OK, so, real talk? I kind of hate eyeliner.
I've got shaky, not-so-confident hands, and I do my makeup sitting on the couch or on the floor holding up a compact to use the mirror with one hand, while the other hand does the applying. It's not a great set-up for detailed work.
It will usually work out for half of my eye, and all a sudden, my hand will juke to the left and I'll have eyeliner on my nose, eyebrows, into my hairline — you know, the usual spots for eyeliner.
But I'm slowly but surely teaching myself to get better, and so can you!
The first step in my liner saga was getting used to applying the stuff on a daily basis. Since I don't like walking out the door with makeup that makes me feelless confident, it was easiest to start with something a little rough around the edges, and just get smudgy in my lash line.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils are my favorite for this. They're creamy, easy to apply and hold a ton of pigment. Plus they come in literally every color you could want, so there is something for everyone.
I prefer these liners because out of liners I've tried that are supposed to be smudgy and give that oh-so-Olsen cool-girl look, these actually set and are budge-proof. Nothing is worse than getting your eyeliner exactly how you like it just to find out six hours later that you have little liner globs all over your face. Not that I've done that.
I simply apply a line ending about 1/3 of the way from my inner corner and smudge so there is no sharp line to worry about whether or not it is perfect.
Another option is using shadow as liner. My favorite brush is the Eco Toolsangled brush paired up with Makeup Geek Corrupt. I simply stamp the brush into the shadow and use it to help guide my flick.
I follow the angle of my lower lash line continuing up and I simply fit the end of the brush up with my lashes and stamp on the shadow. You can then pull the brush downwards to create a more defined flick.
The size of this brush is perfect for creating a kitten flick.
To finish the liner with this method, I simply pull the brush along the lash line, keeping it as close to the lashes as possible, and joining up with the flick at the corner.
I've been practicing this way for about a month now, and it makes flicks so much easier. Plus using powder gives a much softer look that hides wiggly line flaws more easily.
If you want to amp up the drama, you can do so in a few ways.
I like to use eye drops to wet a shadow (it's more hygienic) and use the wet shadow to line my eyes. This lets you use any color, and you can apply over powder shadow, so if you want to get a line down first to guide you, you can.
For this I don't actually like the Eco Tools brush; I find it a little too bulky when I'm working with something that needs to be more precise. Instead, I like the Bent Eyeliner Brush from Sonia Kashuk. It helps me get around my eyelashes and hold the brush at a more comfortable angle.
If you really want an inky black liner look, start with pens. I used to be a proponent of gel liners (with that bent brush) but pens are just so much more convenient.
I give myself a guide with the angled brush and fill in with the pen. This one from Rimmel makes it super-easy because the tip is itty bitty teeny tiny and also chiseled, so you can get a super thin tip or something thicker.
And hey, if all else fails, there's always cotton buds!