Eyeliner can be a fabulous makeup tool. It’s an extremely versatile product that can be applied to create both day and night looks, however application can be tricky and when eyeliner is applied poorly the overall effect can be rather menacing and unattractive. The first step of applying eyeliner well is buying good product. I am partial to MAC’s eye kohl simply because my steady hands (sense the sarcasm) can not handle liquid liner. The eye kohl has a nice velvety finish too it so it almost looked like you applied a liquid liner. I’m also a huge fan of Clinque’s eyeliners. They have great retractable pencils with smudges on the end for smoky eyes.

Picking the right color is key as well. They make eye pencils in just about every color imaginable, but that doesn’t mean that they should be used. For a work look black, dark brown or navy blue are all acceptable. A nice purple shade can work as well as long as the line remains light. For a night look you can be a bit more daring experimenting with the lighter greens, purples and blues if you would like. My arsenal of eye pencils is fairly small. I keep two black liners on hand, one with a shimmer and one with a flat finish, a violet to contrast me green eyes, a nice dark brown, a deep blue, and a simple gray. There is no need to go crazy with the odd shades

It is always good to start off an eye look with a base. A bit of pressed powder works perfectly fine. To line the upper lid pull the lid taut so it creates a straight line. It’s much easier to draw a straight line than to curve the pencil with the shape of the lid. Draw a line about two-thirds of the way across the lid. Stop at two-thirds and leave it otherwise a raccoon appearance is only seconds away. Use an eyeliner brush (it’s a small angled brush) to place a light eyeshadow over the liner to help it set.

Once the top is done the bottom needs to be done as well. Take the same eyeliner and follow the same rules, you don’t have to pull for this though, the line should be fairly easy to follow. Keep it light and go across the entire lid and into the crease a bit for a very sultry look. If a straight line is proving difficult it might be easier to create a number of smaller lines and fill in, it creates a bit of a template almost.

For a smoky evening look simply apply the eyeliner to both the top and bottom lid. This time start on the top lid from the inside corner and work outward. The top lid should have a bit of a thicker line in the center. Nothing insane, but a bit thicker. Once the liner is applied smudge it using a smudger, or a sponge applicator or even a cotton ball. Don’t go overboard, but the entire point of a smoky eye rests on the smudge-factor. Follow the above rules for the bottom lash and smudge it again.

For each style it’s really important to make sure the eyeliner is blending with the lash line. Applying a liner above the lash line just looks odd and will not win you any makeup points. Keep it tight to the lash line and go from there.

Eyeliner is not the easiest makeup tool to use and it does take some practice to get it right but the payoffs are huge and a dramatic eye can be a real head-turner