Eyeliner is (mostly) a confidence game

Eyeliner is (mostly) a confidence game

Written by: The Editors of goop


Published date: September 13, 2022


Photo provided by RMS Beauty

Eliminate the fear of making mistakes and you’re at least 90% of the way there. While this is true for many things in life, it’s especially important when you’re wearing eyeliner – whether the look you want is natural or dramatic.

  1. You can use a concealer for all but invisible to make your eyes look bigger, or use it to create the smokiest French girl eyes and the approach will be the same. The key, according to experts, is concocting with the idea of ​​perfection in mind – even for something as sharp as a sharp cat’s eye. “It’s all in the retouching process,” says Jillian Dempsey, LA’s top makeup artist and beauty founder.

    Sam Michalska, executive director of global education at ILIA, agrees: “The liner doesn’t have to be so precise. Once you’ve perfected your desired look, choose your liner and hit it with a Q-tip fitted mirror or cotton ball, keeping in mind that the liner is prone to smudging into a sexy matte or being wiped off completely. . “People are always stressed about making it perfect,” says Michalska. “I see, but all that happens if you mess up is you just take a damp cotton pad and clean the edges.”

  2. Grown Alchemist Detox Eye-Makeup Remover, goop, $35

    The alchemist has grown up
    Detox Eye-Makeup Remover
    goop, $35


“If you’re going too heavy or your drawing isn’t going the way you want, just use a cotton ball to adjust as needed,” says Dempsey.

Liquid or pencil?

While you might think liquid primer would be more dramatic, it’s actually great for this: Because the pigment is so intense, just dab a little bit of it into your outer upper lash line — think to connect the base of one lash to the next — then Use a Q-tip to wipe away excess to help your eyes stand out without being read as “makeup”. (If you find yourself applying extra coats of mascara to make your eyes look bigger but don’t like applying more mascara, here’s a great tip for you too.) Of course, liquids are great to look as well. darker. “Liquids give more precision and a more polished look,” says Michalska. Pencils, on the other hand, are loved for their softer look and ability to smudge and come out. “Pencil liner gives you a more vivid effect,” she says.

  1. Easiest- Ever
    Liquid pen

    ILIA Clean Liquid Liner, goop, $28

    Clean liquid liner
    goop, $28


  2. Sexy-Smoke

    Jillian Dempsey Khol Eyeliner, goop, $20

    Jillian Dempsey
    Khol’s eyeliner
    goop, $20


If you want natural definition

“It’s as easy as following the natural curve of your eyes,” says Michalska. “Apply with short strokes or dashes instead of drawing a straight line.” You can use liquid or pencil form for a natural look. Dempsey’s technique: “Put your chin forward in the mirror and use one finger to lift your flap to get in close. Sketch a small back and forth line to fill in the gaps as you draw the line. “

  1. 19/99 Precision Pencil Duo, goop, $42

    Precision pencil duo
    goop, $42


The easiest smoky eye

  1. “Use pencils with dense textures, super blends, and dense pigments. That’s how you’ll get the best effect,” says Rose-Marie Swift, founder of Charleston-based RMS Beauty, whose pencil glides like a dream. Dempsey’s advice is to go in stages. “Do not begin with a thick line — that just creates a mess,” she said. “Gently sketch along your lash line, as close to your lash as possible, and use your finger (or the blur tool on the back of my pencil) to give it that vibrancy. It’s gorgeous on just the top or just the bottom, but my favorite thing is to apply it to both. From there, evaluate how you want to build more interfaces. “Warming kohlrabi pencils with your fingers just before use is a great trick,” continued Dempsey. “The pigment responds well to heat and the light glide helps you draw a beautiful shape.”

  2. RMS Beauty Straight Line Kohl Eye Pencil, goop, $20

    RMS Beauty
    Kohl straight eyeliner
    goop, $20


For a classic cat-eye look, keep your eyes wide open

  1. Most primers stick pretty well, but if the primer tends to slip on your eyes, here’s Dempsey’s tip: “Pull powder on top to create line.”

  2. Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skin Care Powder, goop, $75

    Westman Atelier
    Vital Pressed
    SkinCare Powder

    goop, $75


Why is black always the best-selling product?

“Black is the best eyeshadow,” says Michalska. “It’s like blacking out a work of art: It makes the artwork — or, in this case, the eye — the focal point.” “Black eyeliner absorbs light, so the color of your eyes can pop,” she says.

  1. Jillian Dempsey Dry Jet Black Eyeliner, cheap, $20

    Jillian Dempsey
    Glossy black Khol eyeliner
    goop, $20


Which mascara?

“The more dramatic the primer, the thicker your lashes will look,” says Michalska. “When you focus at night, focus on building volume. For natural looking liner or simple cat eyeliner, super separate long and long lashes look best.”

  1. Lightly determined

    Ami Cole Lash-Amplifying Mascara, goop, $19

    Ami Cole
    Lash-Amplifying Mascara
    goop, $19


  2. More dramatic

    Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara, goop, $58

    Westman Atelier
    Love You Eye Mascara
    goop, $58


  3. Fake eyelashes

    LoveSeen Cate Lashes, goop, $22

    Cate Lashes
    goop, $22


The Pregame: Lifting, Reducing and Moisturizing

  1. Most makeup artists apply eye cream to their clients before applying makeup; Dempsey took it up a notch at that step: Before putting on makeup, apply one of her hydrating, toning masks under her eyes, then roll over it with her vibrating gold bar — always move up and out to the sides — for five minutes or so. “The gold bar’s vibrations awaken your skin instantly, subtly lifting and toning. You can see the difference almost immediately,” she says. “And when you apply it directly on the eye masks — they are soaked in a plumping, brightening hyaluronic acid and prebiotic serum — the results are even better.” If you have time, apply a little serum from the mask onto the rest of your face and roll the bar all over your face for a firmer, toned skin that lasts all day (or night).

  2. Jillian Dempsey The Sculpt + Smooth Duo, goop, $245

    Jillian Dempsey
    The Sculpt + Smooth Duo
    goop, $245


Lining and eyelashes: A little color

“You don’t need too much if you have a great eye,” says Dempsey. “I like cream blush, tinted lip balm or light textured lipstick, and clear brow gel for shape and definition.”

  1. Tata Harper Vitamin-Infused Cream Blush, goop, $42

    Tata Harper
    Vitamin-infused cream blush
    goop, $42


  2. goop Beauty GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm Trio, goop, $48

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm Trio
    goop, $48


  3. Westman Atelier Lip Suede, goop, $85

    Westman Atelier
    goop, $85


  4. RYE Beauty Brow Grooming Serum, goop, $42

    Rye Beauty
    Eyebrow serum
    goop, $42


Related reading

  • Ask Jean: Sober eyes?

  • Enhance your skin care with next level technology

  • 10 Secrets of Real-Life Stealing Wedding Makeup

Other questions?

Contact the beauty guide at and they’ll get back to you with answers (good answers).

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