Share a Tip Tuesdays: Lost Your Gel or Cream Liner Brush? No Problem. Pencil in This Tip to Try

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

Share your best makeup or beauty tips in the comments!

The new YSL Creme D’Eyeliner in No. 7 Gold Star ($25), and MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl ($15)

My house is like the Bermuda Triangle for makeup brushes.

In other words, lots of unexplained disappearances. Especially for brushes I use to apply gel and cream eyeliners. It’s like they get sucked into that same alternate universe where all the missing socks and earrings go…


But now I have a trick that’s been saving my booty when I want to wear a potted gel or cream liner but can’t find the perfect brush. I just use a pencil liner as a brush.

Dip the pencil into the cream or gel liner you want to use, and run it along your lash or water lines, as if it’s a brush! 🙂

You can either use a pencil in a color similar to the cream or gel liner you’d like to wear, or use a pencil in a different shade to spice things up.

The color of the pencil in the pic up top, MAC Powersurge, is similar to the shimmery, bronzy gold YSL Creme D’Eyeliner in No. 7 Gold Star (available now at YSL counters and behind it.

That’s an example of the matchy-matchy approach…

But to take a varsity-level dive into the world of eye-lining improvisation instead, use a pencil liner in a completely different shade. I’ve tried that same YSL gold liner above with pencils in black, plum and green and created some really neat duochrome effects. Every one puts its own unique twist on the gel or cream.

Be careful not to overload the pencil if you use it this way (took me a few tries to figure that out), and don’t forget to clean the tip when your done to keep it from getting all icky. I wipe mine down with a clean paper towel or a Wet Ones Wipe.

Oh, and sometimes, when my water lines feel extra sensitive — too sensitive for brush bristles — I find that a pencil feels a little gentler against my skin.

Welcome to another exciting installment of Share a Tip Tuesdays! 🙂 Thanks to you, this series is really turning into a great beauty resource. Last week’s edition received more than three dozen tips! Here are a few…

I have mild rosacea, and so I find it really hard to create the flawless base I like to start with, because no matter what, the red always shows through. I think I’ve actually figured it out now, though. I’ve got a killer combo that ALWAYS gives me perfect ivory flawless skin that I can then layer blush or bronzer on top of. I start with MUFE’s green primer on just the areas of rosacea, and use a different non-colored primer for the rest of my face and an oil-control primer for my nose. I picked up Physician’s Formula green concealer, and I spread that in a thin layer over my rosacea areas. Prior to putting on my foundation, I look pretty weird, but once I use MAC NC 15 (which has a yellow base that helps counteract the red) on top of the primer/concealer combo, it’s perfectly even and gorgeous. Great tip for anyone with extra redness.

I have hooded eyes, so I usually favor smudgy eyeliner on my lids and top lash line. It also helps to wear a lipstick that brings out the best in my skin tone. Blue reds and peachy pinks tend to work well for me.

Water lining is quicker than trying to do a neat eyeliner. I water line my eyes, quickly smudge a little cream or gel eye liner on my lids and have a killer smoky eye in very little time. Also, tinted lip balms or sheer lipsticks are more forgiving when you only have time for a quick swipe. And grab a pretty berry-colored one to add brightness.

Not using white on the water line. I watched Lisa Eldridge’s video about the makeup for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and she mentions that they sometimes used a light blue on both George Peppard and Audrey. I picked up a few different very light blues to try it out, and I love the effect! You don’t see blue waterlines. It’s more that it cancels out the pink, but isn’t stark like white. My favourites are Gosh’s light blue liners.

Best thing ever? Primer + BB Cream + Blush. If you have an extra minute, curl and apply mascara. And extra two minutes? Creamy concealer (for the eyes) + Highlight for the inner corners + cupids bow of your lip. Wakes the face right up! I already have glosses in my purse so I slap those on in a pinch. Gorgeous for little effort!

Pagyamanan! 🙂

So, let’s get to it. As usual, any and all of your makeup/beauty/hair/skin tips are welcome, but here are a few conversation starters…

  1. Do you have any suggestions for ways to remove your makeup quickly?
  2. If you’re a busy mom, do you have a streamlined beauty routine?
  3. For the single ladies, any tried-and-true date-night makeup (hair or fashion) tips?
  4. Best waterproof products for rain, sleet and snow?
  5. What’s your routine (if you have one) for flawless red lips?

Leave your tips/tricks/suggestions here in the comments, or tweet ’em to me on Twitter @karenmbb using the hashtag #shareatiptuesday. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris El says:

    This may be common knowledge and simple, but I don’t apply my lipstick until RIGHT BEFORE I walk into work. I’m usually drinking coffee on the car ride over, so waiting to apply my lipstick ensures my lips look fresh.

    Another tip: To highlight my tear duct, I dip a cotton swab into a shimmery champagne shadow, and “stamp” it onto my inner corner. The rounded swab fits perfectly into the tear duct and applies the right amount of highlighter.
    Chris El recently posted … FOTD: Keira Knightley Inspired

  2. Nina says:

    Do you have any suggestions for ways to remove your makeup quickly?

    I am a huge fan of the oil cleansing method – some cleansing oil in my hands, gently rubbed on my face, rinsed with water and then followed up by my regular face wash!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      I am too! Which cleansing oils do you use/love?

      • Nina says:

        I really like the Shu Uemura one but these days I can only buy them online which is a bit of a hassle.

        So I browsed around my local Japanese store and am currently using the Kose Softymo Cleansing Oil. It feels and cleanses just like the Shu I used to use!

  3. Marina says:

    When it comes to red lipstick, I love using something like Touche Eclat around the lips to make the contour look sharper.
    Marina recently posted … Clarins Extra-Firming Body Cream Review. Rave

  4. Ever since I’ve started using Clarins Pure Melt cleansing Gel, makeup removal has become a breeze. Just massage a small amount on the face for a minute and wash it off with water. The gel warms up and transforms into an oil on massaging. It leaves a moisturizing thin veil of oil on the face which is great since my skin has been feeling dry lately with the temperature dropping. I’m generally quite finicky about my skin being squeaky clean after I wash it and don’t like products that leave any kind of film/residue but I love how clean my skin feels despite the film that this product leaves. My skin feels baby soft and smooth once I pat it dry after washing off the gel. Another great product from one of my favorite brands!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Tutorial : Kristen Stewart Smokey grey eye makeup

  5. Marla says:

    These are great tips.

  6. Courtney says:

    Ok, I’m married now but for date night tips: Silky, soft hair (no crunchy hairstray, up-dos, or anything too fancy), smokey eyes or light eye makeup, lips with lipbalm or light, soft gloss (no goopy gloss or painted on lips), and smell good! Also, guys aren’t really into fake nails or bright nails in my experience.

  7. Tennyoceres says:

    During my early date nights with a new guy I take the time to play up my eyes. Smoky eye, super winged cat eye, glittery eyeshadow, what have you, as long as you keep the colors neutral. According to my fiance wear the lipstick/lip gloss that tastes good. You don’t want your lips to look faded after too much eating, drinking, and maybe even kissing.

    • Karen says:

      OOh — to add on the lips looking faded: I think it helps to line and fill them in with a neutral lip liner first before applying the yummy-tasting gloss or lipstick.

      Gals, what are your fave neutral lip liners? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Tennyoceres says:

        I wouldn’t be the foremost expert on that part. My lips are already full and liner makes my lips look like two bee stings.

        If I had to wear liner, I use Estee Launder Automatic Lip Pencil Duo in Rose Coral.. My natural lip color has a bit of lavender purple/mauve and this Estee Lauder lip liner covers that spectrum perfectly.

      • Angel says:

        NYX Mauve! OMG my favorite nude/pink/ neutral liner. I will die if they ever stop making it. I’ve hoarded a ton of these and I keep them everywhere. It’s the perfect color for my fair, cool toned skin. They say MAC Spice works on everyone? No it doesn’t. It’s way too orange on me. NYX Mauve is my HG. Perfect with practically all of my neutral lip glosses, as a base for lipsticks, sometimes on its own with lip balm. It’s very close to MAC Whirl, but a tad lighter and way cheaper.

  8. Katherine G says:

    I really like your tip about using pencil liner to apply gel/cream liner! I wouldn’t have thought of that one and it looks like a great way to combine different colors, too!

    ~I use the Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover (it looks purple with white foam in the cylindrical container), and I love it. One pass with a cotton ball, tissue, or cotton pad removes all of my eye makeup, even waterproof. It is gentle and doesn’t irritate. For removing the rest of my makeup, I am a fan of either Ponds wipes or the Yes to Tomatoes wipes. They work well and also get rid of anything leftover from my eye makeup. After that I usually follow up with a facial cleanser of the exfoliating variety – I really like L’Oreal Deep Exfoliating cleanser right now.

    ~I am almost married (engaged), but I still like to get dressed up every now and then and look good for my fiance. I love to play up the eyes – I will do anything from a smokey eye to something colorful and fun. I usually try to enhance my eye color either way. My fiance loves it when I dress up my eyes. As for the hair, simple is best. My fiance loves it when I wear my hair down, so I make sure that it doesn’t have a lot of product in it and is well conditioned. As for fashion, anything enhancing my athletic figure tastefully works. I follow the traditional Italian rules of if you reveal one body part (like arms or cleavage), put the rest away. If I’m wearing a cocktail dress, I will show off legs or cleavage but not both at the same time.

    ~L’Oreal Infallible eye shadows – they stay put all day and don’t come off until you use eye makeup remover. My fave neutrals are Amber Rush, Liquid Diamond, and Eternal Sunshine.
    ~Maybelline Lash Stiletto – stays put, doesn’t flake, holds up to tears and/or rain. Also makes lashes shiny like patent leather.
    ~Neutrogena Waterproof Healthy Volume – gives you big lashes but has the waterproof staying power.
    ~UD 24/7 liners – I trust them to stay put in anything, they won’t rub off my waterline and they don’t need to be touched up throughout the day. They also do not irritate my eyes.
    ~NYX Slide On Glide On liners – also very good liners, almost as good as UD’s but just need a hint of primer to stay put. I use primer for all of my eye looks just to ensure that everything stays; I also have oily lids so I don’t want anything to come off throughout the day.
    ~NYX eye primer – this one is as good as UD’s primers and is cheaper. It has endured the ultimate test – the heat and sweat of the Caribbean. I have not had a problem with anything, even my drugstore liners, coming off with this primer. If you are looking for a cheaper option for eye primer, definitely check this one out. It can be found in Ulta and anywhere that sells NYX.

    I haven’t found too many foundations or lip products (other than the drugstore long lasting lip products) that stay put in the rain, so I’m curious if anyone has any input on that.

  9. Kate & Zena says:

    If you want a cleanser that will remove all of your makeup (except that very stubborn 24/7 liner from Urban Decay! I still have to remove that with Neutrogena eye makeup remover!), I definitely recommend you pick up any facial cleanser from Dermalogica. I use the Ultra Calming Cleanser, and it literally got off all of my Black Swan makeup one year in ONE RINSE and quarter pump from the biggest bottle; it doesn’t irritate my hypersensitive skin either. I love that a certain amount of the profit goes to women’s and children’s programs and shelters too!

  10. jennifer s says:

    My current makeup remover is coconut oil. I just melt a little in my hands and rub lightly over my face. Then i use a baby wipe and wash my face in the morning. My skin feels mouisturized and supple the next morning. Give it a try. It a great mouisturizer for your hair and skin.

    • nai says:

      oh, i do this, too! i use the wipes from kirkland and virgin coconut oil from whole foods (though i’ve seen the same brand at wal-mart).

  11. Carina says:

    Laneige Lip & Eye Remover is my go-to! Very quick, removes waterproof makeup, and does not sting AT ALL.

  12. Nikki B. says:

    Single ladies question: I make use of my best features that also happens to make me feel confident – I pull my hair up and out of my face usually because if it’s down I’ll want to play with it but if it’s up I can make my eyes the focus on my face. I tend to not do smokey but golden colors. Golds/bronzes tend to look really good against my skin & with nude lips, my eyes sparkle. Fashion wise, it depends on where you’re going. Somewhere fancy, a dress or skirt that hits right above the knee (for me at 5’2 that’s the length I need) with high heels that I know I can walk in. For casual dates, whatever is most comfortable that makes me confident. If I’m confident with how I look/feel a guy is going to notice that.
    Red lips: I make sure they’re moisturized & not peeling/cracked, line them with either a nude or matching red lip liner filling my lips in, swipe a layer of red on to coat then go back & fill it in. When I fill my lips with a liner, my red stays not strays and will fade to a pretty stain usually. I have many reds I use but my go-to is NYX Snow White.

  13. Angel says:

    A natural oil for eye makeup remover. I’m currently using grape seed oil as I bought a ginormous bottle to cook with. Turns out I don’t like the taste but I’m putting it to good use anyway. I rub it on with my fingers and tissue off before washing my face. Gets off everything, even long wear eyeliners.

    Coconut oil for everything else! My cuticles, my legs, hands, elbows, hair, even my face. The trick is to use the tiniest bit. I was smearing on way too much and it wasn’t absorbing. Now I just start small and build up if I need more. I have oily skin and when I use just a dab on my face, it completely absorbs. Not oily at all! I’m really trying to be more simple and natural with skincare. Not only is it cheap as dirt, it works. My next thing to try is a turmeric/milk mask that I saw on YouTube. All these Indian beauties with gorgeous skin swear by it. I’m sold!!!

    The old beauty pageant trick for keeping lipstick off your teeth. Stick your finger in your mouth, close your lips, pull finger out. Gets all the excess off so it doesn’t end up on your teeth. A Q-tip is what I usually use cuz then I don’t have to wash my finger 🙂 This is essential when I’m wearing a red lippie.

    And finally, not a beauty tip but a fashion tip. I have a long torso and it’s really hard to find t-shirts that are long enough. Most normal ones are way too short for me and I end up looking like trailer trash wearing a belly shirt. So I buy maternity tees from Target. They aren’t large in the stomach at all, just long enough to look like a normal shirt on me. Now don’t all you long torso’d chicks go buying up all my Target tees. I should have kept my mouth shut.

  14. Jette says:

    I love Gosh’ velvet touch waterproof eyeliners, they’re easy to apply and last all day. If I want an even more lasting liner, that doesn’t smudge at all in changing weather, I like to put some eyeshadow in a similar colour ontop of the eyeliner, with an eyeliner brush.

  15. Maridelle says:

    Full-time working mom with 2-year-old twins here! I haven’t really streamlined by beauty routine but I rely on tinted lip balms, Karen’s tip of Powersurge or UD Underground on my waterline, and I always have hair clamps with me.

  16. Natasha says:

    Do you have any suggestions for ways to remove your makeup quickly?
    Not fast, but I remove with a wipe (liking the generic Up&Up ones from Target) and then cleanse with an oil — homemade mix of grapeseed, jojoba and chia seed — gets off everything the wipe didn’t.

    Best waterproof products for rain, sleet and snow?
    Tigi Liquid Enhancer. I got it on Amazon to replace my Benefit SheLaq (which, alas,is no more). You can brush it on eyeliner that’s already applied or you can make a liquid eyeliner with a drop of Tigi and a smidge of mineral eyeshadow. Lasts ALL day. And I work outdoors in the sun, wind, rain, whatever.

  17. Rosie says:

    I did the cream liner/pencil trick today and it was amazing! so much easier than the brush!!!! My favorite tip is warming my eyelash curler with my hairdryer for a few seconds before I curl my lashes. just warm enough to hold the curl, not burn!!

  18. jess says:

    Do you have any suggestions for ways to remove your makeup quickly? MAKEUP WIPES

    For the single ladies, any tried-and-true date-night makeup (hair or fashion) tips? If your going on a date smoky eyes are always a favorite especially grey smoke because its more subtle then black. Lots of lipgloss and mascara but try to blot your gloss before the makeout sess. Straight hair for a evening out and wavy hair for day dates!

    Best waterproof products for rain, sleet and snow? revlon grow lucious mascara is faboosh. BB balms and blush are great for winter because you can’t mess that up too much!

    What’s your routine (if you have one) for flawless red lips?
    bamboo lip liner by Clinique to outline then apply the color directly to lips. finish with concealer around the lips to brighten the area. if i have time then scrube/exfoliate your lips before hand.

  19. Olivia A says:

    MAC Ruby Woo has survived rain, sleet and snow in Canadian winters and never smudged. Apply it dry and it will not fail you! Also a fail-proof way to a red lip, just tidy the edges with a makeup wipe!

  20. Melitina says:

    It took me many years to figure it out, but now I know make up’s kryptonite is oil, NOT water! This is why non-waterproof eye makeup runs with teary eyes (but doesn’t disappear, e.g. khol), whereas blush fades away during the day (because of the skin’s natural oil). Hence the quickest and most effective way to remove makeup for me now is oil: I’ve been using Shu Uemura’s Cleansing oil, whish is awesome, but I will have to switch to MAC’s Cleanse off soon, which I heard is pretty good too, cause Shu is not available where I live. Or I just use plain olive oil and rinse it with a lotion if I’m staying at a friend’s house. As I have extra sensitive skin, it allows me to go to bed makeup free and wake up without feeling my skin tight. However this is just an emergency tip, as olive oil doesn’t rinse as easily as specially formulated cosmetic oils. This has been a make-up game changer for me this year!

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