The 5 Biggest Eyeliner Mistakes Everyone Makes and How to Fix Them

eyeliner Intro

No surprise here, but not everyone is well-versed when it comes to makeup. Picking the right lipstick shade to complement your skin tone or attempting to define your eyes with the right technique, can be a nightmare if you’re blindly forging ahead with no direction. So, in order to put an end to our struggles, we decided to tap two major beauty experts for their best tips on how to solve one of our biggest daily struggles: applying eyeliner. Our experts of choice? GLAMSQUAD director of artistry, Kelli Bartlett, and celebrity makeup artist and author of Lazy Perfection, Jenny Patinkin. Ahead, the top eyeliner secrets that’ll keep you from looking like a raccoon the next time you try to line your eyes.

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Mistake #1: Always Choosing Black Liner

My biggest piece of advice is to choose the right color, which, for most women is a deep, dark charcoal brown,” explains Bartlett. “It isn’t as synthetic looking as black.” Not a fan of brown? Patinkin swears by two other colors women can try outside of black: “Navy and gray eyeliners are unsung heroes. They make the whites of the eyes look brighter, which in turn makes them look bigger and gives them more of a pop.” Try an eye liner like the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Dark Gray ($25) for the same brightening effect.

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Mistake #2: Wearing Liquid Liner on Aging or Hooded Eyes

Having a strong, hard line of eyeliner can call attention to the ways in which your skin is softening or your eye shape is changing,” says Patinkin. “For that reason, I generally suggest skipping liquid liner in favor of a more forgiving formula.” Bartlett agrees, adding that some eyeliners are very saturated and dry, which can accentuate texture on the eye and ultimately make wrinkles appear worse than they are. Instead, choose a soft pencil or a creamier liner like the Wander Beauty Slide Liner Gel Eyeliner ($22) if you have maturing eyes.

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Mistake #3: Always Drawing a Crisp Line

Contrary to popular belief, your eyeliner doesn’t always need to be applied in one long, smooth line. “The most forgiving and easiest way to do eyeliner is with short, flicky strokes, not worrying too much about precision,” explains Patinkin. “You just need to make sure you feel the roots of your lashes moving back and forth so that you know your placement is right on top of the lash line.” If it looks a bit messy, go over the line with a smudge brush to soften the edges and diffuse the color. Not only is this easier to do, but as a bonus, the smudgy style can make you look younger. “Liner that is more smudged in the outer corner of the eye draws the eye upward and gives a lifted, youthful appearance,” adds Bartlett. 

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Mistake #4: Using Too Much Liner on the Bottom Lid

“Wearing liquid eyeliner on the top and bottom of the eye can make the eye look smaller,” says Bartlett. Additionally,  over-lining the bottom lid can cause fallout and smudges to appear under your eyes, giving off the appearance of unsightly dark circles.

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Mistake #5: Thinking You Have to Wear Eyeliner All the Time

Deciding whether or not to wear makeup is a very personal decision. And if you do end up deciding to wear it, the makeup that works for your friends won’t always work well for you too. According to Bartlett, falling into the trap of thinking that you have to wear eyeliner just because everyone else is, is one of the biggest mistakes a woman can make. “Eyeliner is a powerful tool to help shape and define the eye, however, there are several different ways to achieve a similar effect without eyeliner,” she explains. 

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