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Some things are intuitive, but we can all agree that eyeliner is not one of those. This advanced skill tends to be one of the hardest aspects of makeup application to master, especially if you don’t know all the best tips and tricks. If only there was a guide. Oh, wait…Whether you like smudged or skinny, winged, or waterline, we’re sharing the best makeup techniques for a variety of eyeliner styles.
Not only does smudged eyeliner offer an on-trend grungy vibe, it’s also supremely easy. If you happen to mess up, just keep smudging and you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s all part of your slept-in style.
1. Smudge out pencils. Smudging out pencil eyeliners is a classic makeup technique for a reason. These pencils even tend to come with smudging sponges on one end—talk about the perfect pairing. Just draw your line, then flip over to smudge.
2. Use eye shadow. You can apply eyeliner without ever picking up a pencil or pen. All you really need is an eye shadow and a smudging brush. The L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow comes in a wide range of colors and finishes, so you’ve got plenty of options.
3. Wear primer. Priming your eyelids isn’t a technique reserved for eye shadow application—it can help with your eyeliner, too! Smooth on a primer before you pull out your pencil. You’ll be able to smudge your eyeliner immediately after applying, but once it sets, you’re good to go. (And you won’t have to deal with unwanted transferring or smearing.)
Cat eyes can be a lot of things. Retro, edgy, and classic—to name a few. Another descriptor that’s undeniable? Difficult. Once you’ve mastered winged eyeliner, though, you can do it all. Try these makeup techniques to get there.
1. Break out the tape. If you’re struggling to create a cat eye, it’s time to get crafty. All you’ll need is basic adhesive or washi tape to help make clean, sharp lines. Place a piece of tape going from the out corner of your eye, up towards the ends of your brows. Paint on your liner as you please, then remove the tape. You’ll reveal a crisp wing that’s totally on point.
2. Look down. So simple, but so worthwhile. Start looking down, rather than straight ahead or upwards, when you’re winging out your liner. Looking into a mirror that’s below you gives you a view of your eyelid that’s unobstructed by lashes and makes for much easier application. A super-sharp wing is easiest to create with either a gel or liquid liner. For gel fans, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner 24H. The smooth-gliding brush and gel formula allow for easy application and the ability to customize your line. Liquid liner devotees should pick up a felt tip pen liner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner. The fine tip gives you total control, allowing you to create sleek and sophisticated eye designs in one stroke.
3. Correct with micellar water. As much as we hate to say it, no makeup technique is completely foolproof. Thankfully, when you do make a mistake, all isn’t lost. If you aren’t happy with your flick, it can be fixed. Saturate a cotton swab with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, then all you have to do is wipe away any mistakes.
“Waterline” may be a new term for your vocabulary, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of this makeup technique. This thin line of skin between your eyelashes and eye opens up a whole slew of new eyeliner application options.
1. Try tightlining. For a bolder eye and fuller-looking lashes, create an “invisible eyeliner” effect by tightlining your eyes. Tightlining requires pulling up gently (and we mean gently!) on your eyelid to expose the upper waterline, where the base of your lashes are. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte-Matic Liner is a mechanical eyeliner that applies softly while giving rich, buildable intensity.
2. Close your eyes. Tightlining isn’t only a trick for your top lashline, it also doubles as a way to line your lower waterline. Right after you’ve tightlined, close your eyes. Firmly shutting your eyes will transfer the color along your bottom lashes, completing your look in just one blink.
3. Apply nude eyeliner. Don’t forget, you aren’t confined to black eyeliner. To make eyes seem bigger and brighter, grab a nude eyeliner. Line your lower waterline and the inner corner of your eyes for an eye-opening effect.
For those looking to stand out with their eyeliner choices, go for color. Adding a bold shade to your eyes make for a completely chic look.
1. Layer colors over white. Before you dive into using colors, try this tip. Draw your line in white using either the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner in White or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Eyeliner in White Party first, then add your color overtop. The color will become even more vivid-looking thanks to the white base.
2. Create an ombré effect. Instead of relying on only one color, try two or three. Fade from one shade into another for a trendy gradated look.
3. Place pigment on the lower lashline. For an unexpected touch of color, use neutral hues on your eyelid and leave color for your lower lashline.
Sometimes you only want the slightest, subtlest touch of eyeliner. We’re talking super-skinny. That doesn’t leave much room for error, which is why you need all the tips and tricks you can get.
1. Press against your lash line. To keep your line as thin as can be, draw as close to your lashes as possible using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Sculpt Eyeliner. Pressing your liner into your lashes will help stabilize your hand for a steady, skinny line.
2. Draw a dotted line. There’s no reason you have to line your eyes all at once. It’s actually easier if you work in sections. Draw a dotted line along your lash line first. Then, all you have to do is pay connect the dots and you have a seamless, skinny line.
3. Use a stencil. If your liner always seems to end up oversized, try using a stencil. Place a stencil as close to your lashes as you can, then line. The stencil will force you to color inside the lines and keep your eyeliner from getting too thick.
Get even more eyeliner ideas by checking out our article, 5 New Eyeliner Trends You Need to Try for Spring 2017.