Eyeliner 101: The Dish on Different Types Of Eyeliner

In my last post, I shared with you my favorite tips to create perfect eyeliner every time. I get asked all the time not only how to apply eyeliner, but what is the best kind to use. Or what’s the difference between them all. Eyeliner is one of the most common makeup frustrations!

Since eyeliner and applying it can be so tricky, I decided to continue on from my last post, and make a series of it. Think of this series as your eyeliner 101 class, and with this class, you’re sure to get an A!

There are so many types, so many colors, so many brands. How do you know which one is the best for you? How do you know which one will make the best cat eye? Or which one won’t run down your face?

I’m going to make it simple for you. For today’s class, I’m going to share my 3 favorite types of eyeliner, what they are for, and my favorite brands of each type.

With my tips, your days of stressing over eyeliner are over! Read on to learn more.

1. Pencil eyeliner: I find pencil eyeliner is probably the easiest type of liner to apply. The pencil is easy to hold and control, and more forgiving than some of the other types of liner. If you make a mistake, it’s not as obvious, and easy to fix (or remove).

Some pencils kohl, which is softer and easy to smudge. And some are waterproof and stay in place once they dry.

Pencils are great for a softer looking eyeliner. They are also great for smudging, or using as a base for your eyeshadow. There are so many possibilities with them.
If you like a more natural look for your eyeliner, then a pencil is the choice for you.

Melissa’s favorites: MAC Eye Kohl, Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, and Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner.

2. Gel eyeliner: Gel liner is great for getting a bold liner look. You can create a strong line, cat eye, or winged liner with it. It’s applied with a brush, and I find it’s a little easier to apply then a liquid liner. To apply, dip your brush into your gel pot and then trace your line on your lash line, using little strokes. Gel liner is pretty long lasting, and often water proof, so if you make a mistake it’s a little harder to fix. But by dipping a qtip in a little makeup remover to clean up your line, your liner will be perfect.

Gel liners come in a range of great colors, to create as polished or as bold of a look as you’re desiring. You can also use them as a base under a matching eyeshadow to make your shadow really pop.

Melissa’s favorites: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner, MAC Gel Eyeliner, Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Eyeliner.

3. Liquid eyeliner: Liquid liner is great for a cat eye, winged liner, or retro look. It requires a little more control of your hand and the wand and can be a little harder to apply then gel or pencil. They usually come out with a glossy or wet looking finish, although some are matte. I personally prefer a matte look to my eyeliner.

Most liquid liners are water proof and don’t budge no matter how long you wear them, or how sweaty (or wet) you get.

I have a few tricks for liquid liner to make applying it a breeze. When you pull out the wand, wipe off the excess liquid and only get a small amount on the tip. This will give you more control. Use small strokes to apply your line, and go back to add more or make adjustments. If you make a mistake, fix it right away with a little makeup remover and qtip so the liner doesn’t set and become waterproof.

Melissa’s favorites: Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner and Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner.

Now that I’ve shared with you my best tips for applying eyeliner, and the differences between the different types of eyeliner, you’re well on your way to becoming an eye liner expert! Next week I’ll continue on with the series, with my last class in Eye Liner 101, the best colors you should wear for your eye color. Stay tuned for next week!

Do you have any favorite eyeliners that I should know about? Or what are your biggest frustrations when it comes to applying eyeliner? Leave me a comment below to let me know!

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