Negative Space Eyeliner Is The Foolproof Beauty Method That Even A Beginner Can Nail

Eyeliner has become a true art form in the world of makeup, allowing people to express themselves with just the glide of a pencil. With the many bold graphic eyeliner looks you may encounter this year, negative space eyeliner proves that sometimes you can do a lot more with less. In art, negative space is the area around the subject of a drawing or painting (via The Arty Teacher). In this case with makeup, you're using your skin as the negative space. 


This eyeliner look is characterized by leaving some blank space on your eyelids. For instance, normally you'd fill in the eyeliner with a typical winged look, but in this case, it's like an outline of a wing, showing more skin on your eyelid for a cool, alternative effect. It can be simple and subtle or bold and dramatic — the choice is yours. Applying eyeliner can be intimidating for beginners, but this is a look anyone can achieve. And once you get more comfortable, you can get super creative and create your own negative space styles.

How to achieve the look

There are endless ways to pull off negative space eyeliner, but if you're trying it out for the first time, here's the simplest way. Apply a winged liner as you normally would, and then draw another line above the crease, following the shape of your eye. This is very similar to double-winged eyeliner. You can even add a touch of gloss and shimmer like in the photo above. The rest is up to you. After all, you can get really creative with different lines and color palettes.


However, it's important to note that the type of eyeliner plays a role in this look. "It's best to use a gel, cream or liquid liner. Don't use a kohl liner as they tend to smudge and won't give a perfectly clean line. Liquid pens are by far the easiest choice and are great for those who aren't makeup aficionados," makeup artist Mira Parmar tells Glamour.

Play around with shapes and colors

If you'd like to step out of your comfort zone, this eyeliner method is the perfect way to experiment. Makeup artist Lou Rose definitely had fun creating her rainbow negative space look (via Instagram). She created a rainbow-winged eyeliner and left a small gap in the center of her eyelids and lower lash lines as if there's a tiny path on her eyelids when she closes her eyes. She even added some feathery lashes as a finishing touch. 


If you're a fan of ombré, makeup artist Caro Henríquez Aguilera can give you some inspiration in that department via Instagram. She utilized negative space to create an ombré effect with three different shades of blue, leaving space in between each tone. 

Not everyone likes wearing bold, bright makeup colors, and you can still pull off this look with black and other neutral tones. Celebrity makeup artist Simone Otis created a simple yet elegant eyeliner look by applying a classic black winged eyeliner and then adding a few shorter lines along the crease, leaving space in the middle of the eyelid (via Instagram). 

You don't necessarily have to do a winged look every time. Be daring and try out more abstract shapes like squiggles and circles. This way, you'll have more fun applying the eyeliner rather than worrying about creating perfectly straight lines.