The Secret to Colored Eyeliner

Rachel Adler
Colored eyeliner

Photo by Audrey Froggatt

Colored eyeliner can instantly update your look for spring, but many can be daunted by the bright shades and intricate shapes that we’re supposed to be tracing on our eyelids. Somehow models are able to pull off the looks flawlessly, but when we’re faced with the task of using blue and purple liners near our face, we’d much rather reach for our trusty black pencil. We were recently on set with makeup artist Andie Markoe-Byrne during our latest beauty editorial shoot, Pony Up, and as we blended spring ponytail ideas with colored liner looks, Andie filled us in on countless colored liner tricks to ease our concerns about trying the look.

Try White:
Andie noted that white liner is a fun and easy way to use a “color,” and can actually be really wearable. “You can pop it on the inside of your waterline for a cool Mod, open-eyed look, or I love a swipe across the top lash line, even pretty thick and paired with a bright red lip – it’s super modern and gorgeous!”

MORE: Pony Up: Get Inspired By Spring’s New Take on the Pontail

Break the Rules:
As a rule of thumb with colored liners, makeup artist Andie insists “there are no rules.” Think of your colored eyeliner as an accessory more than just makeup. “It’s like wearing purple shoes instead of black, just go for it!” That said, Andie also suggests keeping the look relatively simple—a pretty cat eye or top liner is always going to look great in any color, for example, while going too heavy with any liner will take the look too far. You can always start off simple and try a bright color in your water line to start.

It’s All About the Brush:
We all strive for that perfect cat eye, and Andie gave us some pointers for getting it just right! The best way to get your angles even is to use a great brush (since precision is key) so opt for a tiny pointed brush and use a gel or liquid liner.

Tilt Back for Your Cat Eye:
“Start at the inner corner of your eye with your head tilted back, looking down into the mirror,” says Andie. “Start thin, right along the lash line, making sure there is no space between your lashes and the liner all the way until you reach the outer edge – then pull up and out. Go back over the outer corner, thickening it until you have the perfect wing. Then, go back in with a concealer brush and run it underneath the lowest part of the wing to clean up your line so it’s perfectly sharp.”