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We might as well just come out and say it: Liquid liner is scary. Or at the very least, it’s intimidating for someone who has never played around with it (successfully) before. The truth is, liquid liner really isn’t difficult to use if you have the right tools at your disposal. Our new solution for perfect application is Cynthia Rowley Beauty's Liquid Liner, which was developed by the designer to have an ultrafine tip—making it a cinch for even the shakiest of hands to use. We asked resident liner expert (a.k.a. makeup artist) Nathaniel Yordan to give it a spin and show off its versatility. Much to our surprise (and delight!), Yordan created not one, not two, but six different looks with the superprecise product. Click through and behold mega liner inspiration for beginners, intermediates, and pros alike.
According to Yordan: “This the perfect no-makeup makeup look. It gives you a full lash look and opens and defines the eyes without the heavy intensity you’d typically see with a liner.”
How to Do It: The key is all in the positioning of the pen as you apply. Instead of only using the very end of the tip, situate the liner so that the entire felt-tip is parallel to your lash line. (Check out this trick from one Birchbox customer!) “Practice makes perfect,” say Yordan, “but I would suggest doing small strokes on an angle, always pulling from the inside out, to give you better control.”
According to Yordan: “The kitten is more extended and thicker than the tight line. It’s subtle enough to create the lift without having to worry about a dramatic difference. What’s more, it’s not going to be too noticeable if it’s slightly off.”
How to Do It: It’s all in the wrist. To get that soft little flick at the end of the eyes, Yordan recommends using your lower lash line as a guide. “Think about drawing a line up that would be a continuation of your lower waterline. Once you get as far you’d like the look to extend, go back from that point towards the direction of your inner corner to create a small triangle.”
According to Yordan: “This is a lot heavier and thicker than the kitten, but still has the same personality.”
How to Do It: Start with a kitten eye as a base, then add to the line’s length and thickness. “I always recommend starting small,” says Yordan. “It’s easier to build up than take off.”
According to Yordan: “This look is thicker on the corners. It really pulls out the eye and creates an almond shape.”
How to Do It: “The trick to creating this exaggerated cat eye is applying the liner with your eyes open in order to control the shape,” says Yordan. “Outline with dots where you want the liner to go and make sure that you don’t cover the whole lid in black—you should still be able to see a sliver of skin when you look in the mirror.”
According to Yordan: “This is a really great look for people with glasses because your eye makeup doesn’t show as much. It’s also a fun going out look, especially because you don’t have to worry about shadow.”
How to Do It: Basically, you cover the whole lower half of your upper lid in liner. “The wing doesn’t need to extend out any further," Yordan points out. “Just make it thicker.”
According to Yordan: “This look is not for the faint of heart! Since it’s so heavy on the eyes, pair it with a lighter lip.”
How to Do It: This extra-dark look builds on the previous “dramatic” style with the addition of liner along the lower lash line. “I connected both sets of corners to really amplify the drama and make it a fully-rimmed look,” says Yordan. “Even though it’s intense close up, from far away or in photos, it’s just perfect.”
To get these looks and more, pick up the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner in Black Ink.