EXPERT Q&A: "How Do I Tight-Line My Eyes?"

Posted 07/26/12 at 11:41AM by Audrey Fine

Considering the fact that they're little more than glorified crayons or colored pencils, eyeliners can be intimidating -- especially if you never got a gold star for coloring within the lines.

One question that readers often submit to us is about "tight-lining" the eyes. Take this one from Kimberly Harris Stiles VanOver, who wrote in asking, "What is the best eyeliner to use when I tight-line my eyes, and which one works best when lining the upper and lower watermark? I love these techniques but have not found the 'perfect' product yet!"

To get Kimberly (and the rest of y'all) some pro insights, we tapped My Beauty Life's resident makeup guru, Sage Maitri, who has worked her magic on all sorts of celebs, including Julianne Moore and Camilla Belle.

In answer to Kimberly's question, Sage had this to say: "Tight-lining [a technique where you apply eyeliner directly to your lashline, preferably from the underside] is a great trick for making lashes appear fuller and accentuating the eyes in a subtle way. I prefer to use a pencil as I feel it's softer on the underside of the eye. You want to make sure your pencil is freshly sharpened to achieve the thin line required."

Here's what to do:

Step 1: With one hand, lift your top eyelid until the upper waterline is visible.
Step 2: With your other hand, draw the liner across the underside of your upper lashline.

"Using a product that's waterproof is great for the inside rim, because it has the staying power you want," says Sage. Her recommendation? CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, $7.49. "It's completely blendable but is also waterproof, so it gives you the longevity you want."

For more choices, check out this list of 10 Best Long-Wear Eyeliners our editors love.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 16 Comments

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  • Posted by GigiSD on 02/10/13 at 05:29pm

    I think one of the best, easy-glide liners for this look is by Physician's Formula ("Lash Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum"). This water- and smudge-resistant formula (available in black and brown, for a softer look) is safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. It is paraben-free, long-lasting, and--perhaps best of all--helps prevent mistakes made from shaky hands. It has an excellent, stable tip.

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  • Posted by NillaButterfly on 01/25/13 at 06:56pm

    I can't believe that I've never tried tight-lining my eyes.

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  • Posted by LittleBunny on 01/07/13 at 12:10pm

    more info would have been nice

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  • Posted by kimihavens on 12/26/12 at 02:24pm

    i cant tightline, it tickles so bad my eyes start to water

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/19/12 at 02:39pm

    Never could get my liner to look right so I just stopped using it.

    Report Abuse

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