Thursday, 18 September 2014

Winging It: A Guide to Eyeliner

There are many things with makeup that I cannot do, for example, I have never been able to apply false lashes without looking like a drag queen who got ready in the dark. However, I have been blessed with one beauty talent and that is being able to apply winged liner! That’s not to say that I don’t occasionally end up with the dreaded panda eyes BUT by and large, I end up with some pretty good flicks! So today, I’m going to share some of my knowledge of eyeliners, along with some tips and tricks that might be able to help you out. Once again, I’m not claiming to be an expert makeup artist (quite the opposite!) but if just one person finds my tips helpful then I’m happy!

Types of Eyeliner

There are three main types of eyeliner that you need to know about. They can be used to create slightly different looks and they all have their own positives and negatives.

1. Pencil– Pencil liner is probably the best type for beginners, because they’re easy to use and control. The downside is that you don’t get as precise a line as you would get with liquid or gel. You also have to keep them nice and sharp for the best line, unless you are going for a smudgy look. I like to use pencil liners for a more subtle daytime look OR for a smokey eye because they are the easiest to blend. They also come in a rainbow of colours and are probably the most easily accessible type of liner, as every cosmetic company makes them! Pencil liners are also great for the lower lash line, it’s not as messy and less likely to run/get into your eyes. Anyone who has ever gotten liquid liner in their eye can attest that it’s like the pain of a thousand burning suns…or maybe stepping on a lego.

My favourite pencil liners at the moment are the Klara H20 Proof Eyeliner in Black ($18.00) and the Models Prefer Kohl Pencil in Matte Black ($8.99). The Klara one also includes a smudger for creating smokey looks.

The Klara H2O Proof Liner is more like a traditional pencil and the Models Prefer Kohl Pencil has a creamier texture

2. Liquid– Liquid liners can be very intimidating and most people find them hard to master. Once you do manage to master them, you can create very dramatic looks with a super crisp line. They do require a steady hand as most are quick dry and trying to repair a mistake with liquid liner can be a pain in the butt! Thankfully, there are a few types of liquid liner, like the Maybelline Master Precise, with a handy felt tip (just like a marker pen) to help with control. I recommend a lot of practice with pencil liner before moving on up to liquid. I’ve also assembled some handy hints a bit further down for when you feel brave enough to tussle with liquid liner!

My top recommendations for liquid liners are the Face of Australia Liquid Liner in Black ($8.95), Boe Beauty Liquid Liner in Black ($2.00) and Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner in Black ($13.95), which is especially good for beginners.

Swatches (L-R) Face of Australia Liquid Liner, Maybelline Master Precise and Boe Beauty Liquid Liner
3. Gel– I do love a good gel liner! They usually come in a little pot and have to be applied with an angled or fine tipped brush. Like liquid liners, you do need a steady hand BUT they do dry a bit slower which makes it a bit easier to fix up boo-boos AND makes gel liner great for creating smokey looks too. I love how easily gel liners glide on (good ones anyway!) and I love the overall effect they create. They aren’t quite as convenient as a pencil liner, given you have to have the pot with its screw on lid AND the correct brush/brushes to create your look but they are my personal preference. Benefit have also recently come out with their new Push-Up Gel Liner which is a gel liner in a pen form, making it much easier to use. You can check out my full review here.

My very favourite gel liner is the Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Pot Liner in Blackest Black ($16.95). It has a super creamy formula that just glides on and doesn’t dry out in the pot, which is a problem I’ve found with a lot of gel liners. Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Gel Liner ($35.00) is also a new favourite, although a lot of people seem to hate it, I’m a definite fan.
Swatches of the Push Up Liner (L) and Maybelline EyeStudio Gel Liner (R)
Handy Tips

1. Do the flicks first, as there is a much better chance of getting them to look even!

2. Don’t try and draw the whole line on at once. After drawing on your flicks, start from the inner corner of your eye and work outwards in small lines.

3. Continue with small, fine lines until you reach the outer corner. It’s much easier to have a fine, well drawn line that you can thicken up afterwards than starting with a thick line and trying to rub it off.

4. Join up the line across your eyelid and the flick. Again, use thin strokes and build up to your desired “flicky-ness”.

5. Voila! Perfect wing!
Always make sure you do your eyeliner in a well-lit area where you can get nice and close to the mirror. Nothing worse than heading out for the night and then realising when you head to the bathroom that you have, in fact, created a look worthy of a drag queen (nothing against, drag queens, I think they are fabulous but they do have a very dramatic look!). Also, keep some cotton buds soaked in makeup remover handy in case you make a mistake. It’s very easy to just clean up little mistakes as you go.

If you’ve finished reading this, you should be an absolute pro with all types of liners, right? Ok well, maybe a bit more practice is required, but I would love to see some pictures of all of your fabulous flicks and lovely liner looks. Do you have any extra tips for working with eyeliner?

Stay beautiful!

Dani xx


  1. I wish I was more of a natural at the flick.. it's definitely something I've had to (almost) perfect over time.... I don't know why but I can never seem to get a pencil liner to work for me, the having to sharpen them all the time to get a clean line annoys me. Liquid was my liner of choice for a couple of years but the Benefit liner has definitely swayed me back to gel x

    Angie || the maquillage

    1. I still find it difficult some days and I definitely stuff up but I think I've come to an agreement with certain products that I can manage to work with! I usually don't use pencil for precise wings, but if I'm going for something more smokey and subtle then it works pretty well. I'm glad you like the Push-Up Liner too! I do love a good gel liner

  2. I love gel liners and can swear by maybelline eye studio. Thanx for sharing information with us.

    Sahar the Cozy Fashionista

  3. Loving the picture tutorial!! The maybelline liquid liner is my all time fave, I have like 4 of them sitting in my draw!!

    Melissa | Lemonmel

    1. Thank you! It was quite an effort to stop and take pictures as I went!

  4. great post. you make it look so easy!

    R @lipsticknlinguine

    1. Thank you! And don't worry, I still struggle with it some days :)


Follow Us @soratemplates