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How to Apply Pencil Eyeliner

[See the rest of our How to Apply Makeup series for beginners.]

Learning how to apply eyeliner is an essential step in pulling your look together. Properly applied eyeliner can help define your eyes and give a polished look. However, if you’re not careful, it can easily transform your appearance from classy to trashy. Here are instructions on how to apply pencil eyeliner for a pretty, natural look:

1. Color selection plays a big role in the final outcome. For everyday looks, brown is the most natural color for most people. However, if your hair is very dark, you can get away with black. Charcoal is another nice, universal option. If your eyes are green, a dark plum will make them pop.

2. Begin with the upper lid and a sharpened pencil. You need a heavier hand and a sharper tip for the upper lid. After using the pencil on your upper lids, the tip will soften a bit, making it perfect for lining the lower lid. If your pencil is very hard or waxy, warm it slightly with your fingers or hot water so it will glide better.

Vanity
Creative Commons License photo credit: Green Heat

3. Place the tip at the inner corner of your upper eyelid as close to the lash line as possible. Begin where your eyelashes begin or about one-fourth of the way in. Follow the lash line with the pencil all the way to the outer corner. As you reach the outer corner, you can press harder to make the line a little darker and thicker as it goes out.

4. Repeat this process on the lash line underneath the eye, but use a much lighter touch and work from the outside in. Remember the line should be thickest at the outside so gently lighten your touch as you work inward. Stop about three-fourths of the way toward your nose. Then grab a cotton swab and use it to lightly blend the line, starting from the inner corner and working outward, so that it looks more like a shadow than an obvious line.

5. You can connect the top and bottom lines on the outer corner of the eye, but don’t do this on the inner corners or it will make your eyes appear smaller. Regardless of how much eyeliner you apply, be sure it is even and blended – not rough and jagged. You can use an small, angled flat brush to smooth out any problem areas.


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2 Responses to “How to Apply Pencil Eyeliner”
  1. Cassandra Rae Ferguson says:

    Holding your skin (gently) taut with your free hand to draw on liner can really help to create a smooth application of pencil eyeliner. Also, a light line of eyeshadow applied over the pencil (with a very fine brush) will deepen the colour and help to set the pencil; to make it longer-lasting and smudge-proof.

  2. Mimi says:

    I am writing an article on makeup for school and you guys are my number one reserch site! I’m totally telling my friends, this site is very helpful and informative. Thanks a million.

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