How to Apply Eyeliner on Your Lower Lid
Yes, there is a wrong way to do this.
Looking to add drama to your smokey eye? Want to elevate your shadow with a pop of color? Or are you just simply trying to open up the eye area? With your trusty eyeliner, you can do all these things — and more — when you line your lower lid.
"It can define the eyes, have a sultry effect, create the illusion of a more rounded eye shape, or even change the angle of the eye, when the liner is pulled down on the inner corner," says Eddie Duyos, head of Pro Education and Artistry for Make Up For Ever. "I recommend lining the bottom lash line for anyone that wants a bit more definition or wants to create a more dramatic effect."
While easy in theory (you're just applying product along the lower lash line, after all) how to apply eyeliner to your lower lid requires the right products and a few key tips. The most important thing: Don't do anything to irritate your eyes. So, before you start drawing, consider these pointers to keep in mind as you line your lower lid, straight from the experts.
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Stay Out Of The Waterline
For the most part, it's wise to avoid placing any product directly on the waterline. Instead, line along the bottom lash line instead, starting from the outer corner and working your way inwards, gradually thinning out product as you move toward the inner corner.
If you're looking to open up the eye area, try lining slightly beneath the lash line to create a rounder shape, says celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli. Meanwhile, creating a thicker line on your lower lid can give you an edgier look, according to Duyos, but to remember to balance any dark color with concealer or lighter color in the inner corner of the ye so that it doesn't look like you have dark circles.
If you like the way eyeliner looks on your waterline, you can still do it so long as you stick with the right liner. "There really isn't an under-eye area you should avoid when lining the lower lash line," says Duyos. "It’s more about the thickness or width of the liner you choose." In other words, look for waterproof formula in either a gel or pencil format to avoid any smudging. "Liquid liners are not the best option for the waterline because they can become re-activated with the natural moisture and tears of our eyes," Scibelli says. "Gel liners can work along the waterline as long as they're waterproof."
Plus, a waterproof pencil formula can "prevent fading and ensure longevity," says Duyos, who reaches for Make Up For Ever's Aqua Resist Color Pencil; it glides on easily for precision and has long staying power.
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Opt For Eyeshadow
If you're not feeling especially confident with your eyeliner skills, you can fake it with some eyeshadow. "Using an eyeshadow to line [the eye] is a bit more user-friendly," says Duyos. "You can directly tap in the shadow with an angled liner brush, and start on the outer corner moving towards the inner eye." Another advantage, he says: "This makes it easier for application and gives less of a chance for irritation compared to gel or cream formulas."
Choose your shadow carefully. While a shimmery eyeshadow may pop, you might want to avoid it when applying product so close to your actual eyeball. Worst case scenario: Shimmer can sometimes get lost in the eye, which invites many unwanted issues, says Scibelli. (Think redness and irritation.) To be safe, he recommends going to a matte finish.
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Look For Hypoallergenic And Fragrance-Free Formulas
Good news for those with sensitive eyes: You can line your lower lid without worrying about irritation — as long as you use the right formulas with the right ingredients. Scibelli recommends looking for formulas that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. These days, many eyeliners are even made with sensitive eyes in mind, and are dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-approved.
All to say: You've got options. He's a fan of Neutrogena's Intense Gel Eyeliners. "They're safe to use both in the waterline and under the eyes, with a smudge-proof formula that is dermatologist-tested and safe for sensitive eyes," he says. "They're also infused with vitamin E, so you'll get that nourishing component as you're using them."
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