Eyeliner is something I consider near and dear; my emotional reliance is probably slightly unhealthy considering the fact that it is an inanimate object, but my love will never waver. It was the first makeup product I ever used (shakily and, inexplicably, only in royal blue), and I rarely, if ever, leave the house without it. Thus, I consider myself quite a pro when it comes to flicking and tracing with abandon, and I hoard black eyeliners like it’s my job (which it is, sort of). And yet, even masters can learn new tricks (that’s how the saying goes, right?). Thus, my mind was subsequently blown at a Kat Von D fall beauty event when makeup artist Erik Soto shared a tip that forever changed the trajectory of my love affair with eyeliner. Supposedly, a common trick makeup artists use when applying eyeliner is clenching their toes. Why in the world would they do such a thing? you ask incredulously (as did I… but in my head, as not to interrupt the event). The answer is simple: It keeps your hands from shaking.
I will allow that to sink in for a second. Perhaps a glass of water and some deep breaths will slow your racing heartbeat.
Are you ready to keep going? Basically, Soto explained that clenching your toes when applying eyeliner can help you steady any shakiness and create one long, sleek line. Obviously, I had to try this out immediately. The next morning, before applying liner, I stood in front of my mirror, took a deep breath, clenched my toes, and then applied my favorite Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eye Liner ($22). Sure enough, my hands felt steadier, and I easily drew a squiggle-free line on one lid. I unclenched my toes to start the other eye, but—and this definitely could have been a placebo—my hand felt much less secure. I’m not saying my other eye was a mess—I am master, remember?—but somehow, clenching my toes seemed to ground and steady my hand.
If you have shaky hands or suck at applying eyeliner, please try this trick out and tell me—is it all in my head? Is this trick as life-changing as I’ve come to believe? Here are two Byrdie-approved eyeliners to test out whether this trick works for you.