Liquid eyeliner is arguably one of the most difficult eyeliners to master, but it's also the best product to create a glamorous winged eyeliner or "cat-eye" look. The question we always have for our Global Makeup Educators is "How do you get your cat-eye or winged eyeliner so straight?" Do they use a spoon or tape or some other magical cat eye makeup contraption? Lucky for us, our pros are more than happy to share their liquid eyeliner tips to create the perfect liquid eyeliner shape —no spoon, tape or magic tool required.
Liquid Eyeliner for BeginnersWhen choosing a liquid eyeliner, our Global Educators agree it's all about finding a brush with long bristles and a thin tip.
Christine Orcutt Savolis says:The most important thing with liquid liner is having a long/thin brush. It allows you to draw your line close to the lash line for maximum impact.
Edgar Dominguez says:The thin brush tip in our Liquid Eyeliner is the best for the most precise application of a winged or defined liner effect. You never have to worry of making a line too thick, so it's virtually impossible to mess up
Hannah Hatcher says:A thin brush allows you to create a tight line along the lash line, but it also allows for precision when doing more intricate winged looks.
Our Best Liquid Eyeliner Tips
What Techniques to AvoidBefore we chat about the best techniques to use when applying liquid eyeliner, let's discuss what methods you should avoid.
Don't close your eye. "The first common mistake is winging out the eyeliner while closing your eye," says Hannah. "It doesn't matter if you're 17 or 70, the pressure of the eye being closed can cause the lid to wrinkle and creates an uneven line."
Try not to wing it in one step. Cat-eyes take anywhere from four to eight strokes, depending on how comfortable you are with it. Use smaller strokes to minimize mistakes.
Don’t stretch the skin. If you apply liner while stretching your eyelid, you 'll end up with a squiggly line when you let go.
You can't rush perfection. If you are running late it's not the day to wing your liner.
How to Properly Apply Liquid Eyeliner
Now that you know what not to do, here's Hannah's liquid eyeliner tips on creating a classic cat eye makeup look.
STEP 1: Tilt your chin up, but look down to expose your lid without closing it completely.
STEP 2: First, create the wing on the outer corner of your eye. (TIP: If by mistake you go too far on your line, wet a cotton swab with BeautyPrep Face Cleanser and erase it.)
STEP 3: Then, working from the outside side in, use small strokes to line close to your lash line. This helps minimize over compensation, which creates huge thick lines. (TIP: If you need a little extra help, lightly draw a guide using your Eye Pencil, then layer Liquid Eyeliner on top.)
STEP 4:Once you've created matching lines on both eyes, you can go back over the outer portion of your line to create the desired thickness. (TIP: Make your line last all day by using an Angle Eyeliner Brush to apply a thin layer of eye shadow in the same color on top of the liquid eyeliner.)
When to Use It: Liquid Eyeliner vs. Pencil EyelinerLiquid eyeliner is a spectacular product, but sometimes other eyeliner formulas that are better to use. Here are some suggestions on when to choose liquid eyeliner vs pencil eyeliner.
When lining your bottom lashes, USE PENCIL. Liquid eyeliner on the bottom lash line can be harsh. Instead, get a more glamorous look by smudging eye shadow or pencil eyeliner just below your bottom lashes.
If you need a dramatic evening look, USE LIQUID. You can create a dark, defined line using liquid eyeliner, and it has can have serious staying power. There's a reason you see so many cat-eyes on the red carpet!
If you have smaller eyes, deep set eyes or fine lines in the eye area, USE PENCIL. Too hard of a line on these eye shapes will cause the eye to look smaller. The soft definition of a pencil is ideal. It creates that depth around the lashes but won’t close the eye off.