How to Apply Eyeliner: A Step-by-Step Guide

Applying eyeliner can be a daunting task for many, but with the right technique and a little practice, you can achieve a flawless look that enhances your eyes and adds a touch of glamour to your overall makeup. In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying eyeliner, from choosing the right product to mastering different techniques. Whether you prefer a subtle, natural look or a bold, dramatic one, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in!

Choosing the Right Eyeliner

Before we delve into the application process, it’s important to choose the right eyeliner for your needs. There are several types of eyeliners available in the market, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some popular options:

  • Pencil Eyeliner: Pencil eyeliners are easy to use and great for beginners. They come in a variety of colors and finishes, making them versatile for different looks. However, they tend to smudge more easily compared to other types.
  • Liquid Eyeliner: Liquid eyeliners offer precision and intense pigmentation. They are ideal for creating sharp, defined lines. However, they require a steady hand and some practice to master.
  • Gel Eyeliner: Gel eyeliners come in a pot and are applied with a brush. They offer the precision of liquid eyeliners with a more forgiving application. They are long-lasting and smudge-proof, making them a popular choice.

Consider your skill level, desired look, and personal preferences when choosing the right eyeliner for you.

Preparing Your Eyes

Before applying eyeliner, it’s important to prepare your eyes to ensure a smooth and long-lasting application. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Cleanse and Moisturize: Start by cleansing your face and removing any makeup residue. Follow up with a gentle moisturizer to hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes.
  2. Prime Your Lids: Applying an eyeshadow primer or a concealer on your eyelids will create a smooth canvas for the eyeliner and help it adhere better.
  3. Set with Powder: Dust a translucent powder over your eyelids to set the primer and prevent creasing.

Applying Eyeliner: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that your eyes are prepped, it’s time to apply the eyeliner. Follow these steps for a flawless application:

  1. Step 1: Choose Your Technique: There are various eyeliner techniques to choose from, including tightlining, winged liner, and smudged liner. Decide which technique you want to master and proceed accordingly.
  2. Step 2: Start with a Light Hand: It’s easier to build up the intensity of the eyeliner gradually rather than applying too much product at once. Start with a light hand and increase the intensity as desired.
  3. Step 3: Steady Your Hand: Rest your elbow on a flat surface to steady your hand and prevent any shaky lines. This will help you achieve a more precise application.
  4. Step 4: Begin at the Inner Corner: Start applying the eyeliner from the inner corner of your eye, working your way towards the outer corner. This will create a more natural and seamless look.
  5. Step 5: Connect the Dots: If you struggle with creating a straight line, try applying small dots along your lash line and then connect them. This technique can help you achieve a more even and symmetrical look.
  6. Step 6: Wing it Out: If you’re going for a winged liner look, use a small angled brush or a piece of tape as a guide to create a precise wing. Extend the line from the outer corner of your eye towards the end of your eyebrow.
  7. Step 7: Fill in the Gaps: Once you have the basic shape, go back and fill in any gaps or uneven areas. Use short, feathery strokes for a more natural look.
  8. Step 8: Set with Eyeshadow: To ensure your eyeliner stays in place all day, set it with a matching eyeshadow. Use a small angled brush to apply the eyeshadow over the eyeliner, locking it in.

Troubleshooting Common Eyeliner Issues

Even with practice, applying eyeliner can sometimes be challenging. Here are some common issues and how to troubleshoot them:

  • Smudging: If your eyeliner tends to smudge, try setting it with a matching eyeshadow or using a waterproof formula. You can also apply a thin layer of translucent powder over the eyeliner to absorb any excess oil.
  • Uneven Lines: Uneven lines can be frustrating, but they can be fixed by going back with a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover and gently correcting any mistakes. Alternatively, you can use a small angled brush to smudge and blend the eyeliner for a softer look.
  • Shaky Hands: If you struggle with shaky hands, try resting your elbow on a flat surface to steady your hand. You can also try using short, light strokes instead of attempting to draw a continuous line.


1. How do I choose the right eyeliner color?

When choosing an eyeliner color, consider your eye color and the look you want to achieve. Black and brown eyeliners are versatile and suit most eye colors. If you want to make your eyes pop, consider using a colored eyeliner that complements your eye color. For example, purple eyeliner can enhance green eyes, while navy blue can make brown eyes stand out.

2. How do I prevent my eyeliner from smudging?

To prevent smudging, make sure to set your eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow or a translucent powder. Additionally, opt for long-wearing or waterproof formulas that are less likely to smudge throughout the day.

3. What is tightlining?

Tightlining is a technique where you apply eyeliner to the upper waterline, between the lashes. This creates the illusion of fuller lashes and adds definition to your eyes without an obvious eyeliner look.</

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