This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Let’s talk about liner today…

Let me start this by saying that I love black eyeliner.

I love πŸ’– it. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, buuut as I get older, I feel like when I wear a deep, dark, righteously rich black liner, it can make me look older.


It depends, though, on how much and where I apply it. Like, I do feel that black liner is ideal for certain types of makeup looks (like smoky rock-and-roll eyes), but it can look too harsh and stark for my liking in everyday natural looks.

That’s why I’ve been swapping out the black liner for something off-black or brown these days, like with a charcoal shade, a grayish black, a brownish black or something similar. You can get almost the exact same effect, whether you’re tightlining or emphasizing your lash lines or elongating your top lash line with liner to make your eyes look longer, but the overall effect is softer, subtler and more forgiving.

I kinda stumbled on this one day by accident. I ran out of my usual steez, Chanel 88 Noir Intense, so I grabbed a dark charcoal gray shade instead, Chanel 914 Feuilles (a Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner), which has a little bit of shimmer.

When I saw myself wearing it in pics, I loved it! I think it looks softer isn’t aging.

Of course, in makeup land, there are no hard and fast rules. I still use black liner sometimes, like in smoky looks, or just when I’m feeling rock ‘n’ roll, but I’ve been using an off-black liner more and more often.

Give it a try one of these days if you feel so inclined. πŸ™‚

Oh, and here are a couple of wonderful brown liners that also work well for this: MAC Teddy and MAC Costa Riche.

A workout texting buddy

So, it’s a new year, and I wanna get in shape, yadda yadda yadda. I’m trying very hard to stay with — what I’m not calling resolutions! I’m calling them my short-term health and fitness goals. πŸ™‚ And I’m trying to stick with them through at least March 1.

One thing that really helps is having a workout buddy, even if that workout buddy is someone who doesn’t work out with you…like if they’re just someone you text.

My friend Naaman and I both want to get in shape, so after we work out, or if we have plans to work out, we text each other quick encouraging notes. Like, today I texted him a picture I took at the gym, and he told me that he was going to do 50 push-ups.


It’s fun and also makes me feel more accountable to tell someone that I’m supposed to do those sit-ups or track my food or whatever. I don’t know why, but it weirdly increases the chances of me actually doing it.

Accountability through the power of texts. Go figure.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Tammy says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’ve been using off-black liners, too! I also find that it helps me look a bit younger. I’ve been loving one from Urban Decay called Smokeout; it’s a perfect cool black-brown color. It came with a VIB set I used my points to get, so I don’t know if it’s available individually. I hope so, though, cuz I’m running low! As for goals, my husband and I wrote our goals down and put them on the wall. So, now we can bug each other about them all day!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Ahh, I know that color! I think I have it in my stash. Thanks for reminding me about it; I’ll have to take it out soon and play with it.

      That’s a good idea to write your goals down and keep them in a place where they’re visible. I kinda do the same thing; I have a calendar and I use it to track my progress. Whenever I do a workout or I eat healthy I give myself a sticker. After X amount of stickers, I’ll get to treat myself to a prize.

      What are some of your goals this year? I want to eat healthier and put on some muscle. I’d also love to get my house organized.

  2. Yen says:

    Hi Karen:

    Do you have any tips from keeping eyeliner from smudging? I really like my urban decay eyeliners but, despite what the company claims, they smudge like crazy on my slightly oily eyelids. What are your favorite eyeliners?
    Thanks from the East Bay,

    • Kim says:

      Hi Yen, I’m obviously not Karen but also love UD and had some smudging issues. I use NARS pro prime on my lids and under my lower lash line, let it dry and then use my fave UD liner. That works for me!

  3. Bella says:

    You are my spirit animal!!! My brownish black eye pencil faves: Bobbi Brown Mahogany, Black Chocolate and Black Coffee!! Yay!! I have back-ups for my back-ups, especially since she’s left the company.
    I text my personal trainer and a couple of other moms screenshots of my running routes on Nike Running App. Perfect inspiration!
    BTW I am @essentiallyann on instagram.

  4. Hmmm makes sense I guess! I’m still totally hooked on my pitch black liners though… But maybe in time that’ll change.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Can the Bobbi Brown Instant Confidence Stick really smooth wrinkles?

  5. Jane says:

    I’ve always worn a brown-black liner. In the past I have worn Bobbi Brown’s Mahogany long-wear or Chocolate Truffle Gel liner. Recently I started wearing Chanel’s Stylo water-proof liner in a brownish-black liner which was part of a set called “Into the Shadows”. It is similar to the Bobbi Brown liner, but I find it works better. I am starting to like my Chanel products a bit more as I use them.

  6. Tanya Dufour says:

    I totally agree! I used to always wear black eyeliner every day and then I stopped wearing liner all together on my top lash line. I have hooded eyes and wearing eyeliner takes away from my eyeshadow that I am wearing. When I do use it I prefer a dark brown now too. I like using a nude or white to add to my lower lash line and occasionally with use a bronze on my lower lash line for a smoky look.

  7. Tatiana says:

    I’m so fair that I rarely wear black liner. I wouldn’t wear black mascara either, if more companies would make a waterproof mascara in a deep brown/black or black brown. I like Chanel Stylo Yeux in Espresso and there’s an old MUFE line in a slightly metallic charcoal gray and I like UD 24/7 liner in Hustle.
    Kettlebells!! My favorite workout!
    I don’t actually have any goals written down, but Dear Husband created a spread sheet where we are supposed to enter our weights day to day. I don’t weigh myself every day, but when I do I put it in Dear Husband’s spread sheet.

  8. Fran says:

    My coloring is lighter than yours, Karen, so I find that black eyeliner, even for tightliner, really does tend to look harsh on me/make me look older. I love grey shades, cool dark browns, and blues and greens on myself; a lot of purples have a bit too much red to be really flattering against my complexion near my eyes.

    And I love the strategy of having someone to report to when I accomplish daily goals. I find that it really helps! In fact, I get completely overwhelmed by “to do” lists; when I’m really intense about accomplishing goals, I keep daily “done” lists instead, and if I have someone who really wants me to send them the list, it feels great πŸ™‚

  9. Kim says:

    Black liner is a serious no-no for me. I find that anything dark is not flattering (UD Demolition comes to mind). That’s why I’m so attached to my beloved Whiskey. πŸ™‚

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