5 Minutes reading time
In this post I’m talking about my preferred eyeliner tools and techniques, and I’ve also provided some useful tutorials and infographics for eyeliner that will suit all eye shapes.
The Slice: Eyeliner
I absolutely LOVE eyeliner. Granted I mainly love black eyeliner, but what I love most is how it transforms a look for me. I tend to amp up my makeup look with eyeliner more than lipstick, because I forget to reapply lipstick but you don’t have to worry about reapplying a good eyeliner (stress the GOOD). I can’t remember how long I’ve been lusting after Angelina Jolie’s feline flick eyeliner and how long it’s been inspiring my liner looks, but if I had to guess I’d say that it’s been over ten years, so suffice it to say that I feel pretty confident in applying that look and knowing some really good products to achieve it.
This slice is not just about winged eyeliner though! I’ll be talking different types of liner looks too.
Types of Liner
As another reminder; my blog is aimed at the everyday person that isn’t a beauty junkie, or just wants some more reading about makeup. In this post I am talking my favourite types of black liners available, but of course you can find many more than this available in the makeup market. Here I’m talking about: kohl, gel, pen and liquid liners.
Kohl/ kohl kajal eyeliners make me think about stealing a stump of a pencil from my mums makeup bag as a child. They’re timeless. They’re the basic white tee of a makeup collection. We’ve all had or used one at some point in our makeup lives. Have you ever wondered what the difference in names means?
Traditional, authentic Kajal is normally made with natural ingredients such as soot and and other organic, natural ingredients that have soothing properties. Traditional Kohl is made of pigments, powders and waxes, and so is less messy to apply than kajal. Real Kohl is a mineral that’s never been approved for cosmetics, because the way it’s mined means it always contains lead, hence why current kohl/kajal liners available on the market are not the true and authentic “kohl” or “kajal”liners, but products replicating the colour intensity and formulation.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl – £3.99 at Boots
Kohl eyeliners aren’t my favourite things in the world because of their messiness, and (as mentioned previously in what feels like every post this month!) I have an oily T-zone which sometimes affects my lids, and I also get watery eyes so I don’t often tightline my waterline nor try to create a smoked out liner with kohl because it tends to smudge too much for my liking – and not in the sexy Mila Kunis kind of way.
This Rimmel eyeliner is the best highstreet kohl liner I’ve used for tightlining the lids and for soft, smoky eyes (when blended very quickly after applying). If I do use this eyeliner on my lids, I tend to set it with a black eyeshadow (the Naked Basics palette has a really opaque matte black) applied with a detailer or smudge brush. A definite recommend if you too experience the non-sexy panda eye look thanks to oily, uncooperative lids.
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack – £16.50 from MAC
Naturally my preferred colour of choice when it comes to eyeliner is black, and this gel eyeliner is true black. I sometimes think that gel eyeliners are easier to apply than a liquid eyeliner, as their thicker consistency and use with a small, thin brush makes a perfect smooth line on the lid. I like to use pointed brush which looks more like a pen, like the Pixel Point brush from Real Techniques or the Angled Eyeliner brush from NYX, but you can also apply with an angled liner brush if you prefer. I also love using gel eyeliner for tightlining the waterline because I find that it sets better, and longer, than using kohl/kajal liners.
If you’re looking for a high street alternative I would really recommend the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Liner (£6.99 ay Boots or Superdrug) as the quality is VERY good, the pigment is really strong and it even comes with its own brush – so if you decide that you don’t like the product you can still keep the brush for something like pinpoint concealing.
Pen and liquid liners are definitely my two favourites eyeliners over any other. The benefit of using a pen liner is that they are so easy to control, the formulas are so easy to correct with a Q-tip (cotton bud) and there are so many fantastic quality pen liners that are available on the highstreet.
L’Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim – £6.99 at Boots or Superdrug
Soap and Glory Supercat – £6.00 at Boots
Collection Extreme 24h Liner – £2.99 at Boots or Superdrug
I have tried so many pen eyeliners and always come back to these three, but mainly the L’Oreal and Soap and Glory liners. I love the L’Oreal for it’s super thin and remarkably robust tip, which allows precision application close to the lashline. The Soap and Glory has a slightly thicker felt tip which is great for quicker application if you’re not worried about a thicker line if you’re in a rush. The Supercat is super pigmented and doesn’t dry out quickly (an issue you’ll often find with felt tip liners) and it really stays all day. The Collection Extreme liner is a good dupe for the Supercat with a very similar size and shape tip, but I do find that the product itself is slightly more watery and less easy to control, however it’s still a great option if you have a little more time to spend on your application.
My absolute favourite eyeliner type, and one I could write about extensively. I can even remember the first eyeliner I ever bought (the L’Oreal Lineur Intense) and I continued to use it for five years before branching out to a new one. But I won’t continue to write too extensively as that will bore you, so I’ll try and narrow it down to my current Top 3.
Lancome Grandiose Liner – £23 at Boots
L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Eyeliner Ultra Precision Black – £6.49 at Superdrug
Collection 2000 Fast Stroke – £2.99 at Superdrug
Rimmel Glam Eyes – £5.29 at Boots or Superdrug
Okay, so I couldn’t settle for three, and what is quite clear here is that I really like a liquid liner, and specifically one with a tapered foam or felt tip applicator. These applicators are so easy to work with due to their flexible rigidity (what an oxymoron), and if you get a good one you can work with them to create a really thin line or a really thick line depending on the heaviness of your hand and the particular area of the sponge that you are applying with.
With both the Lancome and Loreal liners they are best if you”shake to wake” them – meaning vigorously shake the little bottle and you will feel like you have a mini maraca or rattlesnake, and then the product inside will have been broken up and more workable. Something about the formula of these liners means that they dry out quite quickly, which is a great benefit for quick and long lasting application, but also why you need to shake the bottle before applying the liner itself. These two are my absolute favourite liners right now, and I use them interchangeably depending on which one I absentmindedly pick up.
The Collection Fast Stroke is such a legendary eyeliner and for £2.99 it really packs a punch. The only thing to be aware of is that the formula is quite liquidy and the applicator does not “soak” much of the product up (compared to the Lancome) so it’s important to dispense some of the product by wiping off the excess on the bottle (like you would with nail varnish) before application. The same can be said for the Rimmel Glam Eyes, which has a very thin brush applicator, and has a similarly thin – but opaque! -consistency. The Glam Eyes is particularly good if you want a super thin, close as possible to the lash line liner, and one that you can build and create a fantastic wing with if you have time to do lots of little strokes to make it happen.
In this post I’m not going to include any specific YouTube tutorials, because there are just SO MANY. I would recommend that if you are a visual learner then head over to YouTube and type in the type of look that you want to learn how to apply, and I promise you will not be short of results. If you really want to start somewhere, I’m going to include a link to this playlist of over 20 different “How to Apply Eyeliner” tutorials:
Below are three images that show you various different eyeliner looks to suit your eyes, how to apply winged liner in six steps and a selection of eyeliner looks for you to try out!
The Best Look for your Eye Shape
How great is this infographic from Smashbox?! It combines all of the elements from the Eyes post, and also shows you what liner would look great on your eye shape too! I love it!
6 Steps to a Perfect Wing
Winged liner is something I get asked about all the time, and this is another really good picture to show you how to create your perfect winged liner quickly in 6 steps. For beginners I would recommend using a pen liner for to practice this winged liner look (like the L’Oreal Super Liner), as you’ll have more command over your hand and the product to create the lines. Try using the the pen tip flush to your lid so that you are almost stamping the product in a line for even quicker application.
Just when you thought “surely there’s not that many ways to apply eyeliner” you see the above image and think “…okay.” Any of the above with a more crisp line would be best created with a pen or liquid liner, and anything slightly more smudged are best created with kohl or gel liners smudged out before the product dries.
I’m going to draw the line here and guess that this is enough to go on for one post? I hope you’ve found some new liner inspiration or even a new look that you want to try out. Let me know what your favourite liners are, as I’m forever on the hunt for the next best one! See you next time where I’ll be talking lashes.