3-Step Easy Eyeliner

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

This is the face I make when I’m having a bad eyeliner day…


LOL! Yes, having a bad liner day is a real thing (albeit one that doesn’t exactly constitute the definition of “important”), and it’s happened to me on many, many occasions.

It usually happens when I’m rushing (in other words, all the time), or I’ve had too much caffeine and get the shakes, or when I’m just less coordinated than usual for reasons I can’t explain. The resulting uneven lines (referred to as “wonky liner,” as in “My liner is extra wonky today.”), cray-cray bat wings, jagged edges, or combination of the three are extra annoying.

I’m always trying to figure out ways to make lining my eyes easier, and I think I’ve hit upon something that works.

It’s totally easy (important) and fast (also important), too. You just need 1) your favorite long-wearing pencil liner and 2) an angled brush.

Ideally, the pencil liner should be one that gives you enough time to smudge and manipulate before it dries, like the Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners from MAC ($16 each). They’re long-wearing, so they don’t transfer up into my crease as I go about my day, but when I’m working with them, they stay soft for 2-3 minutes, which gives me enough time to tweak, cajole and play.

The shade I’m wearing in these pics is Chanel Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardoise. It’s a dark gunmetal gray with subtle shimmer. Really, though, use any liner that you like.

Here’s what I do…


First, I sharpen the pencil, because I really want a precise point. Then I draw a thin line along my upper lash lines, really getting in there at the roots of the lashes with the pencil’s tip.

At this point, it doesn’t really matter if the line is neat because we’ll sharpen the edge in a second. The key is just to make it thin.


Next, I grab my angled brush (usually the NARS #47 Angled Brush), and use it to smooth out the edge of the line, working from the inner corner out, and subtly thickening the line as I go.

The resulting soft liner defines the eyes but doesn’t look too harsh. It’s also very fast and very easy (yay!).

Sometimes, depending on the clock, I’ll stop at this point, then curl my lashes and add mascara, but if I have a few extra minutes, I move on to step three…


The flick. When I’m in the mood for one (which I usually am), I take my pencil liner and add more on the outer corner of my upper lash line. Then I drag out the liner to create a soft flick with my angled brush.


After that, if I STILL have a little more time, I’ll tight-line my water line with a black eye kohl to make my lashes look thicker.

That’s it! 🙂

Seriously, this is the easiest way I know to do liner. If you end up giving it a whirl, please let me know! And let me know if you have any questions.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 13 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Allie says:

    Ugh. Im too stupid to understand this. I need a video. This is too important to not have a video.

  2. Chelsea says:

    I’ll try this out! I want all the Chanel Stylo Waterproof colors.

  3. Lexi says:

    I love your tip to manipulate the pencil line with a brush! I find that I work best with the brush, but sometimes I like the pencil formula better…genius. And I lol’d at “the shakes”. Too funny.
    Lexi recently posted … Confident Young People | #TWSS

  4. sarahc says:

    Great minds think alike. I love a soft pencil liner look. It’s so easy and no one can tell when you make mistakes. 🙂

  5. HollieH says:

    Apparently, I have a case of the wonkies. I was rocking this technique all week after a complete epic eyeliner fail on Monday. You just can’t mess this one up.

  6. If it has to be perfect, I do the sticky tape thing, other than that I´ll just go with the flow…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … On my plate – Vegetable Hot Pot

  7. Agata says:

    I need to try that soft pencil look! Although for a perfect cat flick I always go with my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Although, as we discussed before, both eyes hardly ever come out exactly the same…
    Agata recently posted … Mac Boca might be my new favorite MLBB shade

  8. Chic Lapin says:

    I usually smudge my liner as a last resort when I’ve messed it up too badly, lol 😀 Nowadays I only use liquid eyeliner so I don’t rock this look that much. Looks very sultry on you though!

  9. Jenny says:

    I do this little trick on days that I’m in a hurry! It’s super easy but looks like you really put forth effort 🙂
    Jenny recently posted … Renewed Hope

  10. Erin says:

    I’ll have to see if that Chanel liner is still available!
    Erin recently posted … Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Review

  11. The flick is always where it goes wrong for me! So I just don’t flick 😉 Or at least not much. And I use powder instead of liquid or gel liner usually, ’cause it’s more fool-proof and forgiving.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Recap | 2015’s top five most popular skin care posts

  12. Gloria says:

    Your face is flawless. What foundation did you use????
    No comment about the liner though. lol

  13. Cristina says:

    Need a video about it. It can be a quicky one, but definetelly need a video. Pleaseeeeeee

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