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e.l.f.'s Guide to Eyeliner


There are MILLIONS of different eyeliners on the market today confusing us to the point of giving up! Fear not, we're here to tell you how to use them and what works best for you!

1. Kohl/Pencil: This is probably the easiest form of eyeliner and is used amongst beginners and experts! Kohl or Pencil eyeliners are applied by literally just drawing across your lash line. For a defined line, sharpen the pencil for a fresh pointed tip and line as close to the lash line as you can, carefully. Kohls are also great for creating smoky eyeliner or eyeshadow looks. Just apply the liner as you normally would and smudge it out with either your finger, a Q-Tip, or even a pencil brush. For more precise application or if you want to try a winged look, use an Eyeliner Brush to pick up some eyeliner from the Kohl/Pencil and line eyes with ease. Kohl/ Pencil Liner is also the most common used eyeliner for lining the upper and lower waterline (the line inside your eye). (Try our Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in 'Blissful Blush' for a brightening effect)

2. Cream Eyeliner:  Cream Eyeliner is my personal favorite. This eyeliner is waterproof so no matter how you wear it, it will last without giving you raccoon eyes at the end of the night. Cream Eyeliner seems intimidating because you need to use it with a brush, but in my opinion it's the fastest and easiest eyeliner to use. All you need to do is pick up a little bit of the color on an Angled Brush or Eyeliner Brush (not too much!) and line the eyes carefully. The beauty of Cream Eyeliner is that it is more forgiving when applied, as opposed to Liquid Eyeliner. Cream Eyeliner can also be smudged out when applied to achieve a sultry, smoky look but make sure to smudge it immediately after you apply it because the product will stay put once it's dried. Cream Eyeliner can also be applied to the waterline and will probably last longer than Pencil/Kohl. Another added bonus- it can be used as a cream eyeshadow or an eyeshadow base when applied and blended with your fingers! Kudos for multi-functional products! (Try our Cream Eyeliner in 'Teal Tease' for a bright, fun look)

3. Liquid Eyeliner: Liquid Eyeliner is every beginners worst nightmare. Although it does achieve the most beautiful result in all eyeliner categories, Liquid Eyeliner takes patience and practice. This eyeliner in my opinion, takes the longest to apply. You need to steady your elbow on a table or desk, lean your head back and look down into a mirror and line in short smooth strokes to achieve a perfect line free of track marks (you know, those little marks you get when your eyeliner skips and leaves spots without eyeliner). This liner will give you the prettiest, smoothest, and darkest line you can ever get with an eyeliner. Some people even trace out their line with Cream or Powder eyeliner first and then go over it with Liquid Eyeliner to really make the eyes pop. I do NOT recommend using this eyeliner on the waterline as it will irritate your eyes. Also, steer clear of using this eyeliner on your lower lash line unless your a pro because it will not apply as smooth as the top lid. This is also the best eyeliner for creating a wing because the brush is made just for that! (Try our Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black' for high drama). 

4. Powder Eyeshadow: Eyeliner can actually be made from whatever eyeshadow you have laying around! Using a damp eyeliner brush or even a dry one, dip into powder eyeshadow and line your eyes as you would with any eyeliner. This gives a softer line to the eyes than a Cream or Liquid eyeliner would. This method of application ISN'T long wearing unless used with an eyeshadow primer. I used to apply dry eyeshadow as eyeliner every day for years because it was quick, didn't require precision, and looked so natural! (Try our Pigment Eyeshadow in 'Passionate Purple' for funky eyeliner)

5. Eyeliner Pen: This is the easier alternative to Liquid Eyeliner. You get the same defined effect, but with an easier application. All you do is take the cap off, and line the eyes with short strokes. The felt tip pen makes winging out eyes a breeze and is great for on-the-go application. I would NOT recommend using this eyeliner on the water line or lower lash line because it will irritate eyes and will not apply smoothly. Keep these eyeliners stored upside down in a cup to achieve maximum saturation. (Try our Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in 'Midnight' for effortless precision)

What formula of Eyeliner do YOU prefer and why? Tell us here!

Patti, contributing elfette