Alle: Your eyeliner is always flawless. I am working on perfecting my cat eye liner on my top eyelid, but I don’t know what I’m doing with eyeliner on the bottom. Yours always looks so natural, but when I try to do it, it looks harsh and dark. How do I use eyeliner along my bottom lash line? -- Ellen Olenska
My darling Ellen,
I’ve always wanted to start a letter like that, you know? Even though this is an edition of my advice column, I feel like it counts. If you don’t want me to use your real name or comment handle in a post, I’ll assign you a literary character instead. That way we can all pretend that we live in books, and everything will be wonderful (also please don’t go back to your husband, he sounds like a jerk).
But! This is a question about eyeliner. Specifically, eyeliner along your lower lash line. I keep wanting to call this “bottom liner” but that sounds naughty, so I will keep trying NOT to say that.
When I think about natural-looking lower eyeliner, I obviously think about Richard Alpert from LOST.
Here is proof that the gods of genetics do play favourites: Nestor Carbonell is not even wearing any eyeliner here. His lashes are just so beautiful and thick that it LOOKS like he’s wearing a tonne of it. The jealousy! It consumes me!
I mean, my own lashes are long and everything, but they’re also really blonde, and ain’t no way they’re creating a Richard-y natural liner look. So I fake it instead, and I fake it well.
Here are my three tips to faking the natural not-natural lower liner look (yay alliteration!):
First: Pick a soft eyeliner in a colour other than black. I am a huge fan of grey along my lower lash line because it gives my eyes some definition without being harsh. I’ve tried a lot of formulas, and MAC Technakohl is the best formulation I’ve found for this; lightweight and blendable, but doesn’t smudge or smear off right away.
If grey isn’t for you, they have a whole bunch of other not-black colours that work just as well.
Second: Make sure your eyeliner doesn’t have a sharp, pointy tip. Wear it down if you have to. A rounded tip gives a very soft, gentle (and wider) line, and that’s what you want.
Third: Don’t draw a straight line under your lower eyelashes. Draw a dotted line instead. This looks goofy just by itself in pictures, but underneath eyelashes, it looks really natural and pretty.
“But Alle,” I hear you say. “What about the occasions when one wants a more dramatic look?” Easy peasy!
Blend your eyeliner out with some similarly coloured eyeshadow for a blended, smoky, not-exactly-natural-but-still-really-effortless look! Here I lined my lower lashline with black eyeliner (dotting it, naturally) then blended it with a tiny bit of matte black eyeshadow. VOILA.
It’s soft. It’s seductive. And it takes thirty seconds. What else could you want?
I hope that this was helpful, my dearest Countess Olenska. If you guys have any questions for me, ask them in the comments, submit them via email or holler at me on Twitter!