Eyeliner 101: Hacks, Tip & Techniques From The Experts
Eyeliner 101: Hacks, Tip & Techniques From The Experts

Eyeliner 101: Hacks, Tip & Techniques From The Experts

10 minutes read

Eyes are the windows to the soul – and eyeliner is the perfect tool to enhance and define them. Whether you’re a make-up enthusiast or just starting to experiment, mastering the art of eyeliner can take your eye make-up game to new heights. Here, Beauty Daily delves into the world of eyeliner – exploring trending and iconic looks, discussing various types of eyeliners, and providing expert tips and techniques to help you achieve flawless results. So get ready to elevate your eyeliner game. 

Trending and iconic eyeliner looks 

Graphic arrow liner 

Graphic arrow eyeliner eye make-up

The graphic arrow liner is striking, adding a bold and edgy vibe to your eyes. To achieve this attention-grabbing style, create a thin line along your upper lash line using a precise eyeliner brush or a gel eyeliner. Next, extend the line slightly past the outer corner of your eye for a winged effect. Next, draw a diagonal line from the outer corner of your eye towards the end of your eyebrow, creating a sharp angle. Next, fill in the triangle formed by the diagonal line and the upper lash line, ensuring a smooth and precise line. Finally, connect the triangle to your upper lash line, seamlessly blending the lines. 

Fishtail liner 

Fishtail eyeliner make-up look

The fishtail liner is a perfect choice if you’re in the mood for a playful and whimsical look. To perfect it, create a classic winged liner by drawing a thin line along your upper lash line and extending it outward. Once you’ve created the wing, draw a short line perpendicular to the wing, pointing it towards the centre of your eyelid. Connect the end of the perpendicular line to your upper lash line, creating a triangle shape. Fill in the triangle with your eyeliner, ensuring a smooth and even application. 

Natural liner 

Natural eyeliner make-up look

A natural liner is a go-to option for a more subtle and everyday look, as it enhances your eyes without appearing too heavy or dramatic. Choose a soft brown, grey or taupe eyeliner pencil that complements your eye colour. Next, gently line your upper lash line, staying close to the roots of your lashes. Use short, feathery strokes to create a soft, smudged effect – and if desired, you can also apply a thin line to your lower lash line for added definition. 

Thick-winged liner 

Thick-winged eyeliner make-up look

The thick winged liner is a timeless choice for those seeking a dramatic and fierce look. Start by drawing a thick line along your upper lash line using a liquid or gel eyeliner with a fine brush tip. Next, extend the line beyond the outer corner of your eye, creating a winged effect. The length and angle of the wing are up to you, depending on the level of drama you desire. Once you’ve drawn the wing, connect it to the rest of your upper lash line, ensuring a smooth and continuous line. You can thicken the line by going over it again, making it more prominent and bold. 

Blue liner 

Blue eyeliner 

Blue eyeliner is your new go-to for a pop of colour and a playful twist. Starting from the inner corner of your upper lash line, line your eyes with a vibrant blue eyeliner, following the natural shape of your eyes. You can keep the line thin for a subtle pop of colour or build it up for a more intense look.  

Reverse winged liner 

Reverse winged eyeliner look

For a unique twist on the classic winged liner, the reverse winged liner creates a captivating and eye-catching look. Start by applying your eyeliner along your lower lash line, extending it slightly outward. Instead of flicking the wing upward, draw a line that curves downward, following the shape of your lower lash line. Next, connect the curved line to your upper lash line, creating a reverse wing shape, before filling in the winged area, ensuring a smooth and even application. 

Read: The best eyeliner tips for hooded eyes

Smoky liner 

Smoky eyeliner 

The smoky liner is a sultry and seductive look that adds depth and intensity to your eyes. Start by applying a neutral or dark eyeshadow shade to your eyelids, focusing on the outer corner and crease area. Choose a smudgeable eyeliner pencil in a smoky shade and line your upper and lower lash lines with it, ensuring the lines are soft but slightly smudged. Use a smudging brush or a cotton swab to blend the liner. You can apply a darker eyeshadow shade along the upper and lower lash lines to intensify the look, smudging it with eyeliner. 

Types of eyeliner 

“Different eyeliners are suited to different make-up looks, eye shapes and techniques,” explains make-up artist Aimee Connolly. “The ultimate smoky eye calls for a pigmented pencil liner for smudging and effortless blending into your eyeshadow – or comfortably lining your waterline. For precision, use a gel or liquid eyeliner with a steady hand,” she continues. Are you getting creative with different wing shapes? Try a fast-drying pen eyeliner for maximum definition.  

Black eye marker 

Black eye markers are pen-style eyeliners with a felt or brush tip. They are easy to use and provide a precise and controlled application.  

3 dot eyeliner pen

Try: The Clarins 3-Dot Liner, £22, is excellent for achieving a flawless black eye marker look. Its innovative triple-point applicator ensures precise application, and its long-lasting formula guarantees smudge-proof wear throughout the day. 

Liquid eyeliner pen 

Eyeliner pens are similar to black eye markers but typically have a thinner and more precise tip. They are great for creating intricate and detailed eyeliner looks and subtle flicks at the outer edge.   

Clarins Graphik Ink Eyeliner for hooded eyes

Try: Clarins offers the Graphik Ink Eyeliner, £22, which is an eyeliner pen with an ultra-fine tip. Its intense black colour and long-lasting formula make it perfect for creating precise, defined eyeliner looks that won’t smudge or fade. 

Gel eyeliner 

Gel eyeliner has a creamy texture and long-lasting formula. It typically comes in a small pot and is applied with a brush, but it can also come in pencil form.  

Try: Hourglass Mechanical Gel Eye Liner, £19. Its clever applicator dispenses the gel formula quickly for a smooth glide-on feel, and the formula is waterproof for a smudge-free look. 

Water-resistant eyeliner 

Water-resistant eyeliners are designed to withstand water and moisture without smudging or running. They are a great option for those who want their eyeliner to stay intact, even in humid or watery environments.  

Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil

Try: The Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil, £21, offers excellent water resistance, allowing you to enjoy long-lasting wear without worrying about smudging or running, even in wet conditions. 

How do you stop liquid eyeliner from flaking? 

“Perfecting your base will create longer-lasting, smudge-proof skin, and the same rule applies to your eyeliner,” Connolly reveals. “Ensure you create a blank canvas by concealing or priming and lightly setting your lids before application. Less is more when it comes to how much product you use – so to avoid flaking, use light, thin strokes,” she adds. 

Which eyeliner is best, liquid or pencil? 

The choice between liquid and pencil eyeliner ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired look. Here are some factors to consider: 


Liquid eyeliner offers the most precise and sharp lines. It’s perfect for creating precise wings and intricate designs. The fine brush or felt-tip applicator allows for detailed application. On the other hand, pencil eyeliner provides a softer and more smudged effect, which can be great for achieving a smoky or blended look. Plus, glitter liners offer some sparkle without flecks falling down your face.  

Ease of use 

Pencil eyeliner is generally easier to use, especially for beginners. It offers more control and forgiveness for mistakes. Liquid eyeliner requires a steady hand and practice to achieve a clean application. 


Liquid eyeliner often has better staying power and is more resistant to smudging and fading throughout the day. Pencil eyeliner may require touch-ups or reapplication, particularly if you have oily eyelids or use a thick, greasier eye cream. 


Pencil eyeliner is more versatile as it can be used on both the upper and lower lash lines, as well as the waterline. Liquid eyeliner is primarily used for the upper lash line and for creating wings. 

Ultimately, it’s worth having both types of eyeliners in your make-up collection to cater to different looks and preferences. Experimenting with different formulas and techniques will help you find what works best. 

What is the best eyeliner for older eyes? 

“A softer pencil formula is more suitable as it creates softer shading, which is kinder on fine lines and wrinkles,” Connolly says.  

Which should you apply first, eyeliner or eyeshadow? 

“Applying a blendable shadow or translucent powder to your eyelids is an essential step to avoid your eyeliner from moving or settling into your eyelid creases,” Connolly explains. Always use a pressed powder to set your eye look before applying eyeliner to ensure your liner lasts all day. 

Try: Sculpted by Aimee Velvet Veil Setting Powder, £13, which is a mini-pressed powder you can keep to use specifically for your eye looks. 

Should you wear eyeliner on top or bottom? 

Whether to wear eyeliner on the top or bottom lash line depends on the look you want to achieve and your eye shape. Applying eyeliner on the top lash line is the most common and versatile option. It helps define and accentuate the eyes, creating a more polished and dramatic look – and this is where you can experiment with different liner styles, such as winged liner or graphic designs. Applying eyeliner on the bottom lash line can enhance the shape of your eyes and create a more sultry or smoky effect. In addition, it can make your eyes appear larger or add depth to your overall eye make-up look. However, be mindful of your eye shape and the intensity of the liner, as applying too much liner on the lower lash line can make the eyes look smaller or heavy. 

Making winged eyeliner the same angle on both eyes 

“Like any make-up technique, your eyeliner skill takes practice,” Connolly says. “Start by applying lines, thinly building inwards from the outer corner. Then, slowly build the wing shape, looking down at your mirror. Before it becomes second nature, you might want to use tape as a guide to form an equal and defined wing shape. Mistakes can easily be removed using a cotton bud or concealer to tidy edges.” 

Remember, achieving perfect symmetry takes practice, so keep going even if it doesn’t look identical right away. Take your time, make minor adjustments, and keep practising. Over time, you’ll develop a steady hand and be able to create wings that match beautifully on both eyes. 

Does eyeliner look good on everyone? 

Eyeliner is a versatile make-up product that can enhance and define the eyes. However, whether it looks good on everyone depends on various factors, including individual eye shape and personal style and preference. 

Read: Eyeliner for older women: Tips to give lift and definition

What happens when you get eyeliner in your eye? 

Accidentally getting eyeliner in your eye can be uncomfortable, but it’s important not to panic. Here’s what you can do if you get eyeliner in your eye: 

Stay calm 

Remain calm and avoid rubbing your eye, which can further irritate the area. 

Rinse with water 

Gently rinse your eye with clean water. Tilt your head slightly and use a cupped hand to pour water over your eye. Alternatively, you can use a clean eyedropper to flush out the eyeliner. The water will help remove any residue and soothe the irritation. 

Blink and tear 

Blinking can help your eye produce tears, which can naturally flush out any remaining eyeliner. Allow your eye to tear up and naturally clean itself. 

Consult a professional 

If you continue to experience discomfort or are unsure about the severity of the situation, it’s best to seek medical advice. Contact an eye care professional who can provide guidance based on your specific situation. 

When applying eyeliner, be mindful of the proximity to your eye and take your time to ensure precise application without smudging or smearing. If you wear contact lenses, consider applying eyeliner before inserting your lenses to minimise the risk of the product getting onto your lenses or into your eyes. 

While getting eyeliner in your eye can be an uncomfortable experience, it is generally not harmful as long as you take appropriate steps to clean your eye and seek medical advice if needed. 

Read next: Mascara wands: Every type of brush explained here

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