Eyeliner 101: The Basics

Eyeliner 101

What kind of eyeliner do you use? Do you know about the different types that are available and how they wear? I’m going to share 4 basic types of eyeliner . Many of you makeup lovers know all about this, but this guide is meant for the beginners (or the less makeup-savvy). Use this guide to determine what kind of eyeliner is right for you!

Pencil liner

This is the most basic eyeliner and a staple in any makeup collection. It’s the easiest to apply and is also easy to correct when a mistake is made. Pencil liners can create a basic soft-looking line. I always use pencil for my lower lashline or waterline. Occasionally, I’ll use it for tightlining as well. Pencil liner can wear off or transfer to the eyelid though, so you’ll have to find one that works well for you. There’s a lot of trial-and-error when it comes to finding good pencil liners. The best ones will glide across your eyelid with ease and stay put for most of the day.

Products I recommend: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner

 

Two types of pencil eye liners
Pencil liners

Liquid liner

Liquid liner is popular for creating cat eyes or just really precise, bold liner. I think of it as the most intense liner. It’s long-lasting and won’t fade or smudge, but it can also look more harsh than the others. I don’t feel like liquid liner is the best liner to start out with because it requires a steady hand and can be hard to apply at first.  Also, when you make a mistake, it can be difficult to correct. So, if you really like the look of it, just be patient and practice at home when you don’t have to go anywhere. If you practice enough, you will get better at it – I promise!

Tip: When learning to apply liquid liner, apply pencil liner first and use it as a guide for the liquid liner. This is how I got good at liquid liner application!

Products I recommend: Maybelline Line Stiletto and Jesse’s Girl Liquid Liner

 

Liquid liners
Liquid liners

Gel Liner

Gel/cream liner is like liquid liner’s less popular cousin, but I actually like it better! With gel liner, you can create an intense line that isn’t as harsh as liquid. You can even smudge it out to create a softer look. Gel liner is just more flexible to work with and much easier to apply. Normally, it comes in a pot and you apply it with a brush. It usually comes with its own little brush, but I like to use my angled brush for application. Gel liner has great staying power too.

Products I recommend: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Laura Geller Inkwell, and L’oreal Infallible Gel Liner

 

Gel eye liners
Gel liners

Eye Shadow

This isn’t actually an eyeliner, obviously, but in a pinch, you can use it as such. Sometimes I’ll use shadow to define my lashline when I’m not wearing much makeup, but still want to look somewhat put together (i.e. going to the pool, running to the store, etc.).  It won’t have much staying power, so it’s not ideal for all-day wear. It does look very natural and soft though. The other thing you can do with shadow is use it with the other eye liners. Sometimes, if I feel like my eyeliner looks way too harsh, I’ll soften the outer edges with black eye shadow. It gives the whole eye look a sexy, sultry appearance.

Products I recommend: MAC Carbon and Urban Decay Blackout

 

black eyeshadow
Black eye shadow
Comparison
eye liner comparison
Here’s a comparison of the 4 liners. They go from darkest to lightest.
Poll: What kind of eyeliner do you use most?
Tell me in the comments!
Eye*This is not a sponsored post. Some affiliate links were used.

Ashley Freitas

Ashley is a twenty-something California girl, who loves writing, photography, shopping, drawing, and testing beauty products. She lives with her boyfriend, Mark, and their pet bunny, Peaches.