When it comes to eyeliner, most women tend to be serial monogamists, completely committed to a reliable black hue. Not that we blame you for playing it safe—bright liner has too many associations with bad ‘80s cover bands and middle school dances. But this spring, we’ve been eyeing (wink, wink) colorful liners in dreamy teal and green tones. Here, Birchbox Digital Designer Alex Estrada models three vibrant and wearable liner looks, depending on how bold you want to go.
If you’re new to color, start subtle—Eyeko’s Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Olive, which is a rich hunter green, provides a subtle switch-up from your go-to black liner and flatters all eye colors. To create this updated take on a cat-eye, we started from the innermost corner of Alex’s lid and lightly traced along her eyelid, flicking the line up at the end. If you’re a liquid liner rookie, this video tutorial is packed with troubleshooting tips.
Ready to take off the training wheels? Graduate to stila’s sparkle waterproof liquid liner—we used Bora Bora, a brilliant aquamarine with subtle shimmer. The key to pulling off sparkle without looking like a teeny-bopper? Keep it simple. Avoid glitzy lipstick and let your liner be the focal point of your look. To get this more dramatic cat-eye, we slid the felt-tipped liner along Alex’s upper lash line. Next, we added a few additional layers to make a thick line (about one-eighth of an inch high.) For the elegant flick, we extended the liner past the outer corner of her eyes and upwards towards her temples. Slipped up? Dip a Q-tip in waterproof makeup remover and drag it along the edges of your liner to clean up any wayward strokes.
Two superstars are better than one. (See: Simon & Garfunkel, Hall & Oates, and the Olsen twins.) Further proving our theory? Combining these splashy liners. We blended INIKA’s smudgy pencil in Peacock with our ring finger along her lower lash line. (Bonus: the INIKA pencil is made with gentle, organic ingredients and the lid doubles as a sharpener.) Then we traced stila’s shimmer-packed precision liner in a vivid blue along Alex’s upper lash line, extending the color beyond the outer corners of her eyes for a flirty effect. If you have blue eyes, search for a contrasting shade of blue—this instantly up the drama. A friendly reminder: With a look this bold, it’s best to keep the rest of your makeup simple and let your eyes remain the center of attention.