Liquid and gel eyeliners may be supremely popular at the moment, but think back to your early adventures with eye makeup. The eyeliner you wielded was likely a pencil and—if you were lucky—a retractable eyeliner pencil at that. The reason being, most of us were already used to working with pencils in classrooms and workplaces, making it all the easier to master how to use eyeliner with a pencil.
Now, back to the present. If you’re struggling to adapt to the trendiest types of eyeliner, it may be time to take another look at a classic option. Adding a retractable eyeliner back into your makeup routine could be the trick. Just twist up, and you can draw precise lines at your whim. And if those directions aren’t quite detailed enough for you, we’re sharing exactly how to use retractable eyeliner below. But first things first, let us fill you in our best retractable eyeliner for the job.
OUR BEST RETRACTABLE EYELINER
Before you can learn how to use retractable eyeliner, you need a retractable eyeliner to call your own. Otherwise, you won’t be able to follow along with our (extremely easy) tutorial! Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner, which features a mechanical pencil on one end and a convenient smudger on the other. The long-lasting, smudge-resistant formula is available in seven shades—carbon black, black, black brown, brown, navy, slate, and white—providing you with the freedom to create a variety of everyday eye makeup looks. Pick your favorite color(s), then it’s time to line.
HOW TO APPLY RETRACTABLE EYELINER
Follow our step-by-step makeup tutorial on how to use eyeliner of the retractable variety.
STEP #1: PRIME YOUR EYES
Here’s an important question, do you know what eye primer is for? If you’re thinking that priming your eyes is meant to make eye shadows last longer, you’re only half right! Eye primer can be a total savior for your eye shadows, but that isn’t its only use. Even when you aren’t wearing eye shadow, it’s a good idea to put on primer in order to make your eyeliner stay in place. That’s why before breaking out a retractable eyeliner you should apply a thin layer of primer to your eyelids.
STEP #2: PREPARE YOUR PENCIL
When it comes to using a retractable eyeliner, there isn’t much you have to do to get ready. There’s no need to reach for a pencil sharpener or locate a separate brush for applying; you’re basically good to go from the get-go. Wind up the pencil just a little—you don’t want to get overzealous and have the tip break off—then it’s time to apply.
STEP #3: LINE YOUR UPPER LASH LINE
Start sketching a thin line along your upper lash line, gently pressing the pencil into your lashes to avoid having any gaps. Continue lining, thickening the eyeliner until you’ve reached your desired look.
Editor’s note: If you think you might want to finish your line with a flick, check out our 7 Hacks for the Perfect Cat Eye.
STEP #4: LINE YOUR LOWER LASH LINE
Your lower lash line may be looking a little bare, so don’t sit your retractable pencil down just yet. Instead, use it to line along your lower lashes, but stop short of lining all the way to your tear duct. Lining just two-thirds of your lower lash line will be better suited for a daytime look and can even make your eyes look bigger.
STEP #5: SOFTEN YOUR LINES
Not everyone wants super-sharp eyeliner, and thankfully, the smudged-out look happens to be quite the beauty trend. If you’d prefer your eyeliner to look less harsh, all you need to do is flip your pencil over and use the smudger to blend your lines before they set.
STEP #6: TIGHTLINE YOUR EYES
Mascara can be a miracle worker, making lashes appear thicker and darker with a single coat, but eyeliner can actually do the same. To give your eyelashes a quick boost, tightline your eyes with black eyeliner. Pull up (gently!) on your eyelid to expose the upper waterline and carefully apply liner directly on the base of your lashes, filling in the base between the individual hairs.
STEP #7: COAT YOUR LASHES
Your lashes may look better than ever already, but don’t forget to sweep on a coat or two of mascara before calling it a day. If there’s one thing eyeliner can’t do, it’s make your lashes look longer! That’s where the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume comes in handy.
Want to learn the ins and outs of using a different type of eyeliner? In that case, you’ll need to click over and read The Ultimate Guide to Eyeliner. Happy lining!