We won’t deny it, not every aspect of applying makeup comes naturally—we’re looking at you, liquid eyeliner. You can probably manage to powder your face or apply a lipstick without too much trouble, but other products take a bit more practice—one of those being liquid eyeliner. No one, and we mean no one, uses liquid liner for the very first time and creates a perfect wing—although that would be nice. Thankfully, you don’t have to give up on lining your lids with liquid eyeliner. With the right steps, a little dedication, and the very best liquid eyeliner in your arsenal, we’re confident you can master this makeup essential. Ready to give it a try? Read on to find out how to apply liquid eyeliner. Plus, stick around until the end for our best drugstore liquid eyeliners—including waterproof liquid eyeliner options—and favorite liquid eyeliner-centric makeup looks.
HOW TO APPLY LIQUID EYELINER
Applying liquid eyeliner doesn’t require any complicated hacks, simply follow these four steps for how to put on liquid eyeliner until you have it down:
STEP 1: PRIME YOUR EYES
Surprise, eye primer isn’t only for eye shadow. It’s true that primer can make eye shadows wear evenly and apply easier, and the same can be said for eyeliner. Dab a small amount of primer onto your lids to create a base for your eyeliner. That way, you’ll lessen the likelihood of your eyeliner smudging or shifting as the day goes on. After all, no one wants to end the day with their eyeliner only semi-intact.
STEP 2: CAREFULLY LINE YOUR UPPER LASH LINE
It’s time to break out your liquid eyeliner. With the eyeliner in hand, begin creating a thin line along your upper lash line. Press the eyeliner into your lashes, getting as close as you can, to avoid having a gap between your lashes and eyeliner. Once you have a slim line all the way across your lid, it’s up to you if you want to keep going. Stick with a thin line if you’re after a subtle, lash thickening effect. If you’d prefer a bolder look, or might want to add a wing, don’t stop just yet. Continue lining, gradually increasing the thickness of your eyeliner until you’re satisfied.
STEP 3: CLEAN UP WITH A COTTON SWAB
Is your eyeliner not quite as perfect as you had hoped? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. A cotton swab dipped in micellar water is all you’ll need to fix any mistakes. Saturate a swab in the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, then clean up your line. When you’re done, you’ll have this oh-so-simple step to thank for everyone assuming you’re an expert at applying liquid eyeliner.
STEP 4: REPEAT!
Like we said, applying liquid eyeliner flawlessly requires practice. So, don’t wait until you have a special occasion to give it a try. Whenever you have the chance, practice. And then practice some more. The first few times might be a struggle, but after repeating these steps enough, they’ll practically be instinctive.
OUR BEST LIQUID EYELINERS
If you’re going to be sharpening your liquid eyeliner skills, you’ll need a liquid eyeliner that you really love. Here are our best liquid eyeliner options:
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner: This long-lasting, brush tip waterproof liquid eyeliner is just what you need to create a smudge-free cat eye look. The removable wing stencil helps you get perfectly precise wings, every time—though the look can be achieved with or without the cat eyeliner stencil.
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Liquid Eyeliner: This felt tip liquid eyeliner has a long-lasting, waterproof formula with a high shine finish, and it comes in classic black and trendy rose gold. Apply it using the flexible control tip for both subtle and sharp lines.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner: This skinny liquid eyeliner, available in black, brown, and gray, allows you to create precise, smudge-proof makeup looks.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Eyeliner: In addition to the standard shades you expect to see liquid eyeliners in, this felt tip liquid eyeliner comes in fun shades—like blue and teal—for transforming any eye makeup look.
L’Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner: Prefer a brush tip? This eyeliner’s tapered natural brush gives you control to create precise lines for dramatically bold looks.
4 LIQUID EYELINER LOOKS TO TRY
Not sure how to put your liquid eyeliner to use? We’re sharing four ideas for how to wear liquid eyeliner.
LIQUID EYELINER LOOK #1: BLACK ALL THE WAY AROUND
Don’t you just love that edgy, rock ‘n roll look? Well, thankfully, you don’t have to be in an ultra-cool band to try the look for yourself. All you’ll need is black liquid eyeliner. Instead of only lining along your upper lash line, continue your eyeliner all the way around your eyes—even in the inner corner. And the best part is, if you’re going for a grungy look, you don’t even have to be perfect with your application. A little messiness lends itself to the look. Just finish up with a couple of coats of mascara, and you’re good to go!
LIQUID EYELINER LOOK 2: ROSE GOLD CAT EYE
Cat eyes are always black…or are they? There’s no reason your winged eyeliner absolutely has to be black. In fact, rocking a lighter hue is perfectly suited to summer. To stay on-trend, try using a rose gold liquid eyeliner to line your eyes. The classic eyeliner shape will be totally reinvented when paired with an of the moment color. All you’ll need to round out the look is a metallic rose gold lip color to match.
LIQUID EYELINER LOOK 3: TEAL LOWER LASH LINE
Most of the time, when you see someone wearing liquid eyeliner, it’s on their eyelids. However, there’s nothing stopping you from sporting it on your lower lash line instead. Take any boring makeup look to the next level by adding a pop of color with a swipe of teal liquid eyeliner on your lower lash line.
LIQUID EYELINER LOOK 4: BROWN AGAINST YOUR LASHES
If most liquid eyeliner looks are a little too noticeable for your taste, we know just the thing. Place a super-thin line of brown liquid eyeliner against your upper lashes for a subtle effect. Your lashes will look a little thicker, but it won’t be too obvious. Wear a little brown mascara, too, and you’ll have the eye makeup portion of your no makeup, makeup look down.
Next up: Liquid eyeliner doesn’t go on the waterline, which is why you won’t see mention of it here. To get the scoop on that topic, click over to our article, How to Apply Eyeliner to Your Waterline.