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BellaOnline's Cosmetics Editor

Using Pencil Eyeliners

One of the questions makeup artists often hear is about eyeliner and how to apply it. Many women struggle with putting anything so close to the eye area. Others just lack confidence in applying eyeliner correctly. Still others don’t know which type of liner is best with so many available to choose from.

Pencil eyeliners are one of the most common types on the market. Manufactured by numerous cosmetics companies, they come in an array of colors. Formulas range from hard to very soft. Pencil liners are easy to use and readily available. But even among pencil liners, different types exist.

One of the most popular is the kohl liner. They tend to be soft and easy to blend. They allow for the creation of a lot of different looks and are an essential for creating the popular "smoky eye" look.

Mistakes can be easily corrected with the use of a cotton swab. Pencil eyeliners are a great option for those just beginning to wear makeup.

Creating Natural Looks
To create a basic, daytime look, use short strokes across the upper lash line, staying as close to the lash line as possible. This method emphasizes eyes without looking obvious.

Another way to create a natural look is to apply liner between lashes without drawing an obvious line.

For a soft, more blended look, apply pencil liner and then smudge it with a cotton swab.

Creating a Dramatic Look
To create a more dramatic look, use a thicker line or extend eyeliner outward and upward at the outer eye area. Correct any mistakes with a cotton swab.

Applying Pencil Liners on the Waterline
Kohl pencils are best for the waterline (the inside rim of the lower eyelid). To apply kohl eyeliner, gently pull down the lower lid and draw on the liner where desired. To transfer some of the liner to the upper waterline, blink and hold for a second or two.

Pencil liners are they only type of liner typically recommended as safe for use on the waterline. Use of gel or liquid eyeliners on the waterline could harm the eyes and is not recommended.

Drawbacks of Using Pencil Liners
One drawback of some pencil liners is that they lack staying power. This is especially true for women with oilier skin.

Pencil liners can smudge or run under eyes when applied to the lower lash line or the waterline. Sometimes they just fade during the day, so touching them up periodically is necessary.

Some cosmetics companies effectively solved this problem by manufacturing long-wearing formulas that stay on all day. But they sometimes sacrifice the softness and creaminess of other pencil eyeliners.

Pencil eyeliners are versatile and allow the creation of many different looks. Women can easily go from a simple daytime look to a more dramatic evening look very quickly. Though some may not be as long lasting as gel liners or liquid liners, pencil liners are easy to use and ideal for those just starting to wear makeup. But experienced beauty enthusiasts also love them and they are a great addition to anyone’s makeup bag.

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