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How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner

Conquer your fear of liquid liner once and for all.
October 19, 2022


While many parts of applying makeup come naturally — you can probably manage to powder your face or apply lipstick without much trouble — other products, like liquid eyeliner, take a bit more practice to master. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should give up on lining your lids with liquid eyeliner. 

With the right steps, a little dedication, and the best liquid eyeliner in your arsenal, we’re confident you can master this makeup essential. If you’re ready to give it a try, read on to find out how to put on liquid eyeliner.

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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:

1. Prime Your Eyes

Eye primer isn’t only for eyeshadow. Primers can make eyeshadows 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, and you’ll lessen the likelihood of your eyeliner smudging or shifting as the day goes on.

2. Carefully Line Your Upper Lash Line

With your liquid  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. You can also start by creating small strokes or dots across your lash line, then go back and connect the dots to make one line.

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 want to add a wing, don’t stop just yet. Continue lining, gradually increasing the thickness of your eyeliner until you’re satisfied.

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 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.

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.

How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner on Your Lower Lash Line

Congratulations, you finally learned how to apply liquid eyeliner on your upper lash line. Now it’s time to focus on your lower lash line. Here’s how to do it.

1. Start at the Outer Edge

Instead of starting at the inner corner of your eye, you’ll need to start from the outer corner. Using your go-to liquid eyeliner, line the outer third of your lash line. If you have a winged look, be sure to extend the line outward to connect the wing.

2. Line the Center of Your Lash Line

Now that your outer edge is lined, continue the line from your outer third and extend it toward the center of your lash line. Be sure to place the brush as close as possible to the roots of your lashes for an even finish.

3. Finish With the Inner Corners

Your look is almost complete. Extend the line from the center of your lash line toward the inner corner of your eye. If you want to add some extra pizazz to your look, extend the line diagonally at your tear duct and connect it with your upper lash line to create a cat-like appearance.

Our Best Liquid Eyeliners

If you’re hoping to sharpen your liquid eyeliner skills, you’ll need a liquid eyeliner that you really love. Here are the best liquid eyeliner options:

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner

The felt tip allows for precise application, and the waterproof formula is smudge-resistant and transfer-proof for up to 30 hours of wear. This  eyeliner won’t skip, drag, or snag on your skin, and it’s suitable for sensitive eyes.

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. The quick dry formula also means you won’t have to worry about any smudges or color transfer.

L’Oréal Paris Matte Signature Liquid Dip Eyeliner, Waterproof

If you can’t get enough matte eye makeup in your routine, seal the deal with this liquid eyeliner. Equipped with a precision applicator and shortened stem that gets you closer to the eye, you’ll sculpt flawless eyeliner looks with every use.

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 precise wings, every time — though the look can be achieved with or without the eyeliner stencil.

L’Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner

Use this eyeliner’s tapered natural brush tip to give you control to create precise lines for dramatically bold looks, and it’s also perfect for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Next: 3 Tips For Doing Kitten Eyeliner

Edited and Photographed by: Témi Adebowale, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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