Types of Eyeliners and How to Use Them

Eye makeup is extremely important to most Singaporean girls. Falsies, eyeliner, enlarging lenses, etc. Me? I pretend that I can get by with lenses and occasional eyeliner =p

That being said, I do have some pretty good tricks when it comes to changing my eye shape (read: boring dull hooded monolids) with eyeliners. People always ask me how do I increase my eye size without the use of double eyelid tape. Here’s the answer – I use an array of eye cosmetics.

Let’s see what different consistencies do, and their pros & cons.

[ L I Q U I D  E Y E L I N E R ]

This is the most difficult to apply as it is very bold, slick and mistakes are not easily removed. Liquid eyeliner generally comes in a tube with a brush that pulls out with the liquid on it but there are pre-inked types too. This is the most difficult liner to apply, so I recommend trying other types before using liquid liner.

You need a steady hand, and should apply by brushing short strokes close to the lash line. Start at the middle of the eye, directly above the upper lashes, and SLOWLY brush across the lash line. Then, start at the inner part of the eye and continue to brush until you reach the middle of your eye that you began with.


  • Great for Arabic makeup, cat eyes, and dramatic looks.
  • Provides a well-defined, thin line which makes the eyelashes look thicker.


  • Very difficult to apply well.
  • Takes a steady hand, patience, and practice practice practice!

* My Picks: L’Oreal Blackbuster & Kpalette 1 Day Tattoo *

[P E N C I L  E Y E L I N E R ]

This is the most commonly used liner as it is very easy to manage and control. Pencil eyeliners are just like any other pencil that you sharpen when needed. To apply, you simply “draw” on the line close to your lashline.

If you would like to have a color on your waterline, these are generally the best type to use. You DO need to look for ones that are ophthalmologist tested in order to prevent irritation in the eye.

Some have argued with me that kohl, crayons and smudge sticks (like the ones from Stila makeup range) shouldn’t fall into this category but this is my blog so I get to choose what to call ’em. These are definitely my daily go-tos cos they’re so easy to apply and easily wiped off. My eye makeup goes from day to night with some artful cotton bud smudging too. I have a penchant for very heavily pigmented pencils which may not appeal to everyone so consider yourself warned.


  • Very easy to control.
  • Comes in a wide range of colors.
  • Very common and easy to find in every brand of makeup.


  • Unless you sharpen really well, it does not provide as crisp a line.

* My Picks: Elizabeth Arden Smoky Eyes Pencil, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner & MAC Eye Pencils *

[ G E L / C R E A M  E Y E L I N E R ]

This liner has been used more by professional makeup artists than the mainstream public, but it is becoming more common. Cream eyeliners generally come in a pot that you can dip an angled brush, fine tip brush, or even a pencil eyeliner in to get the product out. It can even be used as a creamy base underneath eyeshadows.

If you use a brush to apply, you will need a slightly steady hand as it is creamy and glides pretty easily. Since this liner takes a bit longer to dry, it is great for smudging along the lashline.


  • Very creamy and easy to smudge.
  • Great for smokey eyes.


  • Not as portable as a pencil eyeliner.

* My Picks: I.. actually don’t use, use gel liners. My fav is the awesome gel on a stick – Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner Pen. Or I heat the tip of my Elizabeth Arden eye pencil and run a brush on that *

[ E Y E S H A D O W S ]

This is the fastest and easiest way to line your lashes. All you need is a stiff, angled brush or a pencil brush (like MAC’s 219). To apply, simply dip your brush into the eyeshadow of your choice and “draw” or smudge along the upper and/or lower lashline. You CANNOT use this on your waterline- it will not stick, and it will really irritate your eyes.

Eyeshadow lining is great for a more subtle daytime look. Plus, the color possibilities are endless! You could even use the pencil brush to smudge the eyeshadow on top of another eyeliner to get rid of any harsh lines.

While I choose pencil liners as my daily thing, I head towards eyeshadows when I know I’ve got to put on my glam face. It’s just so so so easy to smudge a smoky eye out but I have to mix this with a pencil liner. Weirdly, my eye makeup looks best after I’ve been partying the whole night and everything has been smudged to death. Maybe I should apply my makeup 18 hours before I go out?


  • Multiple colors to choose from.
  • Easy to apply.


  • Cannot be used on the waterline.
  • Does not last as long as other eyeliners do.

* My Picks: Not fussy about e/s too, but I have been using Estee Lauder’s 5 colour palettes for about 3 years now. Probably cos they’re sponsored, but if I haven’t switched to another brand even though I have them, I guess this means something! *

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