DOWNTOWN’s Eyeliner Guide

Photo: Courtesy
Photo: Courtesy
Photo: Courtesy

It’s a scene we’re all too familiar with: sitting in front of your vanity and you’ve got one thing on your mind, “Am I going to conquer today’s eyeliner application or will it conquer me?” Applying that perfect cat-eyed wing is something we all strive to achieve but not all are successful in the process. A slight shift in the wrist and the process goes awry. It’s so easy to screw up, but if you know the basics, you’ll have elongated wings that are both sharp and fierce.

The application of eyeliner consists of two key things: Symmetry and a descending wing from thick to thin. You’ll come across three primary types of eyeliner: gel, liquid, and felt tip. The initial step to a perfect wing is deciding which is most preferential.

Gel eyeliners are known for precision. Their thick consistency allows for a more solidified application with a much faster drying rate than the latter two types of liner. In combination with the right brush and a bit of practice, gel liner is your go-to choice. Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner comes in twelve shades and lasts for a whole 12 hours. Its water-proof formula guarantees maximum wear. Using the right brush makes all the difference as well. The best brushes for gel liners tend to be ultra fine eyeliner brushes, because of their stout bristles, which work well when drawing close to the lash line.

Liquid eyeliner is for the more daring souls. Liquid eyeliner takes longer to dry and the brushes are less precise, and they tend to get messy. But liquid liners are known for being the most pigmented and emit the truest depths of black when applying. Sephora’s Stila’- Stay All Day, is waterproof and has a variety of 15 shades. Liquid liners have an advantage over gel liners because of their loose consistency, as opposed to gels which may skip or clump if you aren’t cautious.

Felt tip eyeliners are probably the easiest to apply because of their marker-like exterior. Felt tip users have the ultimate control when applying, and NYX’s felt tip liner is a great option. With its slight pigmentation and its pen-like model, they produce an even flow of product which allows beginners to gradually build the wing step-by-step. The only downside is that felt tip liners tend to dry out gradually as air hits them, leaving them with a short shelf life.

Regardless of which liner you prefer, there are ways to increase the pigmentation and ensure a precise application.

Tip one: Use a matte black eyeshadow to pack it in. Much like using a setting powder to set your foundation, your eyeliner works just the same. Lightly dip your brush into black shadow to ensure the longevity of the wing.

Tip two: Are you a beginner? No problem: just use a piece of scotch tape to follow the curve of your eye, beginning from the lower lash liner. You won’t have to worry about application with this trick because it’s a definite way to create the perfect line.

Tip three: Draw to the shape of your eye. We all have different eye shapes, whether they’re almond, round, deep set, or protruding. The only way you’ll know what looks best is to practice – there isn’t one universal wing!

Tip four: It’s a general rule to avoid drawing your liner looking downward because you lose the crease of your eye. Once you look upward, you may have drawn the wing within the perimeter of your natural crease which makes for a truly messy end result.

Tip five: If you need further guidance to achieve beautiful eyeliner symmetry, try out the Beth Bender Beauty Cat Eye Makeup & Smokey Eye Makeup Stencils a la Carte. These stencils give an easy template for you to hold up and trace on to your eye, creating the perfect shape.

Once you’ve decided which type of liner works best for you, the only other thing to do is practice. Even the best liner applicants run into occasional trouble! But DOWNTOWN’s eyeliner guide will surely help minimize the mess.

 -By Yasmine Rimawi