8 Makeup-Artist Tricks to Nail the Colored-Liner Trend

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Colored eyeliners have made a huge comeback and are the best way to play up your eyes' natural colors,” says celebrity makeup artist Matin Maulawizada, whose clients include Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie (so we're listening closely). But how do you master the colored-liner trend without looking like you just entered middle school or the gates of the latest music festival? We've got your back with these makeup-artist-approved tips on how to make the look work for you, not against you, below. 

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Start Small

If you’re afraid of too much color when it comes to your liner, celebrity makeup artist Hector Simancas says to start small with a thin, colored line on your upper eyelid. “Beginning from the middle of your eye to the outside corner, create a very delicate wing. You can also use an eye pencil of the same color on your waterline to create a more vibrant, graphic look if you’re up for it.”


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Go Subtle

While you might only think of rocking colored liner for a special occasion, celebrity makeup artist Julie Hewett explains that when applied correctly and with good taste, the look can definitely pass as office-appropriate. “For an everyday look, I like to pair a neutral shadow with a swipe of colored liner to add a nice pop.”


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Waterline Wonder

Celebrity makeup artist Sarah Tanno suggests applying a bold color to your lower waterline if the thought of a colored cat’s-eye scares you. “Try using Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons ($25)—they have every color you can think of and are waterproof so you never have to worry about it moving or becoming dull after hours of wear. My favorite is a cobalt, matte-blue color called Out of The Blue—I used it on Lady Gaga at Coachella this year!”


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Barely There Hues

To create a soft pop of color around your eyes, celebrity makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen says to draw a thick line along the root of your upper lash line. “Then, smudge it in with a tiny smudge brush to soften the line and follow with a matching powder formula to set it in place.”

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Keep It Balanced

Celebrity makeup artist Min Min Ma agrees that some of the best a.m. looks can come from pops of color, as long as you follow some key rules. “You can create your favorite daytime looks using colored eyeliner as long as you keep the overall makeup look balanced (in other words, treat the eye makeup/colored liner as the focal point). The more vibrant the eyeliner, the more subtle and sheer the lips, cheeks and skin should be.”


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Black, But Better

If you’re not quite ready to give up your trusty black liner, don’t! “For a more defined spin on the colored-liner trend, try layering a colored liner on top of a black liner as an accent,” says Hewett. The result: a totally chic makeup look that can be worn from day to night.


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The Colored Smoky

“A look I love for the summer, especially for evening wear, is a soft, colorful smoky eye,” Ma says, explaining that to create the look, you should start by applying Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($29) in Plum to your upper and lower lids. “Gently smudge with your fingertip or a Q-tip, then follow up with lots of mascara.” Ma stresses that a coral lip is a must for this look—Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution ($34) in Sexy Sienna is her favorite. “Don’t forget a dust of Lancôme Star Bronzer ($36) all over the face and décolleté.”


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Don't Be Afraid to Mismatch

Maulawizada says to use a total opposite eye liner shade on the spectrum to create contrast with your eye color and really make your eyes pop. “If you have brown eyes, use a light or a dark blue liner or smudge it over your lash line. For green eyes, reddish browns, purple or plums work well. For blue eyes, browns, golds and taupes often look amazing.”