Share a Tip Tuesdays: Brace Yourself for an Easy Eyeliner Tip

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

an easy eyeliner makeup tip

Silly eighth-grade me, thinking I knew everything. I was so sure that eyeliner application would be one of those easy beauty skills to master. After all, I was a fairly artistic teen. I got Bs in both Calligraphy and Intro to Art. I mean really, how hard could it be?



Apparently, harder than I thought. To my surprise, the doodling I did all over my Pee-Chee folders did not adequately prepare me for proper eyeliner application, and my calligraphy class did not help me achieve flawlessly lined Elizabeth Taylor eyes.

Thank goodness this was before camera phones; otherwise, I’d probably have a folder filled with pictures of me looking like a hot mess in the forbidden purple Lancôme liner I covertly applied every day after I left the house.

The lines, so shaky… So uneven…

I wish I could go back and give 13-year-old Karen a few words of advice. If I could, I would tell her 1) to convince Mom to stop taking me to the $6 haircut place around the corner, because they could not cut wavy hair for sh*t; 2) I would also submit that triangle hair is completely unacceptable; and 3) I would end my future transmission with the following phrase: brace yo’self — not just for the onslaught of awkwardness that teenager-hood and puberty would bring, but also when you apply your eyeliner.

eyeliner makeup tip

This might sound a little wackadoo, but hear me out. If you have trouble with shaky lines when you apply eyeliner, try bracing your body against something solid, like a table or wall.

Crisp, clean eye makeup requires some coordination, and propping my elbows on a table, or leaning against a wall, really helps to steady my hands.

It’s the same with photography.

When taking pics, even the slightest movement when you press the shutter button can introduce camera shake and blur.

eyeliner makeup tip

Blurry pictures with photography, blurry lines with eyeliner.


Stand up for eye makeup!

Here’s another tip to try: if you usually apply your eye makeup while sitting down, give it a try standing up (or sitting down, if you usually stand up).

I’ve noticed that certain things are easier for me to apply, like liquid liner and false lashes, when I’m standing up. Weird, but true. 🙂

eyeliner makeup tip

Welcome to Share a Tip Tuesdays! What’s a makeup or beauty tip you’d like to share? Eyeliner tips would be great, but if you have other makeup tips, I’d love to hear ’em, too!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Nina says:

    Holy eyeliner stash, Batman! 😀

    My eyeliner tip would be – do your eyeliner in stages. I normally do teeny tiny dots really, really close to my upper lash line, and then after im done, I connect the dots. With this technique, I can get my eyeliner really close to my upper lash line, which is how I like it.


  2. Lainey says:

    Whoa! Look at all the eyeliners! My tip is to draw a thick messy line and then thin it out with a q tip. that gives me complete control over the thickness.
    Lainey recently posted … Review: St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub

  3. Emily says:

    I will absolutely be trying these tips! Eyeliner is the one makeup product I seem to have gotten progressively worse at over the years.
    Emily recently posted … Recent Post Roundup: Swatches, Mascara, & Stripes

  4. I apply makeup standing up, and I’ve been doing that for quite some time! I can do it sitting down too, but I haven’t really paid attention to what is easier!

    My eyeliner tip? Start in the middle. I think it’s tougher to get the wing right or to get the part on the inner half thin, so it works better for me to start in the middle and get the flow of things.
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … A Little Sugar for You: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment & Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF15

  5. Heidi says:

    My eyeliner tip: show some love to navy blue eyeliners. They make the whites of your eyes look whiter and clearer, thus you look more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. That and a shimmery wash of shadow on the lid and you look like you’ve actually had some decent sleep!

  6. Chris25 says:

    I like applying liner in 2 parts: start in the middle and work your way to the outer corner. Then place the pencil in the inner corner, and glide it until it meets the middle and the line is complete.

    If you think about it, this technique makes sense, because your eye is curved and not flat. Therefore, drawing a straight line across makes things more difficult.

  7. Marina says:

    I have only one tip: practice makes perfect 🙂 Also it may be useful to ‘map’ the line with an eye shadow (with brush) first before applying the liner.
    Marina recently posted … Dior Nude: Diorskin Skin-Glowing Make-Up, Rouge Dior, Vernis and New Brushes

  8. Chelsea says:

    I never wore eyeliner until I was 17! My mom has never worn eyeliner, so I never knew how to do it until I did a pageant. I did liquid liner on the bottom lid for a long time though, and that did not look good!

  9. Tennyoceres says:

    1. You bought yourself a whole array of new eyeliner thanks to MBB reviews and possibly Vogue. How do all of these things behave on application? Every eyeliner, even from the same company, behaves differently. If you have some time at home to spare (usually this is the moment to goof off to Internet videos, waiting for laundry to dry is my favorite), break out your compact mirror and practice those new eyeliners. See how the new liners behave on your eyes. The last thing you need is crazy smudgy ‘did-this-way-too-fast’ lines (or worse, an allergic reaction) from a new eyeliner before you head out.

    2. For pencil eyeliners, make little dots on your inner eye and any other place you struggle putting liner on. You can make dashes on spots you’re comfortable applying eyeliner to.

    3. For liquid liners, get your line perfect BEFORE you start winging out for that cat eye. Blink a lot before you put on liquid liners. The hope is that your eye muscles are steady while you try to cover your lash line. Dashes work better for liquid liner. Put your attention to places you struggle with before you do the easy areas. Quick strokes go on thinner than slow strokes.

    4. Shaky hands? Wiggle! I make jazz hands and do forearm shakes before I put on my eyeliner. Sometimes I even roll my shoulders.

  10. Shannon says:

    ooh, what brilliant ideas! I’m totally going to try bracing myself when I apply liquid liners. I have more trouble with those bad boys.

    I found this to really help when applying eyeliner on someone else, actually, just this past weekend! A little extra tip: when applying eyeliner with a brush on someone else, come in from the side of the face for the top of the eye and angle the brush down (so the brush is pointing down, vertically, and you’re not going in horizontally), and brace your hand on the jawline and angle the brush up for under the eye. I did makeup for 4 other gals this last weekend for my sister’s wedding, and after the second person I started using this technique. I was too worried about touching peoples’ faces at first, but it turns out it really helps to steady your hand if you brace it against the person’s head!

  11. Penny says:

    The best eyeliner tip: If you have a hard time doing a precise line and have no patience to do your eyeliner really slowly, then just throw the eyeliner away and use a soft dark brown or black eyeshadow instead. Dark eyeshadows are more fool proof and you can blend them alot easier than liquid liner. Just use an eyeliner brush to apply eyeshadow at base of your lashes.


  12. DJ says:

    Oh, man, triangle hair was the bane of my existence for most of my pre- and early-teen years.

    Thank god for layered cuts and mixed chicks/aveda/redken…

  13. Katherine G says:

    I apply my eyeliner kind of weird but it works: I actually hold my eyelashes down and hold the eye I’m working on shut so I can get really close to the lash line. It works and my eyelashes don’t get in the way when I’m trying to line. I rarely make mistakes this way and eyeliners that don’t glide on as well as others work well using this method. It also helps eyeshadow go on more evenly and I can see and correct mistakes right away.

    My trick to getting eyeliner to stay on all day and not smudge, run, or disappear is to use primer. I will apply some primer to my lower lash/waterline and it helps the liners that don’t have as much staying power as my UD 24/7 liners stay put most of the day. My favorite drugstore liners lately are NYX (in Golden Olive, this sky blue, a sparkly black, and Pink Suede) Slide On Glide Ons, and Rimmel Exaggerate in Deep Ocean. The primer helps them stay on all day and they work as well as my 24/7’s with this trick. Pretty much any liner will stick this way except for the really crappy ones or cream sticks (like the Rimmel ones) that are too slippery to really stay put.

    My new fave palette for smoky eyes is the new (ish) UD Black Palette. You don’t need much of each eyeshadow to smoke your eyes out, and they come in different variations of black so you can have some variety. They also work well as eyeshadow liners. My current favorite color is Cobra, a smoky black gold.

    My best makeup tip is blend, blend, blend! It makes eyeshadow looks a lot prettier, makes your makeup look natural, and lets you see if you have to do touch-ups or apply any more.

    As for the hair stuff, my best tip for that (especially if trying out a new place) is to initially test a new stylist out with just a trim. If they do exactly what you ask with that, and 1 inch doesn’t turn into 2 or 3, that means that when you want bigger changes they are much more likely to listen and work with you on what you want. Also, be specific and do a good consultation – telling your stylist that you want long layers but not being specific on the length of the layers and what you hope to achieve can lead to your haircut not looking like what you want. This is my most foolproof method for hair, and since I really love my current stylist, I am more willing to give her creative rein now that I have seen we can work together to achieve a look. Sorry for the long post, but I had some tips that I definitely learned the hard way and wanted to share!

  14. I’m sure everyone has heard of these tips, but here goes: when using liquid liner or gel liner, apply them as lots of small dots or dashes–it’s a lot easier than trying to go for a long, connected line on the first go; if you just cannot use gel or liquid liner, try using a black or dark brown powder shadow instead. It’s a lot softer and basically foolproof!; and if you have problems with pencil liner smudging on you, set it with a similarly colored eyeshadow
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: NEW Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Clear Waterproof Topcoat Review & Pictures

  15. Jenn P says:

    Oh em gee where did you get that handy holder for all your eyeliners? I need one!

    • Nicole says:

      I don’t know where Karen got hers, but I have a very, very similar one from Solutions, which is like the Canadian version of the Container Store.

  16. My best tip would be to check your blog for tips. Seriously! 🙂 You do great tutorials.

  17. Inaya says:

    I take an angled brush like the one Karen use for her eyebrows, like a thin squat head cut diagonally. I dip the brush head into a gel liner and hold it diagonally from where my upper lashes end and draw a triangle inwards, making it the simplest cat eye ever, and then just line the rest in small short strokes. Go over the whole thing again if it’s not pigmented enough

  18. Christy says:

    I can do my right eye’s eyeliner no problem – whether it’s felt tip, liquid, gel – I rock my right eye like no tomorrow. I did find that in applying my left eye is harder. I’m not sure why but when I close my left eye only, my eyelids tends to tremble like a dancefloor at a club. I find it helps if I take a clean flat eyeshadow brush to press it gently against the eyelid and it helps me steadily draw out the line.

  19. Georgiana says:

    Not to honk my own horn (but, yes, to do exactly that), I’m pretty damn good at doing eyeliner. HOWEVER (caps are necessary – this is a pretty big ‘however’), to achieve a nicely lined eye, I have to climb into my bathroom sink, so that my feet are resting in the basin and my butt is sat on the edge, then I lean my elbow on my knee and get to work. In any situation other than this, I am completely pants at applying eyeliner. I dread the day when I become too fat for my sink to support me! (Though at that point, eyeliner will probably be the least of my worries.)

  20. Michele DiCola says:

    Eyeliner depends on the color you choose. I like black for everyday ! Chanel, black because it is also waterproof !
    I start in the middle of the eyelid then work my way to the end & the corner .
    This eyeliner stays all day.
    Sometimes I do eyeliner after eyeshadow , that works too ! Depends on the color. If it is darker than than the liner I apply last,

  21. Yasmin says:

    I have quite ‘barely there’ eyelashes so I tend to do a flick at the end.
    1) take an angled eyeliner brush or the side of the liner pen and press next to lashes in the middle.
    2) take some masking tape if you can’t do straight lines (it won’t take eyeshadow off don’t worry) and cross two pieces over eachother on your eye so the gap is what you want the flick to be and fill it in.
    3) When it’s dry take the masking tape off and do the same technique of pressing the brush in for the middle on the inner corner
    4) Because eyeliner makes your eyes appear smaller line the bottom water line with a white eye pencil to open them out

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