To really amp up the drama of your makeup, the sultry power of a perfectly lined eye can't be beat. But if you're having trouble with the whole "perfect" part of eyeliner application, boy do we feel you.
It's hard to get a crisp, even application of liner without it going all crazy and smudgy. That's where Instagram and YouTube experts come in! As these 13 tips show, there are so many unique and interesting ways to apply liner so that it's a cinch every time.
Not every technique will work for every person so get comfy with a little trial and error and give these methods a whirl.
1. Try Lauren Conrad's freehand technique
Let's start with the basics. Lauren probably makes it look easier than it is, but if you want a thorough walk-through of how to apply beautiful cat eye liner without any fuss or gadgets, this is it.
2. Use dots to anchor the outer wings
On Instgram, the Adoremakeup account has the idea to dot the outer corners to make sure her wings are even and symmetrical before filling in the line. It gives her something to aim for when drawing freehand, rather than, ahem, just winging it.
3. Plan and sketch the shape before filling in color
Eimear McElheron also uses dots — lots of them — to really plot the shape of her liner before using short strokes to connect them. Notice how she starts with an easy-to-use felt-tip to get the shape right and then layers on liquid liner for more intense color.
4. Try an angled brush
On YouTube, MakeupGeekXtra knows that flipping and twisting your wrists to get in position makes it that much harder to get an even line. Avoid the hand gymnastics and simply get the right tool: a brush with the angle built right in.
5. Raid your office supplies
Add an unexpected item to your arsenal: Scotch tape. Just as taping off the baseboards protects them when painting, placing a small angled strip of tape just outside of your eye will keep the wing of your eyeliner super crisp.
Pro tip: Instead of adding a fresh-from-the-roll strip, try applying it to your hand first so that it's not painfully sticky when it comes time to peel it off.
6. Buy pre-cut stickers to do the work for you
These pre-cut eye candy stickers ($10) from Beth Bender Beauty are like tape on steroids. You just messily color in the general area of your cat eye and they sculpt the perfect shape for you.
7. Threading isn't just for your brows
You can turn a thread into a stamp for the perfect straight line by using liquid eyeliner as paint. Genius!
8. Pre-threaded floss picks keep things simple
Dental floss picks also work like a stamp and can provide even more stability (and a handle!). Just remember to any flavored varieties. No need to add potential irritants to the delicate eye area.
9. Buy this quick, cat eye stamp
The Vampstamp ($25) is a pen-like product that will stamp the perfect wing with no muss, no fuss. It comes in two sizes so that you can customize just how much drama you want in your look. If you do a cat eye often, this thing will pay for itself in no time.
10. Pick an old-school stencil that makes it foolproof
This reusable cat eye stencil ($15.99) from Beth Bender Beauty will give you a crisp line every time and will last for years. It also comes in a shape for the perfect smokey eye without the frustrating eye shadow overflow.
11. ... or DIY your own stencil with a business card
Makeup master Michelle Phan not only uses the edge of a card to shape her eyeliner, she uses it to fill in her brows and prevent mascara smudges. A true multitasker.
12. Raid the kitchen for an eyeliner tool
This trick actually sculpts both the straight bottom edge and curved top of a cat eye shape. Copper Gardenx uses the straight handle to draw a perfect angled base line and the curve of the spoon to get the a shapely flick.
13. Intensify your pencil with this 10-second trick
If you prefer pencil to liquid liner, but often find it too hard to apply, take a tip from makeup artist Wayne Goss and soften and intensify any kohl pencil with a flame. Genius!