Beauty Video Tutorial: Eyeliner 101

A guide to different types of eyeliner and how to apply them. Learn about the pros and cons of pencil, liquid, and cream liner plus application tips.

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Editor’s note: Over the past few years, we’ve done tons of beauty posts here at CF, but there’s one thing we’ve never attempted till now: Beauty video tutorials! Every two weeks, our resident video blogger and makeup artist Imani will show you how to create a gorgeous makeup look on a college student budget. In case you missed it, see her first post, Summer Beauty Tutorial: Bronzed Babe.

Eyeliner can be a fabulous way to transform your look, but it can also be hard to apply. Because so many people have trouble getting their eyeliner to look right, this tutorial will show you how to apply three types of eyeliner: cream or gel eyeliner, liquid liner, and pencil liner.

I’ve also included some tips on achieving the perfect winged eyeliner, how to fix eyeliner mistakes, and how to make your eyeliner stay all day. Enjoy!

All liner is not create equal, but there is one out there for everyone. Here are my product recommendations, most of which were seen in the video:

Pencil Eyeliner:

Pencil liner is an old favorite. This is probably the 1st eyeliner most of us used back in middle school. It is great for lining your waterline, tightline, and just right above your lashes. It’s not so great for trying to get a precise wing.

Liquid Eyeliner:

Liquid liner gives the overall best look. It dries to such a dark finish that no other formula can really match. It is great for getting those stunning cat eyes. The only thing to beware of is not getting this product into your eyes because it will burn terribly, so avoid your inner corners and waterline.

Gel/Cream Eyeliner:

My favorite eyeliner formula is gel/cream liner! This is great for applying in between lashes, on your waterline, and creates beautiful wings. The only flaw with this product is the color payoff isn’t as dark as liquid liner and that it’s not convenient to carry around. You also will need a brush to apply this.

Your Thoughts?

What are your favorite eyeliners? What are some of your favorite makeup brands? Do you like the winged liner look? Let me know!

36 thoughts on “Beauty Video Tutorial: Eyeliner 101”

  1. I’m loving these tutorials! Make up is definitely not my strong point, so I’m looking forward to learning some more tips. Great job Imani!

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  2. Wow! The tip on how to fix mistakes with liquid liner was super helpful! Usually I just start over when I make a mistake, but now I won’t have to! I wear liquid liner everyday generally, and I swear by my MAC Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapidblack. πŸ™‚

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  3. I love that you use Urban Decay!! Its the only make-up I use! I’ve found that their 24/7 pencil liner does stay on the water line longer than most pencils, but I use that eyeshadow trick for special occasions! I thought I was the only one lol.

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  4. Wow, beautiful! Great video! I’ve used all types of eyeliners, but my favorite is actually the “powder cake type”. It goes on like a liquid or gel, but it’s from a powder (you have to wet your brush)

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  5. Thank you so much for this! I’m a makeup noob so these videos are greatly appreciated. I especially love that you offer drugstore alternatives πŸ™‚

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  6. i personally love smashbox gel eyeliner (jet set waterproof eyeliner). I use it everyday. I just feel like it makes me eyes look more awake & it stays all day:) (although it is on the pricey side, it’s totally worth it)

    great video!! can’t wait for more ;D

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  7. Ohmygosh finally! There are so few great eyeliner tutorials out there, and this one is of such a high caliber…thank you so much for explaining the types of eyeliner, what each one can best be used for, and using your makeup experience to give us advice on the best products. It really helps people like me, who are totally clueless about makeup and yet want to try it, when videos like this one are made, that are easy to follow and explain everything so well. I loved how simple you made everything. I have nothing but positive energy to send your way. Thank you very much, and I look forward to your next post.

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  8. Exactly what Janessa said-your eye shadow in this video is gorgeous, can you please do a tutorial on it next? Your videos are super helpful and well made, this is a great new CF feature!

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  9. –I’m OFFICIALLY obsessed with your make-up videos, Imani. you are a gorgeous girl and you definitely know how to enhance your features. Question though: I know eyeliner was the focus of the video , but how did you do your eyeshadow it’s soooo gorgeous! I have dark skin and I love love love wearing purple because it makes my eyes pop and I’m totally in love with how you did yours. Any chance we could get a video on that next week?

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  10. After watching this I went out and bought my first thing of gel eyeliner. I’ve always been kind of wary, because it seems so much more labor intensive, but you made it super easy! I got the maybelline eyestudio, it works like a dream and is really dark! For some reason I’ve never been wary of using liquid, but the gel/creme would put me off.

    Also, what pencil liner are you using? I need a new black pencil and would love a suggestion.

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  11. In my opinion, the best and cheapest gel liner (or is it cream liner? I don’t know) is the one from Eyes Lips Face (E.L.F.) I don’t know how you can beat $3. Good tutorial πŸ˜€

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  12. Another great video. Thank you for speaking about the products that you have used personally versus what you have read about. I am happy to learn of the “art of eye lining”

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  13. Rin- AHHH! My boss ALWAYS tells me to slow down when I talk. It’s such a horrible habit. :/ I even type extremely fast as if I were talking. Lol. I promise I will try to slow it down on the next video πŸ™‚

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  14. Thank you everyone! πŸ™‚

    Lisa- I would definitely try a waterproof liner. Also, try taking a Kleenex and dabbing your waterline before applying your liner.

    Noelle- I personally think gel/cream is the best formula. But you may want to try all 3 formulas and see what works best for you. It really depends on what look you do on a daily basis. πŸ™‚

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  15. I love your tutorials so far. It’s almost like I have a friend that knows everything about makeup. Can’t wait for your vid on eyebrow grooming!

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  16. Very helpful video. I use liquid eyeliner everyday and use the eyeshadow trick on my waterline. I don’t find it to last too long, though. Should the pencil liner I use for my waterline be waterproof?

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  17. This was very helpful, thank you so much! I’ve always been completely lost when it came to eyeliner, now I feel like I have a better grasp of tips and techniques.

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  18. Thank you everyone for letting me know your faves! There is so many products out there still to try! πŸ™‚

    Katlyn- Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray. Works like a dream! It’s sold at Ulta, Sephora, or online at UrbanDecay.com

    Sophia- Oh I’m sorry if I was misleading! I probably should have used a different word besides ‘best’. I was recommending products that I have personally used just in case in questions were asked I could provide a reliable answer. I really appreciate your input on products and a fellow makeupalley girl?! Love that website! πŸ™‚

    Carrie- I have actually only tried the Laura Mercier’s Cake Liner and I’m not loving it πŸ™ Which one are you using?

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  19. This video was so helpful! I’ve tried to use liquid liner a couple of times but it never really worked for me, and I guess it was because I was applying it wrong! Also, instead of using concealer to fix an eyeliner mistake, I have found that if you put some moisturizer or lotion on a q-tip, it takes the eyeliner right off. It saves me a lot of time when I mess up my eyeliner. Thanks for the video πŸ™‚

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  20. Lancome’s Artliner is the EASIEST TO USE liquid eyeliner ever. It’s pricey for a college budget but I use it every single day and I rarely have to replace it. I will probably never buy another type of liner again.

    Don’t bother with clinique’s liquid liner.. even though I put on on liquid liner every single day I can’t handle the dinky little brush on it.

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  21. Alrighty, I feel like I need to add my two cents to some of the products listed below. And believe me when I say I have a vast knowledge of make up products.

    Best gel/creme eyeliner should have gone to Wet n wild, I own mac fluid line, along with more expensive gel liners and I can tell you for a fact the wet n wild is light years better and is like two dollars. Seriously it’s dirt cheap. Youtube beauty gurus rave about it.

    Next, for best drugstore liquid liner, l’oreal reformulated their product and it’s not the same. Revlon Colorstay liquid eyeliner(again many beauty gurus rave about it, not to mention extremely high reviews on makeup ally)It’s a lot darker than the loreal one, and I find it better, actually a lot better than the urban decay one, which I own.

    Just my two cents.But great video. I just feel the proucts mentioned should have been thoroughly researched, along with finding reviews on products before being listed.

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  22. Great tutorial. I was just wondering, what is the spray that you held up a few times during the video? Can you tell me what it is and where to get it? Also, thank you for talking about how to apply liquid liner. I’ve always been a little bit scared of liquid liner because it seems so hard to apply, but your video really helped show me how to put it on! Thanks!

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  23. Thank you for doing these tutorials. I’m a total makeup newbie, so I really appreciate all the tips you can give. Eyeliner was so intimidating to me, but with your advice, I think I can finally tackle it.

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  24. I actually use powder eyeliner from l’Oreal. I have to order it on amazon though because i can’t find it in stores anymore, but i find that it gives me a much more natural look and it is very dark! just as dark as liquid liner but it’s easier to blend. the only problem is that if it flakes off the brush onto your face its really hard to get off. this stuff STAYS but because of that it lasts all day. πŸ™‚

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  25. NARS eyeliner is my favorite. It is expensive, but it lasts much longer than any other brand I’ve ever used. (I used AVON glimmersticks in high school mostly because of price, NARS is so much better and lasts twice as long!)

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  26. I agree–gel eyeliner is the best. It’s got better staying power than liquid and doesn’t smudge as easily. I use the maybelline one, and it goes on really dark–plus it legitimately lasts forever, even if you use it everyday. You will never empty it. For everyday I use the Jane Eye Shadow in Brownie or something (maybe brownie points?). It’s a dark brown pressed powder and using a brush makes it go on better than a pencil for me.

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