The Art Of The Perfect Eyeliner


Arguably one of the hardest makeup tricks in the book, once mastered eyeliner is the go-to tool for taking your makeup game to a whole new level. Below, we look at two different ways to wear eyeliner.

The Liquid Flick

The Look: The statement swoosh is the height of cool and brings an edgy look to everyday makeup; it’s also the perfect way to transition from desk to dinner.

The Tool of Choice: Liquid liners are best for creating a perfectly precise line that stays put, no matter what. Space NK Pro Artist Grace Revington suggests using a pen-style liner, such as Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner as the fine nib gives optimum control and the formula dries to a waterproof finish that doesn’t move, flake or fade. The fluid formula is easy to maneuver and glides onto the eyelid without snagging.

The Art: When it comes to creating an elongated flick, try to tailor the liner to complement your natural curves. For example, if your eyes are wide set or almond shaped, sweep the liner all the way to the outer corners and then kick out to create a dramatic winged effect. For eyes on the smaller side or those with less space between the lashes and the brow, keep the liner thin and closer to the lash line with a less elaborate swoosh. The trick to creating a flawless flick is to steady your elbows on a hard flat surface, rest your pinkies on your cheeks and grasp the liner between your index finger and thumb for ultimate control. “Use your free hand to pull the skin taught around the eye to void skipping or dragging,” suggests Grace.

Don’t try to achieve one fluid line, instead map out the liner in sections, starting halfway across the eye. A good way to find your starting point is to aim directly above the iris. Place a dot half way between the outer most corner of the eye and the iris, then join up the sections. For the flick, drag the liner out at the corner in a straight line, then trace back towards the outer corner of the eye.  If you wobble or slip, dip a Q-tip into makeup remover or dab concealer onto a small concealer brush to sharpen the line.

The Tightline Act

The Look: While it may sound like a move you’d expect to see in the Big Top, this eyeliner technique involves gently stamping eyeliner onto the upper and lower waterline, to add subtle definition. Tightlining is universally flattering and complements all eye shapes. It’s a great option for older and hooded eye shapes, as the product doesn’t sit on top of the skin and so is not at risk of being smudged or transferring. You can wear this look everyday and even take it into the evening with a sophisticated navy or popping purple.

The Tool of Choice: You can achieve the same tightline effect using two different formulas. The first is a gel formula, like Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner, which comes in a small pot and is best applied using a flat or angled brush. Gel liners are pigmented but give a matte finish. Alternatively, a kohl pencil liner is a quick and easy way to achieve the same look, but is softer and more subtle on the eyes.

The Art: If you’re using a gel that comes in a pot, such as Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner, dip the flat-edged brush into clean water and then work  the product into a thick paste. Push the wet liquid into the root of the upper lash line and gentle wiggle the brush between the individual lashes or stamp along the waterline. This may take some practice, but remember, practice makes perfect. And, if you need help our Pro Artist Team and expert sales associates are always in-store to lend a hand.

The other option is to use a kohl liner or dark eyeshadow stick to smudge along your waterlines. This is a really quick and easy way to create a softer more subtle take on the look. Grace recommends always opting for a waterproof kohl pencil or even an eyeshadow stick to ensure the product doesn’t move while you’re wearing it.