The Eyeliner Guide


Since the time when Cleopatra used to line her eyes in black kohl, things have moved on a fair bit in the world of eyeliners. In spite of having different variations of tools to rim and define our peepers with, one thing that hasn’t changed, is that the simple liner is synonymous with female beauty. Fact. Bridget Bardot, Adele, Sophia Loren, and even Kate Middelton have made eyeliner their statement look, but with so many formulas to choose from, ranging from the fiddly to the down right artistic, which one is the best one to go for?

Here’s my little guide into the world of the humble liner;


The Classic Pencil; Ah the pencil, so humble, so easy to use, our first run in with make-up no doubt. Just make sure you have a sharpener at the ready as a blunt pencil to the eye, is no fun at all. I’m sure every girl has got the embarrassing pictures of their 13 years old selves –  you know the look I mean; heavy handed black rimmed liner. Not the most flattering, but when done delicately, even smudged a little, the pencil can provide just the right amount of smoky eye. In my opinion, pencils are the only kind of eyeliner that you can use on your lower lashes (easily).

Tips n’ Tricks….

  • Rimming your entire eye with liner will make them appear smaller – for larger looking peepers only apply to the outer corners of the eye
  • For eyes that really POP line the inner waterline with a white pencil – I like Mac’s Eye Kohl in Fascinating
  • Experiment with colored liners – This is a great way to add some subtle color to your eyes, and mix up your make-up routine – I love the Bobbi Brown creamy eye pencil in Pine, for a lovely dark green flash of color
  • For added intensity rim the top lash line, and inner water line with liner
  • If you have a pale complexion choose a light brown, that won’t look as harsh.
  • For soft beautiful eyes that aren’t too heavy, line the top lash line with black, and the lower lash line with brown

Cream liners & Gel Liners; For those with a steady hand or liner pro’s, apply a cream eye liner like Mac’s FluidLine in BlackTrack with a thin pointed brush like Mac’s 210, or an angled brush like Mac’s 266, this will create an intense line, making the lashes look thicker. For a gel eyeliner that will last all day, try out the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliners – I love using Sapphire Shimmer for a beautiful navy blue. Take warning though – these don’t budge easily so apply with caution.

Tips n’ Tricks….

  • Grab a mirror, and rest your elbow on a hard surface  like a table. Gently pull your eye taut with the opposite hand and look down into the mirror. Starting at the inner corner of the eye with small feathery strokes, and then join them all up for a
  • Check out my winged liner tutorial here.
  • Cotton buds and eye make-up remover are your friends!


Powderliners; These are pencils that as the name would suggest, have a powder consistency rather than a waxy formula that most eyeliner pencils have. I love these as they create a soft sultry smoky look, with minimal effort. I’ve have only ever seen them from one brand, Cosmetics a’la Carte. My favourite is the Powderliner in Tornado 04.

Tips n’ Tricks….

  • Use the sponge tipped end to make the line softer and smoky.

Cake Eyeliners; Besides pencils, these were probably one of the first types of eyeliners I used in my days putting on shows at stage school. One of the most fiddly kind’s of liners. You use these with a wet brush, and a little extra water on the cake liner. Swish it around to coat your brush, then apply in the same way you would a cream or gel liner. I love the artistic quality of these, (it’s really just like painting) and the sheer finish. The line they create can look a little watery at times though. I like to use Laura Mercier Black Ebony cake eyeliner.


Pen Eyeliners; If I want an intense eyeliner that’s not too fussy to apply, I always reach for a pen eyeliner. Just like a felt tip, these have a pointed nib, that again, you apply in the same way as a cream or gel liner. My favorite by far is the Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner in Black. Read the full post of this one here.

Liquid Liners: I find liquid liners the most difficult to use. I think it’s because they are so runny, it’s easy to make mistakes with them, still,  when applied well they look amazing. Think Adele’s 60’s inspired winged make-up and you’re there. These are easy to create fluid lines with though, as they are runnier than other eyeliner formulations. My favorite is the Rimmel Exaggerate eyeliner in 001 Black, which comes in a tiny pot, with a pointed applicator brush.


With so many liners out there, there’s one that’s perfect for you. Remember, cotton buds and eye make-up remover at the ready, and you’re set to line away! Slow and steady win’s the race people:)

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