Eyeliner seems to be the first makeup product we learn to use as preteen girls. If mom said you could wear a little makeup as you entered those daunting years of high school, eyeliner was likely her pick for her little angel. While it seems to be the makeup product we should have the most experience with, perfecting your eyeliner routine can seem nigh impossible if you aren’t a cosmetics guru.
And let’s not talk about the tightline, otherwise known as the waterline! They say lining it with white liner makes your eyes appear more awake and lining it with darker liner creates a smoky, sultry look perfect for a night out. But why does it seem so stinking challenging to line the tightline without crying, looking like you have allergies (goodbye clear eyes) or having a five-o’clock shadow by the end of the day?
Because it’s a mystery to all of us, we touched base with professional makeup artist Tia Hebron to get pro tips on how to wear eyeliner and line your tightline IRL.
Pick the Proper Formula
Though we like to use what’s most convenient or easy to find in our makeup collections, choosing the right formula is the first step to perfecting the ideal tightline. “Choose a waterproof formula in either pencil, kohl pencil or gel formulas,” suggests Hebron. “These formulas tend to apply easier and wear consistently throughout the day.” Hebron also suggests opting for a highly pigmented option. That way you don’t have to apply the product excessively. Less is more when it comes to this sensitive part of your eye.
Pick the Best Environment
For you gals on the run, Hebron says environment does matter when it comes to lining your eyes sans irritation. “As crazy as it may sound, be mindful of where you are applying your tightline,” she warns. “If you’re applying your makeup in a car with the windows down or near a heating/AC unit, your eyes will tear up from the air coming out of the system.” Another natural element to avoid when lining your eyes is bright sunlight. Though it’s ideal for selfies and photo ops, it can aggravate your eyes.
Take Your Sweet, Sweet Time
Life seems to be constant go, go, go, but setting a proper time for your makeup routine is always a plus. “Try working in intervals within five seconds,” says Hebron. “After every five seconds of lining your tight line, give your eyes time to recover.” This will avoid bloodshot, red eyes or the appearance you’ve been crying for no apparent reason. Take the time you need to create a beautiful look without any chaos or setbacks.
Sketch to Perfection
If you’re going to slow down your pace, you may as well be gentle, too. Roughly lining the waterline of your eye is sure to make you shed unwanted tears and if you’re anything like us, get the liner formula on your actual eyeball. Hebron suggests using a sketching technique versus drawing a line. “This will provide a gentler application, which is sure to give you less irritated eyes.”
Set It in Place
Once you’ve followed these steps and you’ve amazed yourself at how easy they actually can be, keep your hard work in place with a setting powder. “To keep the liner in place, apply a setting powder right next to your lower lash line,” says Hebron. “This will act as a barrier to keep the liner where it needs to be.” If all else fails, Hebron suggests having a stash of Q-tips in your work drawer or purse. Simply touch up and reapply as needed throughout the day.