How To Apply Eyeliner Pencil: Pro Techniques for Effortless Application!

Struggling to work with an eyeliner pencil? This short guide will make things smoother for you. Follow along to create stunning looks that complement your eyes to perfection!

Written by Samantha Gregory

On Oct 27, 2023 – 8 minutes read

How To Apply Eyeliner Pencil

An eyeliner can change your appearance, acting as a primary cosmetic tool redefining any look in mere seconds. From Cleopatra’s iconic thick-lined eyelids to modern sleek cat-eyes eye makeup looks, eyeliner has marked its dominance through eras. How to apply eyeliner pencil, you ask?

With its ease of use and the versatility it brings, eyeliner pencils cater to both novices and pros. They offer the perfect blend of precision and blendability for anyone wanting to experiment with or master the art of eyeliner.

But before learning how to apply eyeliner pencil, picking the right eyeliner pencil is paramount.

Choosing The Right Eyeliner Pencil

The market is flooded with a myriad of types and textures, each promising a beautiful finish. From creamy to matte, soft to retractable, the choices can be overwhelming. But remember, the right eyeliner isn’t just about the texture; it is also about the shade. When choosing an eyeliner pencil, it’s important to consider factors like color and thickness. How to apply eyeliner pencil easily may vary depending on the look you’re going for, but starting with a steady hand and a well-sharpened pencil is key to achieving a precise and defined eye makeup style.

Choosing The Right Eyeliner Pencil

While the classic black is universally flattering, playing with colors can be fun and unique. For instance, those with brown eyes might opt for deep navy or plum to make their eyes pop, while green-eyed beauties could lean towards bronze or brown shades. It’s all about experimenting and finding what resonates with your style and eye color, ensuring your eyes captivate every gaze. 

While eyeliner pencils are great for daily makeup routines, some individuals opt for the convenience of permanent eyeliner to maintain their eyeliner look effortlessly.

To make things easier for you and ensure you select the best eyeliner, let’s explore how to apply eyeliner pencil with a few helpful tips:

  • Match Your Skin Tone, Not Just Your Outfit: Black eyeliner might be a staple, but different shades enhance features based on skin tone. If you’re fair-skinned, gravitate towards subtle brown eyeliners or even grays. Those with medium or olive complexions? Think bronze or deep blues. And for those boasting darker skin tones, rich jewel tones, from gold to cobalt blue, can be a game-changer.
  • The Texture Speaks Volumes: Not all eyeliner pencils are created equal. Some glide on, creating a soft, smoky aura, while others give a crisp, matte finish. Decide the look you’re aiming for sultry or sharp.
  • Longevity is Key: We’ve all had those blink-and-it’s-gone liner moments. If your day stretches long or your habits include the occasional eye rub, hunt down those waterproof, enduring formulas. They’re lifesavers!
  • Swatch the Product: Eyeliner shades can be deceiving in their packaging. Always test them out – a quick swatch on your hand can reveal their true color and consistency.
  • Dual-Purpose Finds: Who doesn’t love a multitasker? Some eyeliners can moonlight as eyeshadow bases or even brow fillers, especially if they have a creamy consistency. Some eyeliner pencils can even make good lip liners. Keep an eye out for these versatile gems.

Prepping Your Eye For Applying Eyeliner Pencil

Prepping Your Eye For Applying Eyeliner Pencil

Every masterpiece starts with a blank canvas, and your eyes are no different. Begin by ensuring your eyelids are free of old makeup and oils. A gentle swipe of a makeup remover pad should do the trick. Next, dab a lightweight moisturizer around the eyes, but avoid heavy creams that could cause your eyeliner to smudge.

Once your eyes are clean and moisturized, it’s prime time – literally. An eyelid primer acts like a base for your makeup, ensuring that it stays put. Not only does this enhance the vibrancy of your eyeliner, but it also prevents creasing. It is especially crucial for those with oilier lids. A tiny amount goes a long way; smooth it over your lids and let it set for a minute before the eyeliner application.

Gathering Your Tools For Applying Eyeliner Pencil

Gathering Your Tools For Applying Eyeliner Pencil

Learning how to apply eyeliner pencils can enhance your eye makeup and create a bold, defined look. Think of your eyeliner application as a fine art. Having the right tools can make all the difference. First and foremost, a good quality sharpener is key. A finely-tipped eyeliner pencil offers precision, helping you achieve those sleek or winged looks. On the flip side, a slightly blunt tip is perfect for a smudged, smoky effect eyeliner look.

A smudging brush is essential for softening harsh lines and achieving a sultrier look. Opt for a brush with dense bristles for optimal smudging.

Make sure to clean your smudging brush regularly with a mild soap or brush cleaner to keep bacteria at bay. As for your sharpener, after a few uses, remove the residue to ensure a clean sharpening every time. Well-maintained tools not only give the best results but also extend the life of your products. 

The Step-by-step Application Process Of The Eyeliner With Pencil

How to apply eyeliner pencil is an essential skill for anyone looking to enhance their eye makeup, and in this section, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process to achieve stunning and precise results.

  1. Find Your Anchor: Position yourself in a well-lit area. Secure your elbow on a sturdy surface for better control and stability.
  2. Pencil Grip Matters: Think of it as a fine-tipped brush. Closer to the tip grants you precision in drawing.
  3. The Dot Strategy: Place gentle dots or short dashes along the upper or lower lash line. This trick is quite simple and effective, especially for novices.
  4. Creating the Perfect Line: With a delicate hand, connect the dots, starting from the inner eye corner.
  5. Determine the thickness: Looking for subtlety? A hairline-thin trail does wonders. For added drama, accentuate the line as you approach the eye’s outer edge.
  6. Creating Wings (Optional): Feeling adventurous? Extend a line slightly from the eye’s edge, taking a hint from your lower lash line’s trajectory. Conversely, you can play with many winged looks, even the reverse wing on the inner corner of your eye for that ethereal ancient Egyptian effect(1).
  7. Smudging for softness: A controlled blur using a smudging brush can turn your look from crisp to a smoldering haze.
  8. Seal and accentuate: Complete the look with mascara, ensuring those lashes frame your eyes perfectly.

You may also want to look for the eyeliner style for almond eyes, rounded eyes, hood eye eyeliner styles, or whatever your eye shape.

Fixing Mistakes After Applying Eyeliner Pencil

Are wings too large or uneven? Eyeliner hiccups are quite normal, but there’s nothing a little skill can’t fix. Here are a few tips for those “Oops!” moments:

How to Apply Eyeliner Pencil - Fixing Mistakes
  1. Use a Q-tip: When armed with a smidgen of makeup remover, this humble tool morphs into an eraser. Eradicate smears or recalibrate wayward lines.
  2. Concealer: Minor infractions can vanish with a dab of concealer. Blend seamlessly, and it’s as if it never happened.
  3. Blur the Edges: Overstepped with the line width? Repurpose that error into a deliberate smoky effect. Serendipity, sometimes, is your best stylist.
  4. Blend for perfection: If things go south, harness the power of blending. You’d be surprised how many errors can pivot to become style statements. 

Setting Your Eyeliner To Prevent Bleeding Or Fading

Setting Your Eyeliner To Prevent Bleeding Or Fading

It can be frustrating to create the perfect eyeliner effect for a night out, only to find it bleeding like a panda! Humidity, product formulation, and your skin’s composition are all deciding factors or the staying power of an eyeliner pencil. Try setting products to make the most of your liner. They’re not just for your foundation; they also work well with eye makeup. Here are a few products to use:

  1. Eyelid Primers: These create a canvas that grips onto the eyeliner, reducing the chances of smudging or fading. A thin layer is your ticket to long-lasting eyeliner.
  2. Translucent Setting Powder: A light dusting over your lined lids acts as a sealant. It locks in the eyeliner, ensuring minimal transfer or movement.
  3. Makeup Setting Spray: Think of it as the final varnish for a masterpiece. A couple of spritzes from an arm’s length, and you’re covered against smudges and humidity.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Knowing how to apply eyeliner pencil on a waterline and a few pencil eyeliner secrets can be a game-changer for your expertise:

Eyeliner Pencil - Additional Tips and Tricks
  1. Chill the pencil for Stability: Popping your eyeliner pencil in the fridge for a few minutes can make it firmer and more precise during application.
  2. White Base: Want those colors to pop? Sketch a white base with white eyeliner before your colored eyeliner. The vibrancy amplification is remarkable.
  3. Layer for Longevity: Apply a similar-hued eyeshadow atop your eyeliner. This doubles down on the color intensity and grants added staying power.
  4. Play with Color Gradients: Start with a darker shade on the outer corner and seamlessly transition to a lighter hue as you move inward. This gradient effect is a visual delight, adding depth and drama to your eyes. 


1. Which Is Better: Eyeliner Pencil Or Liquid?

Both have their merits. Pencil eyeliners offer versatility and a more natural look. They’re also great for smudging to achieve a smoky eye. Liquid eyeliners, on the other hand, promise a precise, sharp line, perfect for that dramatic winged look. It boils down to the desired effect and personal preference.

2. Can I Wear Eyeliner Every Day?

Absolutely! As long as you ensure you’re using a quality product and you remove it thoroughly at the end of the day. Daily wear requires you to take extra care of your eyes – keep them moisturized and give them a break once in a while.

3. How Do You Make Pencil Eyeliner Smoother?

A smoother application can be achieved in several ways. Warming the tip of the pencil slightly (a few seconds with a hairdryer will do) or softening it on the back of your hand can make it glide on easily. Regular sharpening also ensures a smooth application.

4. Is Pencil Eyeliner Easier For Beginners?

Most makeup aficionados would nod in agreement. Pencil eyeliners offer more control, they’re forgiving when mistakes are made (hello, easy smudging!), and they don’t require the steady hand that liquid eyeliners do.

It’s a Wrap!

From a subtle enhancement to a dramatic statement, the strokes you etch can redefine your gaze. As we’ve walked you through the process of how to apply eyeliner pencil step by step, remember that makeup is an art and, more importantly, a form of self-expression. The canvas? Your beautiful eyes. So, pick up your eyeliner pencil, bring out your inner artist, and make a look uniquely yours. Experiment, explore, and most of all, enjoy the process! 

  1. Fashion Institute of Technology. (2023). KOHL. [Online] Available at:
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Samantha Gregory

Samantha Gregory

Samantha is a versatile and sought-after beauty guru. Her mastery extends to hair care, skin care and women’s lifestyle, while staying ahead of the ever-evolving trends.

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