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How to Do Eyeliner Like a Pro

Expert advice on how to get perfect eyeliner with any product, every time

Written by: 100% PURE®
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Need to learn how to do eyeliner like a pro, but still want to keep things as easy as possible? You’re in luck – sharing industry tips and best practices is what this blog is all about! We tapped into the knowledge goldmine of makeup artists and experts to get you the goods. We’ll teach you how to do eyeliner makeup with tips, FAQ’s, and bizarre secrets that only makeup artists know – but rarely share!


Get a Grip (Literally) for Improved Precision

If you’re stressing over how to do eyeliner perfectly (without the zig-zags), you’re not alone. You don’t need next level patience to do it right – just try this unexpected technique. “If your hands get shaky any time you attempt to trace a line, try this makeup artist secret: clench your toes. Yes, really.” Makeup artist Erik Soto told Byrdie it’s an industry secret among artists with shaky hands. Don’t thank us – just treat your toes to a pedicure to reward their hard work!

If you’re already a pro on how to do eyeliner, well lean in – we have a hot pro tip that even you might not have heard yet! Did you consider that the way you hold your eyeliner might be affecting your line?

"Gripping the eyeliner further up puts too much pressure on the tip, which can make the liner jagged or goopy," says Daniel Martin, celebrity makeup artist, to Elle. Move your grip further down the pencil or wand while applying for a more graceful, fluid application.

Don’t believe us? Take the grip challenge by applying eyeliner with your standard grip, and then with our new, industry insider method. Now, take a step back to compare – thoughts? We’ve tested this tip, and have a feeling we know which one will win your at-home eye-to-eye challenge!


Eye Liner Products
Perfection with Pencil, Liquid, or Gel

Within the hot debate discussing how to do eyeliner, there are two camps: pencil lovers and liquid devotees. If you’re just learning how to apply eyeliner, that means you’re still open to either – so listen up!

Liquid Eyeliner
If you’re new to liquid eyeliner, we’d recommend starting with the three dots method. Simply put, you’re going to make a series of small dots (about three) along your lash line. Next, you’ll slowly connect the dots. This will help you go for even, fluid connections – versus diving headfirst with one big swoop – when practicing how to do liquid eyeliner. Slow and steady wins the (perfect eyeliner) race!

Pencil and Gel Eyeliner
Another industry pro tip is knowing that “powder shadows act as a magnet for liquid liners to stick to," explains Martin, which means less slipping and smudging throughout the day. If you're using a creamy formula, prep lids with a mattifying primer first. This advice goes for gel liners, too; we recommend using a Dual Ended Eyebrow Brush for a tighter, sharper application.


Before After Eye Liner
More Pro Tips for Perfecting Your Eyeliner Look

Set, set, set!
A common misconception is that only liquid eyeliner takes extra time to set; pencil eyeliner needs some setting TLC after applying, too! “Even pencil liner takes a little while to set – the wax in it is melting against your skin – so if you always end up smudging, the best fix is to pat a little translucent powder or concealer on top of your liner. It'll help dry things up right away, keep the liner from sliding off oily skin, and help prevent it from shifting when you blink,” gushes Lacey Gattis of ITG.

Bring in a brush
If you’re new to how to do eyeliner, a pencil method might seem more approachable. The application process allows for more mistakes, since the waxy formula tends to be more forgiving. We’d recommend lightly applying the pencil tight to the lash base, then working up the height. You can do this either by retracing a bit higher with each swipe, or simply buffing the pigment up and outwards with a small eyeliner brush. These tricks will instantly add the appearance of volume and length to your lashes – sold!

Don’t be afraid to improvise
If you’re really in a jam and eyeliner isn’t an option (ran out of your fave formula, lost your makeup bag, etc) we’ve got an emergency tip for how to do eyeliner on the fly. “Try using your mascara as liner,” says makeup artist Moani Lee told Glamour.com. “I curl lashes and then add two to three coats of mascara, pressing and holding the lash wand into the root of the lashes without wiggling it.” Easy! While it won’t win you any technical application awards, it will give you the illusion of a smokey, eyeliner-esque finish.


Are you ready to dig into your makeup bag and try some of our expert tips on how to do eyeliner? Us, too! We’re covering more how-to’s, round-ups, and tutorials on our blog. Check out our newest articles to take a deeper dive into the world of natural beauty!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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