Eyeliner 101

There are way too many options in this day-and-age … skimed, lowfat, non-fat, half-caf, decaf, Jacob, Edward, blackberry, iphone (#teamiphone) blah blah blah, etc etc, migraine headache! With all these decisions to make, brooding over which type of eyeliner to use should be last on the list. Granted, the eyeliner options have recently expanded much further than the basic pencil that many of us are used to. But many of the popular products on the market right now generally fall under three categories: Pencil, Liquid and Gel. For all the make-up virgins and newbies, here is a quick guide to the basic differences between the three and their pros and cons.


Best for – Everyday casual wear. This is great for going to class, work, or just out and about. You can use it for both top lid and bottom lid as well as inside and outside the rim.

Pros- Great for beginners! This will be the most natural looking out of the three. It leaves much room for experimenting as you can achieve different looks by easily manipulating the thickness and softness of the line. Not to mention very easy and quick to apply. Best of all, its easy to correct mistakes.

Cons- Can smudge and get fuzzy throughout the day. Unless you know what you are doing, it may be hard to get a dramatic look without getting the “panda” effect.

Favorite – I’ve found most of the lines carried in the run-of-the mill drug stores work just as well as the expensive ones. I love the bi-color pencils by N.Y.C. and the CG perfect blend pencil that comes equiped with the small blender sponge on the other end.


Best for – Dramatic looks! It’s also great for getting a defined line for the “Cat eye” effect but not so good for smokey-eye. Overall, it will give you a polished and clean look but make sure to only use it on the upper lid!

Pros- NO SMUDGING! The best ones have quick drying formula that prevents smearing and smudging. If you master the technique, the line will look smooth and crisp and the brush allows for the perfect “wing.” Once used to it, some find it easier to apply than a pencil. It is also long lasting!

Cons- Needs lots of precision and a steady hand so this may be intimidating for newbies. Practice makes perfect!

Favorite – MAC Liquidlast & Urban Decay liquid liner both come in great classic colors and an assortment of metallic shades. UD has anything from neon green to olive-gold!


Best for –Dramatic looks that are more natural and night-time wear.

Pros- Achieves 2nd most natural looking line. It is the best medium between the glamorous liquid liner and the casual pencil. It glides on like a dream and is still easy to correct.

Cons- Smudging is an issue* …this may not be ideal for long-hours. Also, the cheaper the brand the less variety in color options. Some may have the tendency to flake off your eyes once they dry.

Favorite – Bobbi Brown

Of course many muas (make-up artists) and seasoned pros use eyeshadows as liners and others, myself included, prefer the dramatic effects of Kohl (check out Sephora’s special edition Hello Kitty Kohl collection), but we’ll leave those for a future post.

***As a general rule, applying some powder eyeshadow of the same shade on top of your eyeliner (regardless of type) will help set it and avoid smudging for the most part.***

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4 Responses to Eyeliner 101

  1. Even though I consider myself a well-seasoned makeup pro- I have never tried a gel eyeliner… but now I’m totally willing to try. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Renarda Joy says:

    Very accurate & informative! Great Job!…

  3. Anjule says:

    i know little to nothing about makeup or tips lol but this was very helpful to me…im learning!

  4. Fatima says:

    Love it. Nice work

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