Pulling Your Skin Taut To Apply Your Eyeliner Isn't Doing You Any Favors. Here's Why

Eyeliner is one of the hardest makeup products to use perfectly — and even pros have a hard time achieving the ideal line. Applying eyeliner requires a super steady hand, and we've all flubbed this part of our makeup routine at least a dozen times. And getting the perfect flick at the end of your winged liner? Almost impossible on the first try. As frustrating as eyeliner can be, it can do wonders for your eyes when applied correctly. It can make small eyes appear larger, and change the shape of your eyes, or you can go for a dramatic, sultry look with a smudged liner.


With eyeliner, it's all in the technique. Even if you're a novice, you can master liner, whether you choose gel, pencil, or the ever-terrifying liquid option. One mistake many people make is pulling the corners of their eyes to apply liner. While it may seem natural to do so to get a clean line, it actually has the opposite effect, and we're here to explain why.

Tugging at your eye causes eyeliner to skip

Applying makeup sometimes requires us to contort our faces into funny expressions (we're looking at you, mascara) but eyeliner should be applied with your face as relaxed as possible. While you may feel like pulling at the outer corners of your eyes is necessary for a perfect application, doing so causes an uneven finish. When you pull your skin taut and apply liner, you're not following the natural lines of your eyes. As soon as you let go, your skin will go back to its normal shape and your eyeliner will look uneven.


Instead of pulling at your eyes, peer downwards without closing them completely. This will pull your skin just enough to get a clean line while allowing the liner to follow your eyes' natural planes. If you need to, you can raise your eyebrows a bit too. Once you've applied your eyeliner, take a look in the mirror with your relaxed face. If you notice any unevenness, go over it once more, but with your eyes as open as possible so you can see how the finished product will look. If you want a cat eye, you'll want to keep your eyes open for this part as well.

Don't apply a winged liner with closed eyes

Getting the perfect winged eyeliner can be frustrating, especially when it requires multiple attempts and re-dos. If you're having trouble making your tails even, it may be because you're closing your eyes or looking down. Just like tugging at your skin leaves you with an uneven line, applying the flick at the ends with closed eyes doesn't allow you to see their natural shape.


Once you've applied the liner on your lids, stopping at the outer corners, open your eyes and look straight ahead. Using a light hand, draw a straight line at an upward angle. Follow the same angle on your other eye. Opening your eyes will allow you to view where the liner will end up, which is impossible to do when closed. If you're happy with the placement of your cat-eye wings, make another line starting at about three-quarters from your inner corner and connect the ends, forming a small triangle. Fill in any spaces with your liner. For an extra sharp line, go over the edges with a small brush dipped in concealer. With these tricks, you'll be lining your eyes like a pro in no time.