Stop Making This Common Mistake When Applying Eyeliner
Mastering the art of the eyeliner takes a few things: a gorgeous, well-formulated eye product, a handy how-to full of tips from the pros (you're just in luck; we already wrote it for you), and a masterstroke of confidence. When you go in with that pen or pencil, you just have to know to your core you're going to nail it: I've always believed that eyeliner can sense your fear.
Jokes aside, one vital thing you may be missing is that the angle at which you hold it makes a huge difference in your final outcome. Here, the common mistake makeup artists see all the time.
You may be making this common eyeliner mistake: It's all about the angle.
The angle at which you hold your felt tip eyeliner will affect how thick the lines appear. NeeziieBabiie, a celebrity MUA and founder of NeeziieBabiieBeauty, recommends, "The more parallel the tip is to the eye, the thicker the eyeliner will be applied. It helps to angle the felt tip at 45 degrees and apply the tip lightly but with intention. This will allow you to apply a tight line across."
It's easy to be tempted to hold your tool right in line with the curve of your eye, but this will press more product onto the area, creating a larger line. With the 45-degree hold, you're just getting the very end of the pen or felt tip. Now, if you want to start small and build up the line—which we recommend newbies do—just barely trace alongside the eye, then keep layering lines on top until you reach the desired effect. Remember: It's always easier to add than subtract.
And if you do end up with more coverage than you intended? You can always clean up the stray moves with a micellar-soaked cotton swab or strategically placed concealer. A bonus: "The contrast of the bright concealer and liner will define the line even more," says Alexandra Compton, product development manager at clean beauty retailer Credo.
A lot goes into an eye look—that's for sure. And who knew angles were going to play such a role? Turns out getting the right degree is the key to your ideal thickness.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.