5 Eyeliner Mistakes We All Make—And Shouldn’t

Shannon Farrell
applying eyeliner

Photo: Getty Images

If you’re not a natural wiz at eyeliner, you probably just go ahead and leave it to the experts. But, adding even a soft swipe on the lash lines enhances your mascara dramatically. So, pick up a kohl liner and let these “don’ts” serve as a guide to perfecting eyeliner once and for all.

Going Too Dark on the Lower Lash Line
Applying liner on both the top and bottom lash lines adds depth to the lashes and makes them appear thicker. But go too thick or dark on the bottom lashes, and your eyes end up looking smaller. Instead, use a lighter version of the eyeliner shade you’re using for a softer touch. Another option: use a powder eyeshadow instead of liner.

Letting Pencil Eyeliner Smudge
Too creamy or too slick and the pencil liner is going to smudge. A surefire way to keep the product in place is by applying a small amount of eyeshadow over the liner. The powder also works like a primer, giving the liner a longer life-span.

Leaving Messy Lines
Creating perfectly straight lines the first time around takes skill. But that doesn’t mean leaving uneven lines is acceptable. An easy solution is dotting the eyeliner along the base of the lashes and then connecting the dots with a sweep of liner after.

Placing Product in the Teardrop Area
Not only does this promote bacteria, but it also makes the liner more prone to smudging—this inner corner can get moist throughout the day. When painting the upper and bottom lines, finish just before this inner corner.

Applying Mascara Before Eyeliner
Always swipe on mascara last. This allows a more precise eyeliner application—it’s easier to see the lash line when the eyelashes are bare. Plus, with the eyeliner in place, you’ll know just how much mascara is needed to finish the look.

Read more: 7 Eyeshadow Mistakes We All Make—And Shouldn’t