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Applying eyeliner for dummies

Published on October 18, 2023 at 13:17 / Updated on January 29, 2024 at 13:53

Year after year, we see several makeup trends that take the world by storm and then hibernate for a while, only to come back later. However, wearing eyeliner seems to never go out of style. Eyeliner can give you a doe-eyed effect and highlight your eyes. But do you know how to apply it correctly?

First things first

Before you begin to apply your eyeliner, it's important to remember that it should be applied based on the shape of your eyes. A poorly applied line of eyeliner, too thick with a lack of finesse, could make your eyes seem heavy or older.

Almond-shaped eyes:

You're already in luck because you already have an eye shape that facilitates the effect and application of eyeliner. To accentuate your eyes, you can start from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner and then lightly trace the tail of the eyeliner, continuing the natural curve from the lower lash line upwards. You won't have to draw the line too thickly or over-draw the tail because you already have the lines to support it.

Round eyes:

To transform what you naturally have into a feline look, you can start from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner and then draw the tail of the eyeliner, continuing the natural curve from the lower lash line upwards. Remember that the line should always be thinner towards the inside of the eye and gradually gain body as it moves outwards from the upper lash line.

Hooded eyes or small eyes:

You will want to give your eyes some lift. Start the line at the center of the upper lash line, above the iris, and finish the line with a mini tail/wing that extends beyond the outer corner of the eye. Don't think that you have to exaggerate the end too much. If it is too big, it will make your eyes look smaller.

Monolid eyes:

Start with a super-thin line of eyeliner from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner, and lightly trace the tail of the line, continuing the natural upward curve of the lower lash line. Then, with your eyes open, draw a straight horizontal line from the tip of the eyeliner to the crease of your eyelid, smudging it to create a subtle smoky eye. With your eyes closed, finish this line by connecting it to the center of the upper lash line, just above the iris. Finish by filling in the created shape, and you're done.

Choose your favourite type of eyeliner

There are a number of products with different textures, hold and effects to choose from when it comes to applying eyeliner. Admittedly, some of them are easier to use than others, but if you choose the ones for beginners to get started, you'll eventually be able to reach the pro level with a little practice.

Eyeshadow (beginner)

Eyeshadow is a beginner product to use with an angled brush for application. Opt for a light brown shade and only a little eyeshadow to start with. Once the line is to your liking, you can darken it as you wish. This is the easiest type of eyeliner to use; however, it tends to hold less on your eyelid, so opt for an eyeshadow base before applying it.

Ink pen (intermediate)

We suggest an ink pen with a fine point that will cover the base of the lashes and fill in the hard-to-reach spots. When applying, use the product horizontally rather than trying to draw the line just with the tip. Apply the product as if it were a stamp at the base of the lashes, one section at a time. Of course, you can use the tip of the pen to draw the tail or wing. Choose a waterproof formula for all-day wear.

Pomade/gel (pro)

You'll need a high-quality brush for this product, such as a firm, angled brush. You can also opt for a pointed brush with super-fine, long bristles. The length of the bristles will give great flexibility during application and follow your eyes’ curves more easily. With a product texture like this, it's important to saturate your brush well before you start. Pomades/gels are really long-lasting, so when you draw your line, make sure you're very precise and/or correct your line quickly because once the product dries, it won't budge.

Pro tip

When applying, use a work surface to anchor the elbow of the hand that will be applying the eyeliner. Your hand will be much more stable during application.

We won't hide the fact that applying eyeliner isn't easy; it requires practice and some dexterity. That said, you can start slowly with the beginner technique and products. Then, slowly work your way up to the intermediate stage before finally reaching the top and becoming a true eyeliner pro!

By Jean-François Casselman-Dupont in collaboration with Familiprix.

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