7 Mistakes You Didn’t Know You’re Making With Liquid Eyeliner

If you’ve ever perused the annals of makeup-themed blogs and Instagram accounts, you’ll know that there is a certain hierarchy when it comes to makeup products. This is true in regards to quality—you’ll have your Sephora, then your Ulta, then your drugstore, then your dollar store products, but also in regards to makeup difficulty. Certain types of makeup, like bronzer and mascara, are supposed to be easy, but liquid eyeliner? Not a chance.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone with an interest in makeup–other than, like, a professional makeup artist—for whom the mention of “liquid eyeliner” does not strike fear into their hearts. Liquid eyeliner, as far as popular mythology goes, anyway, is about as hard as it gets. It’s the double-black  diamond of the makeup game.  (And  there, you will see, is where I have exhausted all of my sports metaphors). Basically, if you’ve ever worn liquid eyeliner done it, chances are good that you’ve messed up. But it doesn’t have to be this way! You, too, can master the double black diamond of makeup. You just have to know what you’re doing wrong, then, you know, fix it. So, check out these mistakes you’re making with your liquid eyeliner:

Trying To Do It All At Once

A lot of people approach liquid eyeliner in the same way that they might tearing off a band-aid--that is, they try to get it all done at once for fear they'll chicken out halfway through. (Or,at least, that's the way I usually approach it.) But liquid eyeliner is not actually like a band-aid! It's actually much more effective to draw a small series of dots above the eye where you'd like the liner to go, then carefully connect it.

Image source: iStock

Only Wearing It On The Bottom Lash

Wearing eyeliner under your eyes can definitely look cool, but it's not the *only*place you want to wear it, especially if it's liquid eyeliner. This will draw attention down, rather than up, and make your whole face look more tired overall. Plus, since liquid liner can be inclined to smear, it's not ideal to wear under your eyes anyway, since you tend to collect more moisture there.

Image source: iStock

Closing Your Eyes For A Cat Eye

Closing your eyes when you do a cat eye probably feels second nature at this point. But, as it turns out, this is not the way to go, since your eyes fold differently when they're closed and will probably result in uneven-looking eyes. Instead, keep your eyes open, which is easier than you may think at first (since you're applying the liner above your eye, which is less sensitive than the bottom portion) and will result in a much more even look.

Image source: iStock

Pulling On Your Eye When You Apply

Much like closing your eyes when you apply eyeliner, tugging on your eyelid to create a flat surface probably feels second nature to you. Don't do this! Making the skin taut might make it easier to put on liner, but it alters the look of your skin, so your liner might look sloppy once you let it go. Plus, it's just bad for your skin overall, and can lead to sagging and wrinkles in the eyes later down the road. So, try to press your fingers at the corner of your eye to "anchor" the skin, rather than totally pulling at it--it might take some getting used to, but it'll definitely pay off.

Image source: iStock

Doing Your 'Flicks' Free-Hand

Now, for some of us, any kind of cat eye-adjacent "flick" might seem totally out of the question. But that's probably because you're thinking of doing them totally free-hand--that is, without any structure or guidance. It does not have to be this way! Literally all you have to do to get a fierce flick is place some tape between the outer corner of your eye to the outer corner of you eye. If you trace along that, you'll get a perfect, effortless-looking wing that's sure to be the envy of everyone you come come across.

Image source: iStock

Putting It On After Mascara

One would think that it is common sense to apply eyeliner before mascara, but apparently a lot of people like to do it the other way. This is, uh, not a great idea. Applying mascara makes your eyelashes bigger and thicker, so, on a practical level, they might just get in the way when you're trying to get some hyper-precise liquid eyeliner done. It could also cause more smudging if the mascara doesn't completely dry before you apply it.

Image source: iStock

Forgetting To Smudge-Proof

Even if you do everything right, you could still end up with a super-streaky cat eye a few minutes after you apply if you forget to smudge-proof it. So, after you finish your liner, dust some translucent powder or dot some powder shadow of the same color over it.

Image source: iStock


Do you make any of these mistakes? Do you have any good tips for dealing with them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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