Find the Best Type Eyeliner For You

With so many different options of liner out there, choosing the right one can be a struggle— which is best for a smoky eye? What do you use for a sophisticated style? What about that crazy look you are cooking up for a night out?

It all makes sense once you know the various formulations of liner and what each can accomplish. Here is a look at the products available and how each one can help you create the looks that will have everyone talking. Let’s get you educated! 

Pencil eyeliner
Pencils are a must-have for every makeup bag. It is used to achieve any look from soft and smudgy to deep and dramatic, pencils are easy to use and great for beginners and pros alike. Pencil liners allow you to line inside the eye, around the lash line, and can even be used as a base to intensify any eye shadow. They come in a variety of formulations ranging from typical wax formulas to traditional Kohl’s and, now, even long-wear waterproof options. The trick with pencils is to be sure you are choosing the formula that works in your environment and its placement in your makeup design.

Liquid liners
Liquid eyeliners are a classic cosmetic product. Highly pigmented, these liners can look less dimensional then other types and come off a little flat, but they can be combined with other formulations to achieve more dimensional looks. Liquid eyeliners require a more steady hand and precise application. For more control, try the options in a more modern pen style applicator. Another tip to make applying a bit easier; create the shape with taupe eye shadow first and trace right over it with your liquid.

Gel eyeliner
Gel eyeliner tends to be more generous and pliable, allowing you to build your line to the desired amount of drama. Gel eyeliner can also be easier for those that are not as skilled in liner application. It allows for more versatility, and can be used to create crisp hard lines or less dramatic, smokey effects.

Cream liner
Cream liners are the close cousin of the gel liners. They tend not to have the durability or wear of the gel formula, but many artists consider cream liner and gel liner to be interchangeable.

Powder eyeliner
Powder eyeliners offer endless possibilities and come in a variety of packages. They can be applied by choosing your favorite eye shadow and applying with a stiff angled brush the way you would use any other liner. This allows you to employ an endless array of colors and textures to achieve any makeup you might wish to design. Powders are ideal for a smokey eye and tend to be long-lasting. They can also be combined with other liner formulations to achieve the red carpet looks of your favorite celebrities.

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