7 Tips For Applying Eyeliner Like A Professional, Like A Youtuber

I absolutely love eyeliner! It is one of my favorite makeup cosmetics to wear. I can skip all of the other steps in my makeup routine, but as long as I have eyeliner on, I feel that my look is complete, and my armor is set for me to go out and enter the world. 

Eyeliner can be intense though, and for those learning makeup, it can be really intimidating; eyeliner can take time and work to learn. So today, I will teach you 7 tips to help you learn how to apply eyeliner like a pro. 

The Type of Eyeliner You Use Matters

There are so many different types of eyeliners. There are inexpensive drugstore ones, and there are also ones for people with sensitive eyes; these eyeliners are mineral-based and more natural, so if you have sensitive skin or eyes, you should avoid some drugstore eyeliners, and instead, go for more mineral or natural makeup options. If you use eyeliners that irritate your eyes, your makeup will fade and run, and ruin your look.

Photo by Dids from Pexels

Eyeliner comes in different forms. The form that your eyeliner takes makes a difference in the application. 

Pencil liners that you have to sharpen take more time, they can be inconvenient to apply, you can go through them quickly so they may not be very cost effective, and you have to be careful about sharpening them because they can get too sharp and tear and pull the skin on the eye. 

Another thing with pencil liners is that you can't control the exact shape and size of the line very easily, so for makeup looks that require a very thin fine eyeliner line, you may want to avoid using a pencil liner to create it. At the same time, pencil liners that you need to sharpen tend to be the most smudge-proof. This is why beginners tend to start with these types of eyeliners. Plus, this makes them great for heavy eyeliner looks, such as punk, rock, or goth looks. 

Gel liners glide across the eye smoothly, and you can get them with an auto sharpener attached to them, so this saves you a lot of time and the application is smooth and easy. Unfortunately though, these eyeliners tend to smudge a lot, so you will almost always have to pair it with other things like setting powder or eyeshadow, to reduce smudging. The proneness for smudging can make these liners bad for long wear styles, such as clubbing, or for hours of wear. 

Some gel liner formulas are not the best either, because they can cake and harden and get into your eyes and irritate them. This can happen when the liner dries too fast; this can happen if the liner breaks up because you went over it too many times, or when you put a setting power or eyeshadow over it. If this happens, your makeup can fade as your eyes water from irritation, and it can ruin your look. 

Photo by Marlon Schmeiski from Pexels

Liquid liners are the most perfect in terms of formula, since they are dark in pigmentation, they don't smudge, though they tend to contain more chemicals that can irritate the eyes for sensitive people, and they do require a lot of practice and precision, so they are not for beginners. You can also control the exact shape of the line that you draw and you can even make it super thin if you want, so these liners are great for very precise makeup looks. 

Photo by Renato Abati from Pexels

All eyeliners vary greatly in terms of quality. Poor quality eyeliners tend to be too cheap in terms of cost, and the pigmentation can be terrible (too light, streaky, and sheer instead of opaque), patchy, or disappear quickly, even if you don't touch it. So for the best eyeliner application, you should start with a good quality liner, and choose the right type of eyeliner based on your needs and the kind of makeup look that you are going for. Once you get what you need, it is then time to start applying your liner. 

Prep Eyes First Before Applying Eyeliner

When it comes to applying eyeliner, you should always prep the eyes first. Prepping the eyes means applying eye primer (and/or eye cream) beforehand. There are various types of eye primers. There are silicone-based ones, as well as water-based ones. A water-based primer is good for those with dry skin on their eyes, and a silicone-based primer is good for those with oily lids, since it can restrict oil production in this area. 

Silicone-based primers are very soft and feel almost like oil or silk, but they are not for everyone. Silicone-based eye primers do not work for me, and they tend to make my eyeliner smudge more, so I prefer water-based primers. You need to decide which type of eye primer you need based on the condition of the skin on your eyelids. 

A good eye primer will enhance your eyeliner color and extend how long it lasts, but a primer that is not compatible with your eyes, may ruin your eyeliner and cause it to run, which will ruin your whole look.

How To Line The Eyes

There are many different styles available to line the eyes with. If you are a beginner and not comfortable with eyeliner yet, then you may want to start with no eyeliner at all, and just focus on mascara and a natural eyeshadow color. 

You can also tightline your eyes, which is easy since you just follow the natural shape and curve of the eye on the upper and lower lashline with your liner. The line created by tightlining is also thin and natural, so it is great for everyday wear and work wear. 

When wanting to go beyond tightlining or the no eyeliner look, you can do just about anything, but here are some tips to help you practice lining your eyes better:

1. Make the liner thinnest at the inner corner, and then you can make it slightly thicker towards the middle of the eye/the pupil, and then make it thickest towards the end of the eye.

2. Avoid a thick eyeliner line at the inner corner of the eye.

3. Try to make both eyes as even as possible, with the same shape and curve. Keep the same thinness or thickness on both eyes in the same places as much as possible. 

Setting Eyeliner

Photo by Marcelo Moreira from Pexels

Most eyeliners say that they are waterproof and smudgeproof, but they usually are not, so you will almost always need to set the eyeliner you use with a setting powder, an eyeshadow, or a liquid liner on top of it. Setting your eyeliner will help keep it in place longer and reduce smudging throughout the day.

Smudge-Proofing Eyeliner

A simple way to help reduce smudging regardless of the eyeliner that you use, is to apply it only on the upper lashline; avoid applying eyeliner to the lower lashline, and past the outermost part of the eye. The reason for this is because these areas tend to water and have a lot of smudging, so avoiding these areas can greatly help reduce smudging. 

Using Wild Eyeliner Colors

Photo by 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐬 𝐇𝐃 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞- 𝐮𝐩 & 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐦𝐞 from Pexels

When you get more comfortable with applying eyeliner, you may want to start venturing out into more wild unfamiliar territory. After all, playing with wild colors is so fun, and it is the perfect way to enjoy the holidays, the summer, and spring season. Some popular wild eyeliner colors today are grey, blue, purple, red, and green. 

Wild eyeliner colors take a bit more creativity to apply, but here is a tip to help you:

Apply dark eyeliners around the eye, but for lighter colors such as golds, pinks, and pastels, they look best when applied above a dark eyeliner that complements it, like dark navy blue or black. 

You can actually mix different wild colors in your eye makeup look, but it takes some understanding of color theory and contrast to make sure that you use colors that complement each other and don't clash, so this may be challenging for beginners. 

Applying Eyeliner Based On Skin Color/Tan

Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

Women of color or women with a deep tan can have a hard time with eyeliner. Browns tend to not show up on really dark skin or some medium skin tones, unless it has glitter or shimmer in it. So, for those with really dark or brown skin tones, only certain colors show up on them: black and blue eyeliner, bright vivid colors, shimmer, and glitter; these all show up well on darker skin tones, so I recommend going for them. This applies to eyeshadow as well. 

Also, some drugstore eyeliners are not very dark, so I always suggest going for kohl and kajal liners, rather than traditional eyeliners, if your skin is tan. 


When it comes to eye makeup, eyeliner and eyeshadow help enhance the eyes, and the eyes are the window to the soul. Your eyes and the way that you decorate them, can tell a story about you; about the depth of you as a person, your beliefs, your personal style, and interests. What story or words do you think your eye makeup helps your eyes tell about you?

Photo by Jc Laurio from Pexels

If you are interested in trying an herbal kajal liner, you can find them here in my store. 

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