Eye Makeup

What is Tightlining? Everything You Need to Know About this Invisible Eyeliner Technique

Have you heard of tightlining? No, we aren’t talking about taking a walk on a tightrope. Tightlighting, also known as invisible eyeliner, is an eye makeup technique. With a little bit of well-placed eyeliner, you can instantly upgrade your makeup look—and the best part is that it isn’t difficult to do! Keep reading to find out how to tightline your eyes, our best eyeliner for tightlining, and a few other eyeliner techniques to try in your next beauty look!

What is Tightlining or Invisible Eyeliner?

Still wondering what tightlining is? This eyeliner technique involves lining your upper waterline to create the appearance of thicker, more defined lashes. Tightlining’s other moniker, invisible eyeliner, comes from the fact that this technique makes it appear as if you aren’t wearing any eyeliner at all—your eyes will appear extra amazing, but no one will know exactly why.

How to tightline your eyes

So how do you go about tightlining your eyes? Follow the steps below to become a tightlining pro.

Step #1: Wash your hands

Before getting down to business, it’s important to make sure your hands are clean since you’ll be working close to your eyes. Of course, this is a good rule before applying any sort of makeup—it never hurts to take a few minutes to suds up before beautifying yourself.

Step #2: Gently hold your upper eyelid in place

In order to tightline your upper waterline, you’ll have to gently lift your upper eyelid so you can properly line your waterline without poking yourself in the eye. Take care while doing this step since the skin around your eyes is extra delicate.

Step #3: Line your upper waterline

Now, it’s time to get to tightlining! Use a black pencil liner to gently line your upper waterline. Look up as you do this to expose your waterline. As you line, be sure to press the pencil against your lashes for a truly volumizing effect.

Bonus step: Line your lower waterline

To take your look up a notch, you can also line your lower waterline. Since this will be more obvious than your invisible liner, consider using a nude liner like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Nude. The nude shade will also create the illusion of larger, more awake eyes, so give this a try the next time you don’t manage to catch a full night’s sleep.

Our best eyeliner for getting an invisible eyeliner look

You’re officially in the know about tightlining, so we can assume you’ll soon be on the hunt for the perfect eyeliner to try this technique with. Look no further than the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black. This eyeliner’s creamy formula is waterproof which makes it ideal to use on your waterline. After using it to line your eyes, you can breathe easy knowing you don’t have to worry about smudged, smeared eyeliner ending up underneath your eyes.

4 Other eyeliner techniques to try

Tightlining isn’t the only eye makeup technique that can take your look to the next level. We’ve rounded up four more eyeliner techniques to incorporate into your makeup look.

Eyeliner technique #1: Winged liner

Winged eyeliner is a classic eyeliner look that’s perfect for your next night out. It involves lining your upper lash line and creating a “wing” starting at the outer corner of your eye and extending outward. Want to get the look? Read our article, How to Achieve Your Sharpest Winged Eyeliner Look, for a step-by-step tutorial.

Eyeliner technique #2: Skinny liner

Love the idea of tightlining but afraid to line your upper waterline? We understand. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice a defined lash look if you haven’t quite gotten the hang of tightlining. Create a variation of invisible eyeliner by lining directly above your lashes. Make sure to stay as close to your lashes as possible and create a super thin line for that invisible, thickened effect.

Eyeliner technique #3: Smudged liner

Looking for an edgy, sultry eyeliner option? Smudged eyeliner is the technique for you! As the name implies, this eyeliner technique involves purposefully smudging your liner for a soft, perfectly undone look. Check out our article, How to Wear Smudged Black Eyeliner, for everything you need to know.

Eyeliner technique #4: Inner corner liner

Want something that’s fierce without being over the top? Try lining the inner corner of your eye. Even better, use a colored eyeliner to brighten up your look and add a pop of unexpected color.

In need of more eyeliner tips and tricks? Head over to our article, The Ultimate Guide to Eyeliner.