001. NYX MATTE LIQUID LINER, £6.00
First things first, it's matte. I don't really know what else to say, surely you should just be sold on that alone? I'm a huge fan of glossy liner paired with a red lip for the perfect red carpet look, but some days you just need a good matte liner. It's probably one of the most long-wearing liners I've come across; it's highly pigmented, the precise nib means it's extremely easy to work with, even for liner noobs. I've tried a lot of eyeliners in my time but this is definitely one of the best out there, even competing with the higher end offerings. Whether you're wanting to create a flawless cat eye or add subtle detailing I definitely would recommend checking this out, especially when it retails at just £6.00.
002. URBAN DECAY PERVERSION FINE LINER, £17.00
If you're wanting something long lasting, highly pigmented and waterproof, Urban Decay have got you covered. Perversion Fine Liner has an ultrafine tip which glides on smoothly without pulling on the skin, it leaves behind a smooth, flawless and controlled line perfect for just about any look. You can easily create both fine and bolder, thicker lines, and the waterproof formula means that it won't be budging until you tell it to - to smudged liner down your face, even in the scorching heat. The formula is quite wet to start out with making it extremely easy to apply, but it quickly dries down to prevent smudging or feathering, and the colour payoff is just something else - I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
003. ILLAMASQUA PRECISION GEL LINER, £21.00
Gel liner is a real Marmite kinda product, some love it, while others despise it. Illamasqua are offering a water-resistant gel liner to help achieve the perfect, flawless line with ease. The long-wearing pigment and formula glides on the skin effortlessly and dries quickly to a waterproof finish. The high pigment is perfect for applying all over the lid as an eyeshadow base under your smoky eye looks, while also being the perfect addition to your brow routine if you're wanting something super edgy and sharp. Unlike a lot of gel liners I've tried, I love how black and highly pigmented this beauty is, the colour never looks washed out or muted and it stays in place all day! I find application best with an angled brush, apply it with a damp brush for an even sharper look.
004. NYX EPIC INK LINER, £9.00
Although this is a new addition to my stash, I quickly fell head over heels for the high pigment. I love the application of this liner, the slender and easy to use nib means you're able to create a precise and flawless look with just a quick sweep. The rich formula means that the nib never feels too harsh on your skin, never rubbing or pulling on the lid; effortless highly pigmented winged liner every time. I'd heard so many positive things about this liner before finally testing it out, and I've even heard rumors that this the perfect dupe for the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner everyone and their mothers go crazy about. I'm yet to try it out for myself, but as soon as I do, you'll be the first to find out.
005. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, £15.50
I've been having a love affair with the Urban Decay pencil liners for a fair few years now, and within that time I've developed quite the collection. I'm a huge fan of how effortlessly and smoothly they glide over the skin, and how they instantly pack a punch. A quick sweep of one of these beauties and your makeup look is completely transformed. I love Perversion, which is an incredibly richly pigmented black, Mushroom and Smog for softer brown hues, along with all my increase coloured liners too. I definitely think that the drugstore are able to offer pretty good dupes for liners, but I'm yet to find anything that even starts to measure up to how good these are. Despite them being a pencil, they're extremely long lasting and easy to work with, you can blend them out on first application to create an effortless and smoky look, or you can create a sharp and precise look depending on your personal preference and style.
I also really enjoy applying these in the crease of my lid to help create a cut crease look. I find that they're so easy to work with and blend out that you're able to create a flawless and quick cut create with minimal effort - I mean, really, what else do you want? I love applying these under the lid, but also as a lip liner if I'm wanting to do something a little different. The options are endless and I would highly recommend you check them out for yourself if you haven't already.
TIPS & TRICKS
001. FIGURE OUT WHICH FORMULA IS BEST FOR YOU.
Pencil eyeliners are always going to be the easiest to apply, but they're not always the most precise and long lasting. It all depends on what you're wanting. I tend to opt for pencil liners when I'm wanting a soft and defused line to frame my lash line. Gel liners tend to be matte and easy to distribute, but unless you've got a steady hand and precise brush things can go from hot to not in very little time... Liquid liners are known for their precision, they're often a relatively wet formula that dries down after application. They're quite often the most long lasting and pigmented, but unless you know what you're doing, they can be difficult to get the hang of. Felt liners are probably my favourite for a day to day basis, they act like a liquid liner, have the ease and application of a pencil liner and basically they're probably going to be your best friend while you're learning the tricks of the trade - it's also relatively easy to create a winged liner with felt lines, after a little practice at least.
002. CONCEALER WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
A number of mistakes I made when I first started out with eyeliner is unreal, a trusty concealer will never do you wrong though. It's a great little tool to have to fix and tidy up any mistakes or smudges, plus it really helps to give you a sharp and flawless look - even if it did take you 5 attempts...
003. IF YOUR LINER SMUDGES, ROLL WITH IT.
When my liner doesn't go right or smudges slightly 9/10 I'll just blend it out a little more with some eyeshadow and make it look intentional. The smokey and slightly grungy look will save just about any eyeliner disaster. Don't worry if you intended to go for a sharp cat liner and ended up with more of a Johnny Depp x Captain Jack kinda deal. Wear it with confidence, no-one will ever know!
004. USE CLEAR TAPE AS A GUIDE FOR A FAIL-SAFE CAT EYE.
Place the edge of the tape in line with your bottom lash line and angle the top toward the end of your eyebrow. This creates the perfect guide for your eyeliner (or eyeshadow), it ensures that the pigment sticks to a harsh and controlled line and you don't have to worry about making a mess. Once you peel back the tape you're left with the most incredible sharp cat eye. I love doing this with eyeliner, but especially my eyeshadow. It means that everything blends out to the same point and I'm guaranteed a tidy and neat line with minimal touch ups required.
005. HOLD YOUR EYE FOR MORE CONTROL.
You’ll find that most liners tend to get stuck or skip across your lid, so start off by creating a smooth canvas for your liner to glide across. Using your pointer and middle finger, pull the skin above your eye taut for a smoother, more precise line. Instead of free-handing it, prop your elbow up on the counter to steady your hand. Just be sure not to manhandle the delicate skin around your eye — you don’t want to tug too hard and risk stretching or damaging the skin.
Definitely let me know if you've got any product recommendations or even tips and tricks you'd like to share with us. I'm always on the hunt for new products to try, I've actually got my eye on the Kat Von D liner at the moment so I'm feeling there could possibly be a post chatting about that in the near future... Eyeliner can be such a difficult product to get right but practice makes perfect; don't be afraid to experiment and eventually you'll get the hang of it. Remember, each eye shape is different and just because something works for somebody else, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. Figure out what styles and shapes work best for your eye shape, find the products you love and eventually applying eyeliner will become second nature to you - you'll be doing it in your sleep in no time!