One of the most classic forms of eyeliner is pencil eyeliner. It’s safe to say this eye makeup product should be a staple in your makeup bag, but if you don’t know how to apply pencil eyeliner, it can be a bit overwhelming to bring its pointy tip close to your eye. That’s why we’re here to help. Below, we’re sharing our top tips—including how to sharpen eyeliner—on applying pencil eyeliner, so you can get a seriously stunning eye makeup look. Read on!
TIP #1. KEEP IT SHARP
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you’re working with a sharpened eyeliner pencil. A dull point can make it difficult to create precise, sleek lines! To sharpen your pencil eyeliner, all you need is to pick up a sharpener. Eyeliner sharpeners come in different sizes depending on the eyeliner you’re using—find one that’s a match for your pencil, and you should be good to go. The process is the same as sharpening a school pencil: Place the tip in the hole and twist until it’s sharpened to your liking.
There are also mechanical or retractable eyeliner pencils that simply twist up. If you hate sharpening your eyeliner, these might be the move for you.
TIP #2. KEEP IT TAUT
If you’re lining your upper lid, it’s important to gently hold your skin so that it’s firm while you apply your pencil eyeliner. To do so, place your pointer finger on the end of your brow and hold your skin taut without pulling at your face.
TIP #3. CONNECT THE DOTS
Creating a sleek, straight line can be intimidating, but you don’t have to do it in one sweep! Instead, create a few dots along your lash line where you’d like to apply your pencil eyeliner. Then, connect the dots little by little for a flawless line. This is a foolproof method for when you’re trying something a bit more adventurous, like a wing!
TOP #4. BE PREPARED FOR TOUCH UPS
Nobody’s perfect, and even using the dot method above, you may make a mistake or two when applying your pencil eyeliner. Luckily, a bit of micellar water and a cotton swab is all you need for any quick fixes. Simply dip the tip in the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types and wipe away any offending smudges as needed.
TIP #5. LINE YOUR WATERLINE
Pencil eyeliner doesn’t have to be reserved for your upper lash line. In fact, it’s actually a great option for lining your waterline. Use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Nude to do just that. The nude shade will help create the appearance of brighter and wider eyes.
TIP #6. SET YOUR LINE
The trick to increasing your pencil liner’s staying power? Setting it with a coordinating eyeshadow. Yup, just like you set your face with a powder, using eyeshadow to set your liner will keep it from fading or smudging. Use a matte shadow and a thin, flat eyeshadow brush to press the eyeshadow on top of your line.
TIP #7. PLAY WITH COLOR
Who said you have to stick to neutral eyeliner shades? Swap out a traditional black or brown hue for an option that’s more out-of-the-box, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in True Teal or Purple, to spice up your makeup look.
If you prefer retractable pencils, like we mentioned, you can also try the L’Oréal Paris Le Liner Signature Easy-Glide Mechanical Eyeliner, Waterproof in Blue Jersey or Violet Wool.
TIP #8. SMUDGE IT OUT
For the easiest smoky look ever, pencil eyeliner is just what you need. Use it to line your lower lash line, then before it dries, take a cotton swab or your fingertip and gently smudge the line for a smoked-out effect.
TIP #9. TIGHTLINE YOUR UPPER LASH LINE
Don’t feel like wearing noticeable eyeliner but want to give your lashes an added boost? You can use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black to tightline your upper lash line. This will fill in any spaces between your lashes for an instantly fuller-looking fringe. Need we say more?