Anyone that knows me will also know that eyeliner is, by far, my absolute favourite makeup item. It’s just brilliant; for me, it really pulls a look together and if I’m going to wear makeup, then there’s absolutely no way I ever leave it out of my routine. Not using it is my personal equivalent to making a fabulously delicious ice-cream sundae and not putting the cream on top: a total waste.
If you’re new to the world of makeup or don’t usually wear it, eyeliner can be a little overwhelming to understand and master namely because it’s a largely varied item with each type achieving a completely different look. Whilst I’m not a makeup artist, I pride myself on being a seasoned pro in the eyeliner department. I’ve come a long way since the days of sitting in front of my mirror drawing two blotchy circles around my poor eyes. In order for newbies to avoid the same fate I suffered, here is a definitive breakdown of the most common types of eyeliner you’ll find at pretty much any makeup counters and drug stores and what you can do with each one:
- Kohl/Pencil Liner – This was the very first type of eyeliner I ever purchased almost ten years ago and I’d say this is probably the best kind to begin with when embarking on your eyeliner journey. Despite them being my first look into the world of eyeliner, kohl liners are probably my least favourite. I should clarify, however, that this is mostly due to the fact that I personally prefer to wear a bold and defined liner and kohl liners aren’t the best at creating that look. Instead, pencil liners are by far the best to use if you’re looking for a smokey look, which is a great loo
k to start with as it allows you to be a little less stable-handed. When it comes to colors, kohl liners are probably the most varied, too. I own some fabulous green, brown and grey kohl pencils along with my trusty black one which, when blended out with a makeup brush, all create beautiful, smudged looks, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try some more unusual shades. Kohl liners are also the absolute best liner to use on your waterline (the inner parts of your lash lines). Fun tip: applying a white kohl eyeliner onto your lower waterline will give the illusion of bigger and brighter eyes!
- Felt Tip Liner – Using felt tip liners for the first time, for me, was like when you’re allowed to progress from pencils to pens at school. It’s super awesome and exciting, but there’s t
hat voice in the back of your head saying ‘girl, don’t you dare mess this up!’ I’ve had a long-lasting and harmonious relationship with felt tip liners for the past few years and I really see us lasting for the long term for many reasons. This type of liner is in stark contrast to its pencil-based sister in that it gives a very neat, bold line. Whilst they might not be quite as simplistic to use as the pencils, the big selling point for this particular liner is that it doesn’t require any other kind of brush to either blend or draw on the line. They’re great for throwing in your purse for touching up your look on the go and allow you to draw as softly or as strongly as you like without fear of them breaking. You can also buy this type of liner in varying sizes; the thinner and thicker tips allow you to opt for a more subtle, yet defined liner or a bold and in your face look.
- Gel Liner – This type of liner has pretty much become my holy grail over the last few months. Having long-favoured felt tip liners, I’d never been tempted to try gel liner as it just seemed like a trickier version of the same thing. To some extent, I was right; gel liner is the hardest and most tedious eyeliner to apply, but if you’re willing to persevere and practice, it will also re
ap you the biggest rewards. This type of liner will definitely give you the boldest look as the gel is super pigmented and will also help you to create the best cat eye looks EVER, provided that you spend a little time mastering the technique. One of the most noticeable differences I’ve found between felt tip and gel liner is that gel glides onto your eyelids effortlessly, meaning that you shouldn’t have to tug at the sides of your eyelids to apply a straight line like you’ll sometimes have to with felt tips. An important thing to remember when using gel liner is to maintain a steady hand, otherwise things go wrong extremely quickly. When you first start using it, I’d recommend balancing your elbow on a flat surface so that your hand is steady and once you get a little more confident, you can then be brave and simply rely on your wrist and brush to do the work.