Eyeliner is a generally forgiving product. Sure, you can just smudge it on for a lived-in look à la SJP, or you could try and draw a straight line that inevitably gets smudged and call it a purposeful smoky eye. Even if your cat eye ends up looking a bit jagged, you can play with your shadow to try and disguise it via blending. (For those who can actually draw an even line or—gasp—a sharp cat eye, we applaud you.) But as fluid (sometimes literally) as eyeliner can be, when you're actually trying to go for a specific look and it's just not working out, it can be incredibly frustrating.
Since we don't always want to have to disguise a line that went rogue or smudge what we intended to be a perfect winged look, we turned to a Smith & Cult beauty ambassador and makeup artist, Ashlee Glazer, to find out how to make it look like a professional drew on our liner for us every time. The secret? Simple: Pay attention to the type of products you use and when you use them.
Glazer says to invest in top-notch liners that will deliver long-lasting results. "Use quality products that you know you can trust will last all day. A water-resistant formula is a sure way to keep eyeliner in place." To learn which products to use for specific looks, keep scrolling!
For a Cat Eye
"Feather-tip liquid pens (as opposed to felt) provide more flexibility and control. Smith & Cult's B-Line Eye Pen has a feather tip, allowing you tons of flexibility and control when drawing your line. Use the edge of the pen to trace the lash line to create a perfect line. My favorite trick is to use the bottom lash line to guide the direction of the wing."
For a Smoky Eye
Instead of grabbing a liner to create a smoky eye, Glazer recommends using a matte black eye shadow, which can be applied wet or dry. "Keep in mind that the smoky eye doesn’t have to be perfect! Start with the most amount of product closest to the lash line; then buff out with an eye shadow brush or your finger to soften as you blend toward the crease."
For Your Waterline
"For your waterline, use waterproof all the way," Glazer advises. "Swipe the pencil back and forth to add layers and depth on the upper and lower waterline. Make sure to connect all corners, and trace over with gel to achieve super-long wear, but be extra careful with this trick if you wear contacts."
For Mature Lids
If your eyelids are "textured" or mature, Glazer suggests using a smooth, blendable gel liner. Otherwise, the product can tug at the lid a bit, creating an uneven effect. "Gel eyeliners are ideal for a clean, long-lasting finish—I love using a small angled brush with these."
For a Lived-In Look
"For a smudged, effortless, soft, rock-'n'-roll look, I like to use pencils," says Glazer.
What's your favorite eyeliner? Sound off below!