one myself but I prefer the softness of MAC eye kohl instead.

  25. I've been a master at lining my eyes since I was 14, and this is a great tut!!!! love it!

  26. Hi J-Ezzy,

    Thank you so much! I started wearing eyeliner a lot later and I love it so much!

  27. This is very helpful. Thank you! I'm all for techniques and products that make applying eyeliner easier, which is why I was excited to hear about the Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil on The Beauty Girl website. It is smooth enough to glide on easily but not soft that it falls apart. And the smudger is a life saver.

  28. Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I love Sue Devitt eyeshadow. Have you tried it?


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