How to Avoid This Annoying Eyeliner Problem

Here’s the scene: It’s Friday night, and I break out my liquid eyeliner so I can rock a cat eye. I spend 20 minutes attempting to make it perfect, then, once I’m finally happy with it, realize that now my eyelashes are covered in clumps of liquid liner. I know I can’t be the only one. So if you, too, are a victim of liquid-liner-to-lash transfer, it’s time to rejoice. I’ve tapped three of my favorite makeup artists-Fiona Stiles, Molly Stern, and Carissa Ferreri-to explain how to keep it where it belongs.

__Consider the formula.__The thicker the formula (like a gel or cream liner that comes in a pot) the more likely you’ll get it on your lashes while applying it. “A thinner, fluid-like formula isn’t as messy and goes on more even and precise,” says Stiles. Liquid liners with short, felt tips are your best bet (Stiles recommends Surratt Beauty Auto-Graphique Eyeliner), as the tip won’t come into contact with your lashes as you draw your line. Brush-tip liners are especially tricky because the entire applicator gets coated in the formula when you pull it out of the tube (the same way a mascara does). If you prefer brush tips, just make sure to clean off the excess formula from the base of the wand with a makeup wipe before tracing your lids.

Clean it off. “Liquid liner usually gets clumpy (and messier) when too much of the product comes gushing out,” says Ferreri. “If you find your liner is very thick, runny, or hard to control straight out of the applicator, dispense some onto your hand and use a thin angled brush to apply it.”

Change your position. How you hold your liner may also be the culprit. Hold the tip of your liner to you lid. If the end of the liner is pointed down toward the floor, you run the risk of the tip of your liner crashing into your lashes as you trace it across your lid, thereby coating your lashes in liquid liner. Since you can’t do anything about your where your lashes are, change your grip so the end of the liner sticks straight out to the side (parallel to the floor) or slightly up toward the ceiling.

Wait to curl your lashes until after you’ve applied liquid liner. “This way, you’ll have less interference and better access to the lashes,” says Stiles. “But sometimes when you curl your lashes after doing your liner, it will take the product off, so you’re going to have to go with the lesser of two evils here.”

Line the base of your lash line with a pencil liner. “This makes sure the line of the liquid liner just grazes the top of the pencil line and not your lash line,” says Stern. “This way you aren’t depositing the wet product too close to your lashes.”

Take a seat when you apply liquid liner. “If you’re standing and have nothing to rest your elbows on, you’re going to have a lot more trouble controlling your hands and a harder time controlling your lines,” says Stiles. “A comfortable position where you can stabilize yourself will help tremendously.”

Problem solved! Now we can apply mascara after our liquid liner and really feel great about it.

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