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Once upon a time, you probably rimmed your eyes in black eyeliner—after all, this was one of the biggest makeup trends of the ‘90s. And now this beauty trend—along with fashion from the decade (like platform slip-ons and overalls)—is back! The makeup technique of rimming your eyes with eyeliner requires placing eyeliner on your waterline, a.k.a. the inner rim of your eyelid. This makeup technique can be tricky to pull off, as eyeliner can often disappear when applied here. But you can do it—if you know which eyeliner to use on your waterline and how to apply it correctly. Below, learn about our best eyeliner for your waterline and find step-by-step instructions for applying eyeliner on your waterline.
Before you pick up any ol’ eyeliner, hear us out: You’re going to want to use a pencil eyeliner for this task. Our best eyeliner for your waterline? That’d be the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner, which comes in eight colors: black, purple, cobalt blue, teal, forest green, nude, grey, and brown. This waterproof eyeliner, which is suitable to use on the inner rim in the waterline, glides on easily and has a smudge-resistant formula that lasts.
While applying black eyeliner to your waterline offers a classic makeup look, consider using eyeliner in a brighter hue, like purple or cobalt blue, for an updated take on this makeup trend. Another option: Lining your waterline with nude eyeliner can help brighten the look of your eyes, so keep that in mind for whenever your face needs a little perking up.
Now that you know which eyeliner to use to line your waterline, it’s time to actually get to the main event: applying eyeliner to your waterline! Start by using eyeliner on your upper waterline—a technique that’s also referred to as tightlining—following these simple steps:
Use your ring finger to gently—seriously, ever so gently—lift your upper lid and expose the waterline beneath your upper lash line.
Use a cotton swab to soak up any extra moisture that could interfere with your eyeliner application.
Simply swipe your eyeliner along the dried area of lash line real estate and voila—you’ve done it! Just make sure to look straight into the mirror and slightly tilt your head down while you’re lining your waterline.
Once you’re done applying eyeliner to your upper waterline, move on to your lower waterline by following our tutorial.
Looking head on, you won’t be able to see your full waterline. To achieve a perfectly lined waterline, you’ll want to gently pull your lower lid down using your ring finger. Again, be gentle!
Do the same as you did with your upper waterline, using a cotton swab to remove excess moisture.
Once you’ve done that, pop the top off of your eyeliner and trace it along the exposed area. Continue swiping eyeliner on until you’ve achieved the full color intensity you’re looking for.
If you plan to line both your upper and lower waterline, we know a little trick for doing so in one step! Working on one eye at a time, tightline your upper waterline and close your eyes before the product dries. When you shut your eye, the color will transfer from to your lower waterline. Repeat on your other eye and you’re good to go. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
You officially know how to apply eyeliner to your waterline! At the end of the day, you’ll want to remove your eyeliner with a gentle makeup remover since this makeup technique involves applying eyeliner so close to your eye. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types. Simply saturate a cotton pad and gently swipe the pad over your eye makeup. If there’s any lingering liner on your waterline, go in with a cotton swab that’s been dipped in the same micellar water.
Ready to try your hand at another eye makeup trend? Read our article on How to Do Color-Blocked Eyeliner next. Trust us, sometimes two eyeliners are better than one!