Monday, March 21, 2011


Three Easy Ways to Apply Perfect Eyeliner

Previously: Abracadabra: Curl Your Hair With a Styling Wand

Jane Feltes produces the radio program "This American Life."

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Jane's subtle eyeliner looks like my going out eyeliner. I need to step up my game.


I know, for real.


Yeah, my work uniform is usually mascara only with MAC Paint Pot on my eyelids to even skin tone. Her smokin' hot eyes make me wanna put the extra effort!


The whole water line thing does not work for my contacts. I can barely use mascara. I am slightly jealous.

I use MAC fluidline on bottom and top in a dark brown during the day and black fluidline at night with Maybelline waterproof liquid liner to help define. Smoky eyes really dont work on me though, I think I must be too pale. Any other albino ladies able to pull it off?

Jane Marie

i have an idea! try this smokey purple for a lighter version:


I am the kind of pale commonly seen in tuberculosis patients and I was going to suggest a purple eye too! I also like browns. I have a little palette from some cheapy drugstore brand that has a gold beige, light brown and dark brown and it works well. Same effect as a black smoky eye but not quite as harsh.


I'm VERY VERY pale (paler than the palest foundation shade option) and I wear contacts and I've had neither of those problems. Does this make you feel better or worse?


OK I'm back. I was thinking about how I get a smokey eye effect that works with my paleness. My trick is to use a tiny tiny brush (it has like 3 hairs on it) with black eye shadow, & use the powder to fill in b/w my eyelashes. Just stick it in every couple millimeters to make sure no pale skin peeks thru the lashes, which ruins the smokeyness. A good black crayon works too, if you can smudge it inwards.


bananab0at: It makes me feel worse. I have really contact sensitive eyes, so I'm not surprised. I have never actually slept a full night in them out of abject fear (I have napped, and its always a nightmare).

Thanks for all the tips ladies!


I prefer crayon liner (Sephora brand in particular) to pencil b/c you get ideal consistency without pencil sharpening. I was fed up with accidentally scraping my eye with wood. Which happened all the time.


Yes! I actually use a gel liner and brush for my water line because of the wood issue. I am intrigued by this crayon liner of which you speak.


I use this in "Classic Black": http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P230234&categoryId=C17355&shouldPaginate=true.
It's my favorite. Sometimes I even wear it overnight b/c it looks super sexy all smudged the next morning. Don't tell my mom!


I am obsessed with MAC Liquidlast liner, but they are discontinuing it!! :((( It's the most waterproof liner I've found - perfect for wearing during sports.

How do you clean your brushes?

Jane Marie

with antibacterial dish soap. i know! i don't know if that's okay but i've never had a problem? i also wipe them off after every use, probably wash them once a week or so.


Is anyone else totally unable to make a straight line on their upper lash line? I've tried brushes, pencils, etc., I just cannot. do. it.


I think the key is to think of the "line" as a series of tiny little strokes. It's not just one long line, otherwise it is hard to keep it even.


a really stiff brush helped me. i use a bare escentuals eyeliner brush that is really narrow and stiff and i can now draw eyeliner with the best of 'em! (or at least less hideously)


one thing that kind of helps me is to concentrate on working the liner into the lashes as I make the line. I use either gel eyeliner or dark powder eyeshadow and a small brush and focus more on building up and darkening the base of the lashes than drawing a line. This way the line kind of makes itself, if that makes any sense at all!


Cleaning: As soon as I'm done applying, I squeeze a tiny bit of liquid hand soap onto my finger and clean my brush in that. Or sometimes I rub the brush directly on a bar of soap, as if I'm in art class.

Contacts + allergies mean I can never do the powder eyeliner, or the waterline thing. Good thing I really like liquid and Bobbie Brown gel.


I really like this series, because it's like the big sister I never had is finally here to teach me this shit.

On the other hand, it has only confirmed that everything I know is wrong. And just watching people color their waterline gives me a sty.

Internet Girl

I know, srsly.

I don't do waterline. Like waterboarding, it is an evil that must be abolished from our society.

hairdresser on fire

Cosigned on that first sentence, Tailfeather, I was juuuust about to comment that!

And I'm going to try this new strategy for getting the cat eye thing? Except I only have like Almay brand liquid eyeliner with the weird wand thing? Jane, you're also making me insecure about my brushes. Aaahh. So many beauty strategies to work on!!


for people that get itchy eyelids from eyeliner I suggest clinique. It's the only one I can wear these days, they make the pencil, the crayon, even the gel and no itchiness!!

I have sensitive eye lids and ear lobes...isn't that strange?


Sensitive ear lobes as in you can't wear not-gold earrings?


Corinne has to be as picky with her earliner as she is with her eyeliner.



(Edith, can we get "Ha!!" buttons and "Word x 1000" buttons? Or would that be too Jezebel?)


as in, cant wear ANY earrings :(


This is the best! I'm super ruddy, so I don't think I can pull this off at all, but it's neat to know how to do it. I always buy all the little things and then fail miserably.


You could do it with a different color, maybe. Like, um... gray? Auburn-y brown?

constant reader

your nail polish is HOT. essie chinchilla?

Jane Marie

thank you! first time wearing it and i love it. it's merino cool, just a tidge darker than chinchilly.


oooooo if you guys like those two you should try to find 'smokin hot,' it's like a dark purple based grey. SO GOOD.

constant reader

doh, chinchillY!

merino cool and smokin hot have been added to the list! ilovenailpolish.


so the video won't load for me which is killing me because I love eyeliner, but I just want to recommend Urban Decay's 24/7 stuff because it is the BEST. I think some other people mentioned it in another post here but it's worth re-emphasizing.


True dat, I also love their Ink for Eyes cream eyeliner. It works like a charm.


Hey Jane, Which Mac pencil liner is that? It looks amazing!

Jane Marie

it's the kohl one in "smolder" and i've had it for like 3 years now :) is that gross?


oh also, if you're still taking questions: what is the best way to clean makeup brushes?


Does anyone else have an issue landing the tail at the end of the cat's eye correctly? Is it just a practice/ experience thing? Or is there some technique that I'm missing? Because like 50% of the time, it gets a weird angle or points down or something. Related?: I literally cannot draw a straight line.

Ironika Leigh

i've put on makeup for stage things and basically feel like a drag queen - only to look around and realize i'm wearing the same amount of makeup as girls at the club. maybe less.


Has anyone asked you yet what your nail color is in this video? It's gorj.


Not even going to lie - after watching this I ran out and dropped a hundo at Sephora. Thanks for showing me how to be hotter, Jane!

peachy lefever

this just changed my life


I am so glad to see someone else pull their eyelid taut when applying eyeliner. I too have watched other online videos, and they basically forbid moving your eye area at all when putting eye makeup on, as it doesn't give you an accurate idea of what it will look like when you let go.

But a question: I have really sensitive eyes, and everything but waterproof eyeliner smudges on me like crazy. Is there a waterproof gel liner you'd recommend? Especially for the waterline (a word I also just learned) -- that's always trickiest.

Thanks! You are legitimately THE BEST.

elysian fields

So I just tried technique #1 with a cheapo eyeliner brush from Walgreens and dark brown eye shadow (I'm blue eyed and extremely pale so I stay away from black). It's so easy and it looks awesome!! So easy, in fact, that I might actually consider wearing eyeliner more than a few times a year. Thanks for the video!


what is the name of that tiny eyeliner brush? sounds like...earl norman? i tried to buy one at sephora and i totally bought the wrong one :(


I was wondering this too but I just googled and I think it might be MERLE Norman.


Rosanne Marks@facebook

Can you tell me what lipgloss you're wearing? Looks great!

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