Most women use eyeliner because they want bigger or better defined eyes. Some use top liner only. Some use bottom liner only. Some use a combination of both. Much of that decision is based upon what the individual woman wants to achieve with liner, the time of day it is being worn or the occasion for which it was chosen. The truth is that “why” the liner is worn isn’t nearly an important issue as “how” it is worn.Unfortunately, perfect eyeliner is something that eludes a lot of women. Whether the eyeliner is cream, cake, liquid or powder isn’t really the problem. It lies within the tool used to apply the liner. However, of all the lining choices, powder eyeliner is the one that is gaining in popularity. The reason for that may well lie within the product’s versatility and ease of application.

Things You'll Need

Determine if pre-existing powder eye shadow can be ground to create powder eyeliner or if existing eye shadow can double as a liner.

Purchase one or two powder eyeliners to try in order to determine which brand works best for you. Also purchase one or more eyeliner brushes to try. Different people find different types of brushes work for them. It is a process of trial and error.

Remove any eye makeup like eye shadow, mascara or other eyeliner from your face.

Grind down a cake eye shadow if that is what to be used. This can be done with a thoroughly cleaned and disinfected knife. Grind only as much powder as will be needed. The remaining powder should be thrown away, rather than risk contamination that might damage your eyes.

Apply the eyeliner powder dry for a soft day look. Wet the eyeliner brush in water and then squeeze out all of the excess, leaving it just damp enough to easily absorb the powder. Dip the eyeliner brush into the powder. Obtain a solid brush coating without too much excess. Starting at the inside corner of the eye, run the brush over the top of the eyelid. Keep as close to the bottom part of the lid (the part closest to the eye) as possible. However, be cautious not to get the ground powder into the eye or it will tear or run, undoing or smearing the liner. For a smoky look, smear the liner ever so slightly with a sponge tip applicator or cotton swab.

Wet the eyeliner brush thoroughly for a heavier, nighttime eyeliner. Be sure to keep the brush wet throughout the application process. Dip the brush into the powder, swirling it to make sure there is a heavy application. On a tissue, smear a bit of the liner to make certain a strong depth of color is being obtained. Once the color is correct, follow the same application procedure as outlined in the step above. Nighttime shadow can be applied in a more intense line width. It can also be applied underneath the eye. For a smoky look, smear the liner with a sponge tip applicator or cotton swab.

Swing the line of the eyeliner up on the outside part of the upper lid for a dramatic cat’s eye look.

Mix eyeliner colors together in wet form in order to create a customized color. This technique works well when attempting to match eye shadow or clothing.


  • Look for eye products (including liners) that are ophthalmologist tested for eye safety.

  • Choose eye products that are allergy tested and fragrance free.

  • Black-brown, black, and deep navy eyeliner usually works for everyone.

  • In a pinch, a fragrance and alcohol free baby wipe will work as a make-up remover.