Sep 11, 2013

Power Liners

We all use eyeliner to achieve the same goals: make our eyes pop, look awake and to add dimension. With everyone aiming for the same things, why are there so many different liners to choose from? There are five million pencil options alone, then you add in liquid liners with brush or felt marker tips, not to mention gel liners. How do you know which one is right for you or even wear you're supposed to use it?

Here's my quick and easy breakdown (and a few of my must haves):


My personal go-to for everything is the Smashbox Jet Set Gel Liner in deep black. I've mentioned this before and it's because I absolutely love it. The gel gives off a rich, deep pigmented color, it's so easy to apply and smudge around and the Sephora Pro Bent Liner Brush #23 makes it a cinch to apply to the upper lash line. You can get in real close to the lash line and then build the line out as thick as you want. Once you put this liner on, it's not going anywhere until you wash your face, no matter how many hours you go after first applying it. I also apply the gel liner to my lower waterline with the Sephora Pro Flat Liner Brush #25. This allows me to pack the liner onto my waterline without the hassle. It's like gel liner was made for the lower waterline. It doesn't budge down there. It doesn't take a lot of practice to use this type of liner. It's so easy to apply and you don't have to worry about it again.

If I'm going for a bit of a different look, I'll reach for a liquid liner. For one, you can build a bit better of a cat eye/winged out look with a liquid liner than some other options. I really like the L'Oreal Lineur Intense with the felt tip because it makes applying liquid liner a teensy-tiny bit easier than the brush, which can wiggle around a bit more. You don't have to be quite as precise with a straight line when using a felt tip liquid liner. It kind of does the work for you.

For that classic liquid liner look that is unmistakable, I'll use the Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner. Liquid liner with the long skinny brush applicator takes the most practice out of any other liners to get just right. It definitely takes practice to guide that wiggly brush in just the right motion, so you end up with a clean, straight line—instead of a squiggly line that jumps all over the place. It also makes the biggest mess if you accidentally smear it before it's completely dried.

On the weekends, I'm all about simplicity when it comes to makeup, unless there's a special occasion of sorts. When I just want to real quickly swipe on some liner to make my eyes pop and not put in a ton of work, I'll go with the old and trusty pencil liner, MAC Powerpoint Pencil Engraved. It glides on smooth and easy and works great on the lower lash line or waterline as well. Don't discount this pencil liner when you want a more intense look though. It smudges out beautifully to help build a dramatic smokey eye and even looks great smudged along the lower lash line too. Pencil liners always come in handy and are a necessity for everyone. They are so simple to use and multi-task more than any other liner.

The overwhelming thing about pencil liners, however, is that there are so many choices. Kohl? Retractable? Waterproof? Self-sharpening (apparently this is a new thing)? There's no wrong answer here. Pick what you like. Kohl smudges out a bit more and the tip is a bit softer than some other pencils. They are great for smokey looks, but can sometimes move around or run in high heat (at least for me).

The last liner I'll touch on isn't really an eye liner, but can be used like one. It's the eyeshadow as liner trick. You definitely want a deeply pigmented color if you're only using powder shadow as your liner. Otherwise you'll never see it. I love the Urban Decay Shadow "blackout" the blackest matte black and always apply it with a MAC 219 Pencil Brush. I'm not a huge fan of using powder shadow to line your upper lash line. It just never defines like other eye liners do. On the other hand, I love smudging it on my lower lash line with the pencil brush and creating a smudged out/smokey lower lash line. A bit more cleaned up powder shadow lower lash line is also great for the office. Line your upper lash line with whatever type of liner you want and then run a smooth line of powder shadow on your lower lash line and the look isn't as intense as it would be if you took a precision liner to your bottom lash or waterline.

While some liners take a bit more practice (I'm looking at you liquid liner) once you get the hang of them, they are all user friendly. I love that each different type of liner provides a completely different look and mixing and matching them works really well too.

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