Eyeliner Application

Kristen von Riesen - Pure Anada Makeup Artist 

Eyeliner is a tricky business. When done well, it accentuates the shape of the eyes and makes your lashes look fuller. When done poorly, it can draw negative attention to the eyes, such as making them look small, making dark circles look darker, or giving you a black eye. So let’s address some eyeliner techniques!

First of all, there are a few variables that affect how to wear eyeliner:
Eye Shape
Hair/Skin Tone

How Age Affects Eyeliner Application:

Let’s address age. I find on both extremes of the age spectrum (pre- and young teen, and elderly), it is most flattering to keep the eyeliner a soft color - such as grey/charcoal, brown, navy, etc. Stay away from a harsh shade such as black as it tends to age a person. For young girls, it can be fun to use soft or bright colours too! Try purple, gold, or green for a pop of colour. Then you can get away with little to no eye shadow, keeping your look more simple.

For you more mature ladies, keep the eyeliner to the top lid only or if you really prefer liner under the eyes, smudge smudge SMUDGE! No thin harsh lines under the eyes - it will age you and make your eyes look smaller. This rule basically applies to all women, however I find it especially affects older women.

How Eye Shape Affects Eyeliner Application:

Eye shape: There are many eye shapes under the sun! Here are a few tips on applying eyeliner for various eye shapes. Keep in mind that dark colours can make eyes look smaller, and light colours make them look larger.

Therefore, for small eyes, keep the line nice and thin - particularly on the upper eyelid. And avoid using any dark liner in the waterline. By either not using liner under the eyes, or by applying a very smudged line under the eyes, you will create the illusion of larger eyes.

For hooded eyes (where not a lot of the moving eyelid is showing), also keep the line on the upper lid thin. 

For large eyes or heavy-lidded eyes, feel free to apply a thicker line. It also looks very flattering to smudge the line (both on the upper and lower lashline) for heavy-lidded eyes. If you like the look of liner in the waterline, go for it!

Eyes that are a bit close-set, focus the liner on the outer half of the eyes - like a cat-eye/winged liner look. This will draw the eyes apart. And the opposite goes for eyes that are wide-set - focus the thickness of the line toward the inner corners of the eyes, and avoid a winged liner.

How Hair and Skin Tone Affect Eyeliner Application:

This one is pretty simple - the lighter the hair and skin tone, the lighter the eyeliner *should* be. I say *should* because I don’t want you to think this is a hard and fast rule and that you should never ever play with darker colours. I have seen some super fair redheads wear a thick winged liner with loads of black mascara and it looked amazing! 

That goes for all of my “rules” I’ve just listed! Don’t take makeup application too seriously. These are guidelines as to what is most flattering, however there are always exceptions. As I usually say, have fun with makeup and use it as a fun tool to accentuate your beauty and personality! 

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