By Adeela Akmal
Tue, 09, 20

From subtle eyeliner to full-on cat-eye drama, this week You! brings to you the eyeliner 101 for every occasion...


When it comes to makeup, eyeliner application truly may be one of the more challenging things to master. Whether you prefer a crisp cat eye or a sultry, smoky effect, getting there can be a process riddled with smudges and frustration. But, when your stars align and your liner is en point, there is no denying the impact it has. Oftentimes, your liner is the key that pulls the whole look together.

This week You! scours for the best liner hacks by pro makeup artists and brings you the guide to a perfect kohled eyes. Whether you are a beginner or the intermediate-to-advanced wing-wearers, you’ll find pro-tips, tricks, and hacks to make eyeliner application easy and effortlessly precise.

Makeup by Bina Khan

Figure out your products

There are umpteen eyeliner products out there in the market and you have to find the one that works for you. Some prefer working with a typical marker liner, some like the gel pot with a brush and some opt for the kajal pencil. Liquids can be prone to wobbliness and pencils are prone to smeariness. According to Carl Ray (whose clientele includes former First Lady Michelle Obama) believes that a gel liner is the easiest way to create a beautiful defined eye and it is long-lasting, too. Moreover, it’s also a good idea to invest in some tools to practice like the small angled brush. It is perfect for dipping into gels and powders to get those angles just right.

Let your liner bleed artistically

Once you figure out how a product functions – a kajal will bleed at some point despite its formula – you need to work around it. Makeup Artist Bina Khan shares her trick to work with, not against, a bleeding kajal in her recent live session. Once you have your concealer and foundation on, take a brown kajal pencil (she uses L’Oreal Scandaleyes in brown) and apply it in the inner V of your eye. Then, take your black eye pencil and apply it on the rest of your waterline, upper and lower both. Bina points out that putting the kajal in your waterline can make your eye look a little smaller. So, to remedy that, take your brown pencil and apply it to the outer edge of your lower water line and in to the base of your lashes, keeping it really tight to your lower lash line.

Now, use a small, soft brush, or a damp cotton bud, dipped in a little bronze eye shadow and blend the line where the brown meets the skin. This way the shimmer line will form a little barrier, which will hold the kohl in place. And when it eventually starts to move a little it will turn in to a pretty gradient; black to brown to bronze. This creates an artistic bleed rather than black smudged all over the face.

Makeup by Bina Khan

Creating the perfect wing

Once you have got your kajal done, it's time to create that wing. Crisp cat eyes are modern and graphic but can be a pain to perfect. If you are a beginner, it’s best to layer on some product. Liquid liner is notoriously challenging to use, so if you are a beginner, trace out the shape you desire before. You can use a brow powder dipped in an angled brush as it is light and easier to erase. Once you are satisfied with the shape, rather than the tip, tilt your liner sideways and then apply on top of your traced shape to complete the look.

For a smoked cat eye, we can follow the process that celebrity artist Hung Vanngo used on Selena Gomez. There are only certain products, such as gel and powder liners, stay malleable long enough to create any kind of smoking effect. Others, such as liquid eyeliners, dry too quickly to achieve any kind of manipulation after they're placed on the skin. It’s the same process except that after Vanngo creates a cat-eye (like he did for Selena Gomez), he goes back to soften it up a bit and smokes it outwards at the ends.

Pro tip: A shaky hand translates to shaky lines, try relying on a little extra support, literally. Steady your elbow on a table, bathroom countertop, or any other flat surface as you apply the liner. This keeps your arm steady and minimises movement, which is especially helpful when using liquid formulas.

Selena Gomez sporting the ’60s liner by Hung Vanngo

Erase mistakes strategically

We are no stranger to erasing uneven lines and then going back again to perfect it. Some strokes require redoing but there some that require tiny corrections. According to Daniel Chinchilla, who works with cat-eye queen Ariana Grande, it's best to dip a Q-tip in an oil-free makeup remover and using the small head as a tiny eraser - a little bit of mosituriser also does the trick. It's better than messing up your entire makeup to fix a little smudge.

Ariana Grande's makeup done by Daniel Chinchilla

Tread beyond the black

While the black eyeliner will always be a constant, there is a world of hues beyond black that you can explore. For a more soft and subtle look, chocolate brown eyeliner is a great option. Moreover, you can opt for something vibrant or a neon hue if you aren’t in a mood for a full-fledged look but still want to make a statement!