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Flirt the Line: How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner

Precisely applied liquid eyeliner can give the appearance of bigger eyes, longer lashes, and considerable glamour — and with the right makeup and enough practice, even a novice can pull it off. Follow these simple tips to get the look. –mckenzie harris

Concentrate on Quality

Choosing a good liquid liner is crucial. It should be a quick-dry formula, so smudges are less likely, and it should have a soft tip that tapers slightly at the end. The color should also be rich — test it on the back of your hand and make sure you can draw a very dark line without having to push down too hard.

Master Technique

First, trace the upper lashes with an eye pencil or a damp angled brush dipped in dark shadow, getting as close to the lashes as possible. Once you’ve got the perfect line, trace over it with a liquid formula. To keep your hand steady, rest your elbow on a table and keep a light grip on the brush. Tip: Start from the middle of the lid for better control over the thickness of the line.

Flaunt Your Shape

If your eyes are close together, leave the inner corner bare and highlight it with a pale shimmery shadow. Extend the line at the outer corners, finishing just beyond the edge of the lash line — the farther out, the more dramatic the look. This makes close-set eyes appear to have more space between them. For eyes that are wide-set, the opposite holds true. Line the eyes all the way to the inner corner and don’t extend the line at the outer corners. If you’re wearing liquid liner for day, be sure the line is fine — no heavy streaks — and match your mascara to the liner.

Don’t Fuss Over a Smudge

Skip makeup remover when cleaning up mistakes. Instead, saturate a Q-tip with moisturizer, which will remove unwanted liner without affecting the other makeup you’ve put on.

Less Is More

To keep the look fresh and modern, the rest of your makeup should be clean, with light concealer and a soft pink blush on the cheeks.

MAC Fluidline $15

NYX Liquid Liner $5

L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner $8.50

MAC 266 Small Angle Brush $19.50