Eyeliner may be one of the oldest ways women (and men, too) used to adorn their face. Anyone who has seen an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus knows that eyeliner was pretty much standard issue. Eyeliner makes eyes stand out, as they are defined and the eye shape accentuated. Some women are so enamored of the look that eyeliner gives them that they opt for a permanent solution: tattooed eyeliner.Eyeliner can help create a distinctive look, whether you’re going for Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, Dita Von Teese at a red-carpet premiere or the mid-80s Princess Diana (the blue liner above and below her very blue eyes).

Holding the skin of your upper lid taut, apply eyeliner from the outside corner of the eye, stopping two-thirds of the way along the eyelid. Apply with short strokes, drawing the line into the lash line rather than above it. For a more dramatic look, make the outside line a bit thicker than the inside.

Set liner with a eyeshadow. Dip eyeshadow brush into the shadow, then apply shadow over the eyeliner. This will set the eyeliner, which tends to rub off on the eyelid.

Apply eyeshadow to lower lashes. Using your eyeshadow brush, apply the deep-hued eyeshadow along the bottom lashes, from the outside in. Unless you have wide-set eyes, don’t line the entire lower lid. Instead, stop halfway across. For a more natural look, don’t dip the brush into the shadow again, instead, use the excess that’s still on the brush for the lower lashes.

Clean up any mistakes with a cotton swab.


  • To make eyes appear wider, trace the inner rims of eyes with a white pencil.

  • Liquid eyeliner is probably the most challenging and unforgiving of eyeliner and requires a very steady hand for a precise look; if you are smudging it, it will be much deeper in tone than a pencil or cream stick eyeliner.

  • Do not use the applicators that come with your shadows or liners. Invest in some professional-grade equiptment.