Pencil Eyeliner vs Liquid: Which One Should You Be Using?
Just because you've been using the same type of eyeliner since high school doesn't necessarily mean it's the right fit for you. Here, 4 tips on when to use pencil or liquid eyeliner—and why. (Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up to get natural beauty tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)
If you're feeling edgy...
Liquid.Steady your hands because liquid is the way to go for an edgier, cat-eye look, says Emma Bruzzesi, makeup artist at Bluemercury. "Liquid liner will give you a very precise look—it's very dramatic, very bold," Bruzzesi says. Just apply it carefully, as it can be rather unforgiving. "Look down into a mirror and hold the outer corner of the eye a little taut so you can see exactly where you're applying the liner," Bruzzesi says. Begin at the outer corner and trace lightly inward across the lash line for a more precise look. Try Bobbi Brown's Ink Liner (; amazon.com); the liner's felt tip makes for a tug-free application.
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If you want some sex appeal...
Pencil.There's really nothing sexier than a smokey eye, and to achieve optimal smokiness, you'll want to reach for a pencil liner. "You can smudge pencil for a softer, smokier look," says Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist for Physicians Formula. One to try: Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (; amazon.com); it smudge-worthy when first applied, but still stays put all day. (Avoid these mistakes with your eyeliner.)
If you're wrinkle-wary...
Pencil."At a certain point, the eyelid skin starts to fold, and a thicker line with a pencil will give you a more youthful appearance," Schlip says. Opt for something with an added conditioner, like Physicians Formula Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Kohl Kajal Eyeliner (.50; amazon.com).
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If you want a wide-eyed look...
Liquid.You'll perk your peepers up more with liquid than pencil—as long as you apply it correctly. "A good way to fake a set of lashes is to stipple liquid liner along the lash line," Schlip says. To stipple, pull your lid taut and draw tiny dash marks across the lash line (make sure you're as close to the lashes as possible). This will make it look like you didn't actually line your eyes, but rather, have a seriously full set of lashes.
Video: Kinds of Eyeliners (Pencil, Gel, Liquid)
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