Makeup Makeup tips

How to Apply Eyeliner – A Step by Step Guide

Eyeliner is one of the go-to tools for your makeup. Today, we’ll share How to Apply Eyeliner, a step-by-step guide.

how to apply eyeliner
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

To all the amazing ladies out there, we are here to discuss some girlish stuff. Whether you are a woman with a deep love for makeup or someone who likes to keep it simple, eyeliner is among the key items that add extra charm to your look. Drawing the perfect lines or complimenting your eyes’ beauty with an eyeliner could be a challenging thing, especially for beginners. While few can get it decent on the very first attempt, for others some practice could be essential to get to that line. That’s why we have created this comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to apply your eyeliner and get the most desired look! Read on to get the steps.

Types of Eyeliner

Before getting inside the detailed method to apply the strokes, let’s get a quick look at the different types of Eyeliner available on the market.

1: Gel Eyeliner:

This is a long-lasting eyeliner that builds up a dramatic and charming effect. It is usually available in a small jar and you’ll need a brush to apply it. The crisper the brush, the more control you’ll have while drawing the lines. For women who like to keep it simple, you can simply apply it on the upper eyelid to line the eye shape. For those who like more charismatic makeup, you can use it to create some sensational special effects like the winged hook look.

2: Liquid Eyeliner:

They are known for creating smooth lines and a complete look. If you want the smoothest eyeliner around, never miss out on the liquid eyeliner that helps you paint fuller lashes. This dark inky stroke will give you an intense lash line and the slimmest application of eyeliner that you could find on the market. You can experiment with many styles of liquid eyeliner; either a thin and natural line or something dramatic, whatever you wish to!

3: Pencil Eyeliner:

Its comprehensive applying formula helps create a clean and natural look. If you have just started to use eyeliner and have never drawn a stroke before, pencil eyeliner is the best item to start with. However, they aren’t for beginners only. Pencil liners are great to develop soft looks, smudgy cat eyes, and tight lining.

How to Apply Eyeliner: Step-by-step Guide

Now that you know the different types of eyeliners available in the market and the different styles it helps to create, let’s get started with the detailed tutorial on applying eyeliner to display the perfect look of your eyes.

Step 1: Preparing Your Eyes

The most crucial part that comes at the very beginning is to prepare your eyes before painting them with sharp lines. This is often overlooked and resultantly an unprepared eye could often leave the application dull. After you cleanse your face and moisturize it, consider putting eye cream around your eyes. It is helpful to level out any redness, discoloration, or premature wrinkles in the section.

Step 2: Kicking off With a Clean Base

The next step is to get a smooth and clear base, for which you need to apply a thin amount of eye primer on the eyelids, under-eye, and the general eye section you’ll be putting any sort of make-up on. The primer helps make the skin even to ensure a smooth application of makeup. This event provides an amazing finish, helping to make the makeup long-lasting. Next comes a concealer that you need to apply above the eyelids and under the eyes. The blending should be well done and it must be set with a setting powder.

Step 3: Draw the Line

Now, comes the central part, applying the eyeliner itself!

Applying Gel Eyeliner:

First, open the lid from the pot which contains the liner and dip the brush inside it to coat the tip with the liner.

Start putting your gel liner to the inner lash heading towards the center, but refrain from filling it yet. Then, put some liner to the outer lash line, going towards the outer edge. You could also consider drawing some dots along the lash and then link them to form a line.

After you have painted the inner and outer edges, then you need to fill the gap that lies along the center of the lash line. To make the line smooth and even, consider repeating it several times. If you wish to get a smokey smudged look, you can blend some eyeshadow along the liner tip.

Applying Liquid Eyeliner:

To apply liquid eyeliner, the first step begins with shaking it to ensure a smooth mixture. Keeping the lid secure, shake the liner for a few seconds. After you are done, open the cap to pull the brush out of it. In case it comes up with an excessive liner, strikes the brush beyond the bottle tip.

Now, kick-off in the middle. Put the brush against the upper lash line to keep it as close as possible to the eyelashes. Then, start drawing the liner to the upper lash line. Step out towards the external edge of the lash line.

Once you are done painting the outer corner, line the inner tip of the upper lash line and link this with the first line tour created. Apply little strokes to connect the lines and fill it out as needed to get a smooth, solid line on the upper lash.

This step of including wings is optional but it helps make your look more charming. If you wish to compliment your makeup with a winged look, simply follow the curve of the outer lash line that moves above the external corner of the eyelid.

Applying a Pencil Eyeliner:

The first step to begin with, in case you are applying a pencil eyeliner will be either too sharp or dull, as required. Creating a smooth, thin line will need you to sharpen the pencil while having a thick and rounded shape like you’ll need to dull it. For sharpening purposes you can use an eyeliner pencil sharpener while to dull it you can smoothly rub the tip on a tissue till you acquire the desired fullness level.

Preparing the liner pencil comes in the second place, which is setting the temperature. A cooler pencil gives you a softer and lighter display while with a warm pencil the look will be more intense and pigmented. Warming up your liner could be done with your hairdryer after you put it on the highest setting and keep the liner aimed at it for a few seconds. This will bring out a gel-like consistency. To cool it down, you can simply refrigerate it for 10 minutes just before application to prevent it from crumbling.

Next, hold the outer tip of the upper lash and pull towards it lightly to keep the eyelid rigid. This ensures a straight even line is formed. Make sure to raise your eyebrows to prevent blocking of the lash line. Keeping the hand steady during this phase is critical and you can consider keeping your elbow on a table to ensure the same.

Now, start with the internal corner and work beyond. Gradually move towards the external tip of the eyelid and move slowly using short strokes to form an even line. If you wish for a more natural look, go for a tight lining. To follow the same, draw the eyeliner to the sections between the lashes on the upper lid. Sum it up, lining your lower lash line just by painting little strokes, as you did with the top lid.

Tips and Tricks to Apply and Keep it Smudge Free

Here are some quick tips to apply your eyeliner and keep it smudge-free.

While applying the strokes, ensure to place your elbows on a table or a countertop to keep them steady.

Using a cosmetic mirror is a great idea with one normal and another magnified side. The latter helps you achieve a clean finish and helps you get a closer look.

Never look up while applying the liner, as it can ruin the shape. Always remember to look down.

Don’t extend the eyelid when you form the wing or else, the complete thing will be ruined. Consider applying smaller strokes without a lot of skin movement.

If you still find it difficult to form the wing, you can always go for a tape to develop it.

Never forget to create a smooth base and don’t directly jump to apply the strokes. A perfect base contributes to the long-lasting durability of the eyeliner stay.


Eyeliner is among the top go-to tools in a girl’s vanity. Whether you are a newbie in using it or have been using it for a long time, it’s significant to stay updated with the latest trends and styles available when using an eye-complimenting item. With the ideas gathered together and our comprehensive tutorial to help you, you will be pro in applying the perfect strokes soon. Also, never forget to experiment with new textures that help provide your eye with a stunning look!

By Ebubechukwu Okafor

I'm a freelance writer, transcriber and a microbiologist.