Four Easy Eyeliner Looks Every Woman Can Master

Experiment with different types of liner to get the perfect look for night or day
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Lilly Bozzone
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Experiment with different types of liner to get the perfect look for night or day
different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

Peruse the counters of any cosmetic store, and you’ll see a myriad of eyeliner options. Pencil, cream, liquid—the list goes on. How do you know which to choose?

We asked Jas Lee for Stila at Jump Management to show us how to use four of the most popular liner types on the shelves to get just the look you’re going for.

Pencil // The Tightline

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Tightline Look

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Tightline Look

Pencil liner is the classic go-to of eyeliners, and for good reason: It’s perfect for an everyday look that defines your eye without without being too heavy. Lee calls this look the Tightline. Keep as close to your lash line as possible, and use a high-quality pencil such as Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner.

How To:

  1. Lift your chin, and pull back your lids. Glide the pencil liner onto your waterline—both the top and bottom lids. (Side note: The waterline is the innermost rim of your eyelid; it’s shiny and where your tears well up—see second photo)
  2. Wherever the root of the lash is visible, smudge the liner to fill in the gaps. This will make your lashes look even thicker.
  3. Curl lashes, and apply black mascara.

Eye Shadow // Shadow Liner Look

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Shadow Liner Look

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Shadow Liner Look

Ever run out of eyeliner right before a big night out? Your black (or dark-tone) eye shadow can save the day. Using black eye shadow is an easy way to get a sultry smoky eye, like Lee did here with Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette.

How To:

  1. Like the Tightline look, you want to fill in your waterline for some definition. Take a soft angled brush, dip it into your black eye shadow, and blend into your lash line.
  2. Still using the soft angled brush, smudge the eye shadow to create a thicker line.
  3. Take a clean blender brush, and diffuse the edges of the shadow liner to soften the look and create a smoky appearance.
  4. With whatever is left on the brush, apply shadow to the edges of your outer lower lash line.
  5. Curl lashes, and apply black mascara.

Felt Tip Liner // The Cat Eye

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Cat Eye Look

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Cat Eye Look

Because it goes on silky smooth and gives a clean, defined line, a felt tip eyeliner such as Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is great for pulling off a classic cat eye. Make sure you don’t rush this look—it’s definitely the most difficult eyeliner look to execute—but you can totally do it!

How To:

  1. When creating the Cat Eye, start with the wings first. Create the angle of the wing by finding the corner of your eye and making a mini triangle. (See the second Cat Eye photo above.)
  2. Make sure the wings match on both eyes rather than finishing one and trying to duplicate it on the second eye.
  3. Fill in the rest of your eye using careful strokes to create a sleek line connecting the wing to the inner eyelid.
  4. To make your eyes appear larger, take a white pencil, and apply to your bottom waterline.
  5. Curl lashes, and apply black mascara.

Cream Eye Shadow // Dramatic Smoky Eye

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Soft Smoky Eye Look

different types of eyeliner and how to apply eyeliner beauty makeup tutorial

The Soft Smoky Eye Look

Lee introduced us to another way to create a smoky eye with just eye shadow. This time, she used Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Sparkle in Midnight Forest. Because the gel colors tend to look a bit more intense, Lee chose a gray-green hue rather than bold black eye shadow for a smoky but soft look. This is perfect for a bit of drama without having to commit to a full-on smoky eye.

How To:

  1. Use regular pencil liner to fill in upper- and lower-lid waterlines for definition.
  2. Dip a round bullet brush into your cream shadow.
  3. Smudge into lash lines with darker definition on the edges.
  4. Use a blending brush to blend into lids, letting the color soften into a smoky gray rather than a thick black line.
  5. Copying the Cat Eye effect, smudge the outer edges into a mini cat eye to achieve an almond shape.
  6. Curl lashes, and apply black mascara.