How To: Wear Colored Liner (Without Looking Like a Kid)

The last time we experimented with brightly colored liners, we also had braces and carried a Trapper Keeper. Though we’re thrilled that stage of our life is long gone, we’ve recently been giving poptastic liners a second chance. The new generation of colored pencils is sophisticated, wearable, and sure to trigger more compliments than basic black. Here are a few pointers to getting it right as a grown up (though we still wouldn’t mind getting carded).

Be A Pencil Pusher

If you’re new to the trend, we recommend using soft, creamy pencils. They’re much easier to maneuver than liquid or gel liners and are more forgiving if you mess up a little. Look for rich formulas that glide right on but are also smudge-proof like Cynthia Rowley Beauty’s eyeliners, which come in violet and sky blue shades in addition to more classic hues.

Complement Your Eye Color

Next: make sure to pick the right shade. Across the board, look for cooler tones, which make the whites of your eyes look brighter. Blue eyes pop against a rich navy like Mally Beauty’s Eye Liner in Sea or a punchy chrome like Cynthia Rowley Beauty’s Eyeliner in silver. For hazel and green eyes, try coppery shades like Mally Beauty’s Eyeliner in Lucky Penny. And if you have brown eyes, you’re in luck because almost anything goes, especially violets like stila’s Smudgestick in Purple Tang or greens like Marcelle’s eyeliner in Emerald.

Go Dark

While it may seem counterintuitive, a darker color is less dramatic. A deep eggplant or cobalt won’t show up as much as brighter shades. If you’re feeling hesitant, take baby steps first with an intense charcoal such as Make’s Gel Eye Liner pencil in Heavy Metal or a chocolate like Sumita’s Color Contrast Eyeliner in dark brown. Both will give you a subtle difference.

Consider Your Placement

Experiment with applying on the top of your lashline and the bottom, and see what looks best. While fully rimmed eyes are downright stunning, it’s more of an evening-out look (not so much for the office). And don’t forget your waterline—some strategically placed color on the insides of your eyes can draw just the right amount of attention.

Go Sans Shadow

Give your liner some breathing room by keeping the rest of your makeup look simple. Prep your eyelids with a primer and a matte neutral eyeshadow, which will give you a nice canvas for your pigment. Looking for more? Try applying a slightly thicker line of color and smudging the hue with your fingertips before the formula dries or sets in.

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