08 January 2016

Different Types of Eyeliner – And How to Use Them

If I could only have one type of makeup, it would be eyeliner.  I love to play up my eyes, and my look isn’t complete until I’ve used some type of liner.

I have several different types of liners, all in multiple colors.  I can completely change the look of my eye makeup with different liners.  If you are new to using eyeliners, or maybe you are in a rut, here’s your guide to the different types of eyeliner and how to use them.

I’ll also list the pros and cons of each type.  If you’re new to eyeliner, you will want to try an eye makeup remover.  I have a recipe for DIY eye makeup remover here that I use regularly and really like. 



Links in this post my be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.  I’ve added special discounts where I could for my readers.

Pencil Eyeliner


  • Easy to find in drugstores and department stores.
  • Comes in many colors.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Great to use on your waterline.
  • Smudges easily for the smokey look.


  • Needs sharpened often.
  • Some brands can be hard to apply, so they tug at your skin.

My Picks

NYX Slide on Pencil (Amazon) NYX
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Amazon)

Liquid Eyeliner


  • Lets you create a thin line for dramatic effects.
  • Makes lashes look thicker.
  • Easy to remove.


  • Requires a steady hand and great accuracy.
  • Steep learning curve.
  • Can flake after a few hours.
  • Needs time to dry.

My Picks

L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner (Amazon)
Makeup Forever Aqua Liquid Eyeliner (Amazon)

Gel or Cream Eyeliner


  • Easy to smudge.
  • Creamy formula.
  • Great for thick lines.
  • Brush allows you to get precise lines.


  • Can’t apply without a brush.
  • You have to wash your brush regularly to avoid infections.
  • The gel tends to dry out quickly.

My Picks

Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (Amazon)
MAC Fluid Eyeliner (Amazon)
I’ve also used my eyeshadow as an eyeliner if I want a very light look.  I use an angled brush, wet it, and dip it in to my shadow.  You can also use an eyeliner and use shadow to smudge around it.  It doesn’t last as long as other liners, but it gives you a little bit of definition with a very natural look. 

Which is your favorite of these different types of eyeliners?