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Perfect your Eyeliner Technique

Eyeliner can be subtle or sexy, dramatic or demure. It’s also one of the easiest ways to switch up your makeup look. So whether you’re rushing out of the house in the morning or leisurely glamming up for a night out, an assortment of eyeliners is a must for your beauty tool kit. Here are a few of our favorite eyeliner techniques, from barely-there to statement-making.


Apply a little concealer to the eyelids to create a smooth base. Using an earthy-brown pencil¬—we like Pencil Perfect Eyeliner in Espresso—apply in short strokes along the upper lash line as close to lashes as possible, working the tip right in at the root of the lash. Soften with a cotton swab. The goal here is to define your eyes in a way that looks totally natural. Add a light coat of mascara or skip it altogether and just curl eyelashes. Voilà! A perfect weekend or daytime look.


Sultry, smoky eyes are a surefire way to add sizzle to your makeup routine. The chunky size and thick line of the Voluminous Smoldering Liner is great for smudging—the trick that makes this look really smolder. Draw a line along the top lash line, working up intensity between and around lashes and increasing thickness as you go. Line your bottom lash line. With your fingertips or a cotton swab, gently smudge both lines, extending color onto lids and gradually fading intensity. Line the inner rim of your eyes, upper and lower, for added drama. Don’t limit yourself to blacks and charcoal, midnight blues and deep violets also work.


The trick to revving up the drama is to make sure to draw liner completely around the eye. Extra-Intense™ Liquid Pencil Eyeliner is our liner of choice because it’s so easy to vary the line intensity. Beginning at the inner corner of the eye, draw a line along the top lid, just above lashes. Finish just past the outer corner of the eye. On the lower lid, begin your line at the inner corner of the eye and extend to the outer edge, connecting with the upper line in a slight point. For added drama, swipe liner back and forth a few times on your lower lid right below the center of the iris. Choose a complementary eye shadow color in a deeper shade and a volumizing mascara to finish the look.

Cat Eye

A true classic, the cat eye look adds instant glamour. Start with an inky-black liquid eyeliner like the foolproof Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black. With a steady hand, draw a sharply defined line as close as possible to lashes along the upper lid, increasing pressure and thickness as you go. Extend the line just past the outer corner of the eye, lifting it slightly in a gentle curve. The farther out the line extends, the more dramatic the look. Use a cotton swab to clean up any smudges. Finish with a double coating of mascara in a shade matched to the liner.


Want to make your eyes appear brighter? Add a fun colored eyeliner. Today’s formulas are packed with pigments so they have great staying power—perfect for an attention-getting, day-to-night look. To complement your eye color, choose gold for blue eyes, copper for green, moss for brown and sapphire for hazel. Or add contrast to any eye color with a pop of purple. Universally flattering, HiP Studio Secrets™ Professional Color Chrome Eyeliner in Violet Volt has a subtle shimmer that really makes eyes stand out.

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