Monday, 17 September 2012

How-to Mondays: Line those pretty eyes!

This week's How-to Monday is by request from our lovely facebook friend Fay. I asked what you guys wanted to see, and made some suggestions, and she suggested that I look at the differences between pencil, gel pot/brush and liquid liner. What a fantastic idea! Thank you, Fay!

So in my first pic collage here, you can see that I've swatched the 3 different kinds of liner. The top one is a Face of Australia liquid liner that I got from Gloss, I think. It's a product I've used almost daily for months and months and it's still going strong. The two best things about using liquid liner, in my opinion, are that the product lasts for so long, you generally need to throw it away before you finish it because it's been months and it's time for a fresh one, and the precision you get with a liquid liner... but I'll go into that in a minute.

Next on the swatch is Rimmel gel liner, which I actually bought last night from Chemist Warehouse in preparation for this blog post. This gel liner has its own brush built into the pot, which is awesome. The greatest thing about gel liner is its staying power. Gel generally outlasts both pencil and liquid by a long shot, so once you've got it on there, you don't have to worry about it moving during the day/night.

At the bottom of the swatch is my trusty BYS pencil liner, which I also got from Gloss. Pencil liners are a little more forgiving, more versatile, and easier to use in waterlines. The best thing about pencil liners is the lack of mess. You have to sharpen them, but that is the only mess they make, and it can't happen by accident.

As you can see, I've chosen the black version of all three liners, because it's easy to see on pictures, and because black is the most common colour of liner used and available.

So, let's see what each of these look like on my face, and have a look at how they are different.

In the first picture, I've used the BYS pencil liner on my waterline, lower lash line, upper waterline (tightline) and upper lid. You will notice that it's almost a smoky look, because the pencil liner doesn't have that hard, precise line that many people prefer. I really like pencil liner for when I'm doing makeup looks with "bedroom eyes" or goth-y, emo type looks. The coverage is just wider and smokier.

In the second picture, I've applied the gel liner to my lower lashline and upper lid. I don't like to tightline or use gel or liquid liner on my waterlines, because it has a tendency to "bleed" into the eye and cause some irritation. Perhaps I'm not quite getting it right, but I've tried many different techniques, and as soon as I get anything softer than a pencil near the waterlines, that is what happens. With a gel, you get a more precise application than the pencil, and with this built-in brush, the line is quite wide. I really think this gel liner would be great for 60's bombshell looks, looks with wide winged liner, or costume makeup, given its staying power and general wearability.

Last, but not least, I've used the Liquid liner, again on my lower lashline and upper lid. Liquid gives the most precise application, thanks to it's tiny thin, long brush. I love liquid liner for my "classic" looks, and it's so versatile. You can wear just a fine line for a more natural look, or build it up into cat or winged eyes, big fat lines, or even costume makeup where additional face painting is required away from the eyes.

Everyday eyes.
My personal preference, and what I use every day is a combination. Generally, I use pencil liner on my lower lashline, waterline and tightline, then either a liquid or a gel liner on my upper lashline/lid over my eyeshadow. I'll usually apply the pencil first, then eyeshadow, then gel or liquid liner. That's just the way that I do it and I'm sure everyone has different ways to do it.

At some point soon, I'll pop a little tutorial for all three of these on the youtube channel, and I'll post it as extra content for you to have a look at.

See you on Thursday for my review of my awesome Australis Rush Hour palette!


  1. I feel a bit stupid but I guess you teaching us is the reason for this blog but I don't know all the difference between all the lines: lashline, waterline, tightline, etc. Can you show that some time? Thanks:)

  2. I sure will... Maybe I'll do a really stripped back eye makeup tutorial with the zones for creating a smokey eye look.