Uneven Eyeliner? Here’s a Tip That Might Fix Your Woes

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Eyeliner woes, part 3,451

Eyeliner Woes: Vol. #3,451

If it seems like I talk about uneven eyeliner every five seconds, it’s because I do. I talk about uneven eyeliner EVERY FIVE SECONDS.

Hello. 🙂


What I wouldn’t GIVE to be one of those gals who can just paint a perfect line in a single swoosh!

Now, looking at the glass as if it’s half full, I have stumbled on a few tips and workarounds to help me deal with my chronically uneven eyeliner, and one of them is that it helps TREMENDOUSLY to start by lining my upper water lines (also known as “tightlining”), and then drawing my eyeliner on my lash lines after that.

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I used to start by lining my lash lines first, and I’d do my best to make sure that the lines on both eyes were equally thick and symmetrical. Then I’d tightline my upper water lines.

But when I’d look in the mirror, the liner on one eye would always, ALWAYS be thicker than the other! — and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why it was happening.

The “Aha!” moment came when I reversed the order just for kicks. One day I tightlined my upper water line first, and then did my lash line.

I couldn’t believe it! My liner looked more even! So what the heck happened?

Well, it turns out that my eyes aren’t symmetrical (but most people’s aren’t). One of them is slightly larger than the other, and I have a little more lid space along the lash line on that one.

So, when I was lining my upper lash lines first and trying to match the thickness of the lines on my left and right eyes, when I’d follow up by filling in my upper water line, it essentially made the lines I’d just drawn on my upper lash line look thicker.

OK, that’s confusing and didn’t make a lot of sense, but you get what I’m saying. 🙂


Reversing the process helps. When I tightline my upper water line first, I then use that line as a guide, and depending on which eye I’m working on, I compensate by thickening or thinning the liner on my upper lash line to get it as symmetrical as possible.

Tight line first, then do liner along the lash line

Try tightlining first, and then drawing liner along your lash line…

If you wrestle with uneven eyeliner and also tightline, give this tip a try.

Out of curiosity, are both of your eyes the same size and shape? My right eye is slightly bigger than my left and has a slightly deeper crease.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Lulle says:

    Cool tip, I tend to do the waterline after, I’ll try to do it first! By the way, my tightlining technique got a lot better after I started following your advice (starting with a super sharp pencil, going for the lash line)!
    Lulle recently posted … #FrenchFriday: French Beauty Brands at Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Vol I

  2. jessica says:

    That is very true, no one’s face is symmetrical.
    If you take one half of your face and mirror it in photoshop, it will lok extremely creepy.

    This is one of the many things that makes painting portraits so challenging…and rewarding.
    jessica recently posted … Vocation

  3. Rachel R. says:

    I can’t put eyeliner on my upper waterline. It’s very easy for me to access and get the liner on, but my eyes are sensitive. They just burn and water and don’t stop after I line the top waterline. Doing it daily doesn’t help them get used to it, either. I can take a powdered eyeshadow and use a push liner brush right around the roots of the lashes. That’s as close as I can get. I can do the bottom waterline with no problem.

    My eyes are noticeably assymetrical: The left is open wider than the left, so I wish I could do more to fix that. Gotta love genetics (not!).

  4. Andrew says:

    Another tip I figured out the other day:

    If you want a sharp line, do your eyeliner as normal; then dip an eyeliner brush in a makeup remover/cleansing oil and clean up your lines. It’s a precise way to remove thr excess liner without ruining the look.

    This may be something everyone has already been doing but I just figured it out myself haha. Figured I’d share!

  5. Kat says:

    Such a great tip. I need all the help I can get 🙂

    Kat ♥ http://www.pastelwhimsy.com

  6. gio says:

    I need to try this! I’m always struggling with uneven eyeliner, and it’s driving me nuts.
    gio recently posted … 4 Reasons Why Making Your Own Vitamin C Serum Is NOT A Good Idea

  7. Karen Too says:

    Hi Karen! Any tips on how to tightline without pulling up the lid too much? I always end up tugging on the skin, I can’t help it… I’m also curious about what Lulle mentioned, about staring with a sharp pencil. My instinct is the opposite, dull pencil to avoid poking my eye out.

  8. I dont tightline on an every day basis, but when I do, something always seemed to be wrong. Maybe that is what caused the unevenness. I will try and report back.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Inspired by… Artdeco “Majestic Beauty” Fall 2014

  9. Interesting tip! My eyes are the same size, but my right brow is lower then the left, so that I have less lid space on that side :-/ I usually draw a slightly thinner line there to compensate.
    Carol in a Page recently posted … Leg Makeup: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

  10. I always tightline first anyway. But then I usually just skip eyeliner because too often it ends up looking all wonky, lol. Or I just stick with a very subtle flick, just at the outer corner of the eye. Good tip though!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Olive & Orange

  11. Vijaya says:

    After YEARS of practice, I’ve finally gotten really good at straight eyeliner!
    Vijaya recently posted … Teavana Stainless Steel Tumbler

  12. Tatiana says:

    Cool tip! But I NEVER line my waterline. If anything even remotely gets on my waterline, my eyes start to tear up like Niagra Falls. Lol. Can you say super sensitive eyes?
    Kinda jealous of my daughter’s mad lining skills. She does the most amazing cat eye with the Urban Decay 24/7 lash pencils.

  13. Kathy Smith-Woodcock says:

    I appreciate these tips about applyoing eyeliner as it is a struggle. As I am aging my eyes are definitely different from one another so this makes sense and I will be trying it out. Thanks

  14. India says:

    One of my eyes is bigger and I have never gotten my liner completely even which sucks because I normally do a winged look so it’s fairly obvious 🙁
    India recently posted … Another Use For The NYC Shadow Stick…

  15. Such a great tip, Karen! I will have to try this! Also, you look like a beautiful little shimmer nymph in the last picture!
    kristen @ glambunctious recently posted … Review! | Ulta 3-in-1 Beauty Smoothie in Buttercream Cupcake

  16. Ericca says:

    Lining my eyes is a never ending battle. Now, I have to tightline to get things straight. All I can do is cry like Lucy ball in my eyeliners

  17. Jennifer says:

    What’s the lip in the first photo please?

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