How Do Ya Like Your Liner?

Published in: Just For Fun

Gimme, gimme cat eyes any day of the week!

I’ve been mulling this over since a long chat I had with a makeup artist friend who mentioned that whenever she does someone’s makeup, they usually have very, very strong opinions about how they like their eyeliner to look.

Hmm… Am I that way, too? I like to think I’m pretty open about trying different things, but I don’t know.


I guess it depends on my overall look. I’m not averse to any particular formulas, like I’ll wear pencils, gels, creams or liquids, and I’ll line my lash lines, water lines or sometimes both.

I went through a phase in the ’90s where I’d only line my upper lash and water lines, mostly because I hadn’t yet discovered the trick of setting my liner with eye shadow or powder, so it would always smudge all over the place, and I’d end up looking like a deranged forest sprite.

Once I figured out layering, it was on! And nowadays I’ll line my lower lash line, too, sometimes even just by itself. Give it a try one of these days with a bright color, like a teal or purple, for a cool, minimalist effect with bare lids and tons of mascara.

Smudgy or crisp lines? Yes and yes! Cat eyes, smokey eyes, it’s all good. πŸ™‚

One big no-no for me has to be droopy liner, where instead of your liner lifting up at the flick like in these pics here, it slopes down.

I just can’t. I dunno, I feel like it makes me look like one of my mom’s sad porcelain dolls…

So let’s talk liner!

How do you like yours? Sharp and crisp? Smudgy? Just along your upper or lower lash lines? Water lines? What do you (and don’t you) like when it comes to eyeliner?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 29 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. lexi says:

    It all really depends on my mood. I will say there isn’t a lining look I have walked away from…yet. I say my signature is a crisp black cat eye – top lash line only. I’ve worn it that way since 1991 when I was 16. I do variations of it – be it smudgy, different colors, black line on top, teal on water lines…you name it. I can go without it if I’m wearing a bright lipstick and blush but I just don’t feel the same without it. And no, I don’t go running or to the gym on a Sunday morning with a cat eye….hmmm…
    lexi recently posted … For the Week of April 24th on MissOmniMedia: NARS Summer 2013

  2. Lorraine says:

    Still trying to figure out liner. As my eyes are beginning to show their age, the upward flick is like an eye lift without surgery. Been trying to teach myself a method to do it with pencil. I like the kitten- just a small one, not the full drawn cat eye- I feel that is too severe and might age me for daytime looks. I haven’t tried using marker, liquid or gel eyeliner, is it easier to do with those? Also trying to master tight line. I got a cake liner but still haven’t mastered tightlining upper lash.

  3. I love sleek crisp eyeliner, but not on me. I look better with smudged liner and softer looks.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Beauty hot spots | The best places for beauty shopping in Lausanne

  4. Appu says:

    I like crisp on the upper lash line & soft smudgy on the lower…waterline is a must for me πŸ™‚ My hands have been a little unsteady of late and my liner isn’t as neat. Need to get that under control!
    Appu recently posted … Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color in Pink Rose

  5. Kimmwc03 says:

    I’m fine with anything or no liner at all. It depends on my mood but lately I’ve been like a dark color on top and a bright color in my waterline. I don’t have a steady hand though so cat eyes is tough to do.

  6. Holly says:

    I love it all! I wear a cat eye with a small flick like your pics most days but will also use a pencil the same way and smudge it out. I ALWAYS tight line. Makes the biggest difference to me. I like to wear bright colors on my bottom and water line too or sometimes stick to neutrals and pop a gold on my waterline. Sometimes I will do nothing but peach cheeks and lots of mascara and that looks nice too. God, I love makeup!

    p.s. what shadow are you wearing here??

  7. Danielle says:

    I don’t wear eyeliner everyday, but when I do I really like a crisp line. I don’t go for smudged liner on a regular basis.
    Danielle recently posted … Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub

  8. Carrie says:

    I don’t typically wear eyeliner because I feel like I end up making my already small eyes seem even smaller. How do you apply liner in the inside corner without it running everywhere or getting in your eye?

  9. Sunny says:

    OOO interesting question! I am pretty particular about my eyeliner, now come to think of it. I use gel on my upper lash and waterline 99% of the time. Sometimes I use a pencil on my lower lash line (especially when I want a pop of color), and sometimes I just use gel as well. While I want a crisp line on my upper lash line, I almost always smudge my lower one out. It simply wouldn’t last without the help of a bit of eyeshadow, and I don’t find a sharp line on my lower lash line as flattering. I would LOVE to keep my lower waterline lined as well, but so far I haven’t found a single product that works that way! The hunt continues…
    Sunny recently posted … Dior Coral Glow Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Duo Is Easy to Love, Easy to Use!

  10. Ruchita says:

    I always line my upper lash line and waterline with black liner and I really try to push it into the base of my lashes. I have dark lashes and I find that having that dark base makes my lashes look fuller.

    I usually start with pencil liner and set with MAC Carbon or gel liner. For day, it’s usually a crisp look. For weekends/going out, I’ll do a more smudgy/smokey look.

    I love the look of liner on the lower waterline, but I can’t seem to get it right. I need to practice when I have some time!

  11. Minsooky says:

    I feel very strongly about my liner! I have droopy eyelids so only a cat eye works for me. I also avoid tightlining because my eyelids are very sensitive and I have eye bags (tightlining emphasizes them).
    Minsooky recently posted … Go Gaga…Over MAC Pink Lemonade Lipglass [REVIEW]

  12. Annie says:

    Since I’ve been working I toned down my liner look from a cat eye to a look that emphasizes my upper lashes. It draws attention to my eyes in a more subtle way. Karen I love the look you created here! So gorgeous and fresh! What eye shadows did you use?

  13. Fieran says:

    Smudged pencils for the win. I try to downplay my wrinkles by smudging kohl on my lower lash line but skipping shadow there. So my eyes stand out more.

  14. Charisma says:

    I use gel liner on my upper lash lines and I liked it crisp and simple single eye, just a lil flick. On the lower lash I smudge a gel liner especially on the outer corners. Definitely, on the waterline with the use of Kohl pencil and just outer half for my Tightline. And I’m all ready to go!
    Charisma recently posted … OCC Lip Tar Haul and Review

  15. Heidi says:

    I usually just line my upper lash line. Especially this time of year, allergy season, my eyes get very runny and applying any pressure to my lower lash line leads to the waterworks getting out of control. I love the look of a cat eye, but I’m still working on perfecting that look.

  16. whitney says:

    Mmmm… smudgy chocolate brown liner all day long! I have dark hair and brown eyes, and I love the look with the smudgy liner. Q-tip, my ring finger, the funny smugdger on the end of the liner… whatever. They all work. I remember reading that Patti Hansen loves her smudgy liner “morning, noon, and night,” and I thought, “OH. That is so rocker chic.” I’ve adopted it for myself πŸ˜‰ (Even though most days, I’m less rocker chic and more chasing around a toddler!!)

  17. You look extremely put together with THIS look. I love it!

  18. yelena says:

    MUST DO:
    -sharp and crisp
    -blackest black
    -lash line

    lower lash line – only when i’m going for an Arabic/Cleopatra/ all out look.

    smudged (this is a NO NO for me – it magnifies my bags)

  19. KPrice says:

    Funny – I was just thinking this morning that I while I feel I need eyeliner so my eyes stand out I still don’t think I really know how to wear it. Usually I just go for the smudged look.

  20. Halley says:

    Love (looks great on me):
    *Cat Eye (bold line on top and soft eyeshadow with pencil brush on the bottom)
    *Tightline (love the depth but my eyes are quite sensitive some days)

    *Smudge (I love a defined eye so I struggle with this look)

    *Strong liner top and bottom (makes my eyes look quite small)

  21. Bessie says:

    I can’t create a perfect cat eye for the life of me.. Usually I just wear it on my top lash line, fairly thin. I like wearing it on my waterline, but even when I set the liner it still smudges it’s way down.. πŸ™

  22. Liz says:

    I like liner most ways. I don’t really like the look of putting it underneath the eye, but not on the upper lash line (I like it’s called reverse tight lining). The easiest for me is pencil. The most challenging for me is winged.

  23. I’m actually not super particular. I used to stick with black on the top and that’s it and then I started becoming adventurous. Cat eyes, smudged, colorful…eyeliner is a lot more fun now πŸ™‚

  24. Katherine G says:

    I used to like it very sharp and crisp and I pretty much always wore either black or purple liner. Then you introduced me to UD Bourbon (my new fave neutral brown, that is typically the interview or pair-with-purple-shadow liner), and the Laura Mercier liners such as Stormy Grey, Black Gold, and Black Violet. Even though I’m only 25, I realize I am not as young as I used to be, and that I have to take care of my skin well and wear makeup appropriate for my career and age. I love a strong colored liner that is smudged a bit and blended on the top lash line. The bottom lash line I usually like a little more sharp but smudged looks good too as long as it isn’t too smudged. If I wear bright colors and fun looks, I blend a lot more than I used to to make it softer and prettier. Blending really does make all the difference in the world!

  25. peach says:

    Hey Karen u look gorgeous. The colors play well together. What eye colors hv u used in this look and blush? Pleeezzz…

  26. Mary says:

    Eyeliner is essential for me. In fact, I don’t leave the house without “putting my eyes on” (hahaha!). I like my eyeliner to be defined and subtle, not crisp. At a minimum I tightline the upper lashes with UD Demolition (like to go check the mail or take out the trash πŸ˜‰ ). If am going to work, I’ll lightly add LM Black Gold to my waterline and lower lash line. My favorite thing about this combo is that it’s subtly sultry, but still work appropriate (if that makes sense, LOL!). πŸ™‚

  27. Kim says:

    I don’t think I have hard and fast rules – more just habits. Mainly brown pencil liners (I know, you’re still recovering from the shock). My upper lash lines tend to go from thinner near the inner corner to thicker at the outer. Not with a cat eye flick but more of a subtle car tail fin. πŸ™‚ I never line my water lines but line as close as possible to the lash line and use a light hand – pretty much non-existent in the inner 1/4 and again, getting slightly darker heading to the outer. In the 90s, I used to only line the outer half of the top and bottom. Strange, but true.

  28. Chelsea says:

    I usually prefer a crisp line, and I rarely use pencil… gimme a gel or liquid liner any day! Easier to glide over the eyelids and get a straight line. I like a little wing at the end, sometimes a bigger wing if I’m dressing up.

    I almost never put eyeliner on the bottom lashline – it doesn’t look good on me! If I want some attention down there, I use a soft shadow and maybe a teeny bit of liner at the outer corner, blended into the shadow. Sometimes I do a light beige or ivory on the inner rim, but never a dark color – doesn’t look good on me.

  29. Rachael G says:

    I’ll do just about anything with my eyeliner! Wing it, cat eyes, snake eyes whatever. I’ll ren use a brown eyeliner in a very thin line and I’ll flick it out just a little so it sort of looks like part if my eyelashes! It’s a nice little trick!

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