The Right Way To Use Black Eyeliner (Without Messing Up Your Cat-Eye)

Never be intimidated by black eyeliner again. With tips from one of our favourite makeup pros, you will be sporting the cat-eye look pretty much every day.

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how to use eyeliner properly, a sketch of a woman with a cat-eye
illustration credit: shutterstock

There is a fine line in how to use black eyeliner

While liquid eyeliner evolves – I spy rounded tips, long-wearing formulas and the inkiest shades ever – one thing remains: This teensy tool can wield serious intimidation.

Don’t fret if you haven’t nailed it yet; a little time will lead to triumph over this beauty essential.

“Liquid eyeliner really enhances, reshapes and frames the eyes, and it may even give you the illusion of an eye lift,” says Jane McKay, senior artist for M.A.C. Cosmetics. “It may be soft and subtle or fierce – the choice is yours.”

McKay lines up her best intel, and it all starts with one word: practice! “Once mastered, liquid liner is relatively easy,” she promises. Choose a no-rush, zero-pressure time slot (like before taking your makeup off at night) to hone your skills.

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how to use eyeliner properly, an illustration of eyeliner being applied to the outer part of the eye
illustration credit: shutterstock

How to use black eyeliner: First, find your angle

“For ergonomics, sit close to a mirror with good lighting,” says McKay. “Relax your eyes, lift your chin, elevate your eyebrow muscles and apply the product sparingly from the centre of the eye out.”

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use black eyeliner, short strokes
illustration credit: shutterstock

How to use black eyeliner: Use short hand

“I like to apply liquid eyeliner using short strokes – I find that they give me more flexibility and precision,” says McKay. “My all-time favourite liner look is a thin line brushed along the base of the lashes to lightly frame the eye and help the lash line appear denser.”

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use eyeliner, learn what's flattering
illustration credit: shutterstock

How to use black eyeliner: Learn your angles

“Sometimes liquid liner looks best applied to the outer half of the eye or, on some people, lining two-thirds or the whole upper lash line,” says McKay. “Experiment to see which one gives you the desired effect.”

Originally Published in Best Health Canada

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