How to Wear Graphic Eyeliner

Anna SuiAltuzarra

Graphic eyeliner is not for the faint of heart. Not only is it attention grabbing, but it has a higher difficulty level than your average eye makeup. If you’re up for the challenge, and don’t mind attracting a bit of attention, here are some tips and tricks that will not only help you apply it well, but also have it last all day. 

First, decide on a shape before you start. You don’t want to make it up as you go along. If you can’t decide, take a liner brush and an eyeshadow and draw it out to see if you like the shape. Once you know what you’re doing, you have to choose the product. If you want thin, easily controlled lines, choose a liner that looks more like a marker, such as Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner $20. If you want a thicker, more mod looking liner, opt for a gel such as Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner $22. Always use a primer for graphic looks because precision is key and you want the product to stay where you put it. Beyond the ease of application that both of these products allow, they also come in a variety of colors. A graphic look in plum or navy is still attention grabbing but not quite as harsh as a traditional black. 

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There are two main roadblocks when applying graphic eyeliner: symmetry and smudging. If symmetry is a problem for you, take a tiny brush and lightly sketch out the shape before you go in for a stronger line. Be sure to look straight at the mirror and you should be able to easily match your eyes. The other problem most often faced is smudging. If you’re applying liner in the crease, be sure to keep your eye closed for at least a few minutes and set it with a makeup setting spray. If you have hooded eyes, remember to bring your design up onto the brow bone or under the lash line so that it will be visible with your eyes open. When you’re done, think carefully about applying mascara. With some looks, clumpy lashes will look messy so it’s often best to go without if you’re looking to keep the attention on the design. 

Marios SchwabMary Katrantzou

Statement makeup isn’t for everyone but the great thing about graphic eyeliner is that you can take it as far as you want. Women looking for a more subtle shape can do a simple double flick but your face is your canvas if you want to take it further. If you’ve tried and failed, don’t worry, just pick up a set of Dior’s Backstage Eyeliners-To-Wear Multi-Wear Adhesive Eyeliner Patches $59 and save yourself the trouble.

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Images: Imaxtree