How to Apply Gel Eyeliner

Creating the perfect cat-eye or winged liner is no easy feat, and it can be particularly challenging if you have hooded eyelids. If you’re always afraid of slipping up when applying your signature liner look, then follow these simple steps to master this tricky technique. Read on for more details...

Place a base

To create the perfect line every time, your eyeliner must be clean and fresh when you apply it. To prevent smudging, clean any excess shadow or liner from your eyes with a makeup wipe to remove any residue from the previous application—next, prep your eyes with a base like an eyeshadow primer. A primer will help your liner stay in place and prevent it from migrating downwards or smudging. If you don’t have any eyeshadow primer handy, don’t worry! You can use countless other options to help your liner stay in place like concealer. If primer is the way you want to go, choose a light shade of pink or violet eye primer which will prevent your eyeliner from smudging on your lower lash line.


Dip your wand

Your liner should be as easy to apply as your eye makeup itself. Therefore, investing in a liner that’s as easy to use as your eyeshadow is essential. Investing in a liner with a wand that dips right into the pot will make application a breeze. You can score a liner brush or wand any place makeup brushes are sold. You can easily apply a thin line of liner with a sponge or brush tip rod. Dipping your liner wand is an effective way to prevent smudging and create precise lines. This also helps create a thicker line, mainly with gel liners. You can also use a fluffy brush to apply a thicker line of the liner. When starting out, a soft brush works best for creating a thin line of cat-eye or thick winged liner.


Draw your line

To create the perfect cat-eye or winged liner, you’ll need to first draw a line along your eyelid. This line should extend from your lash line to approximately halfway open your eye. The next step is to select the color of your liner. Use a color that contrasts your eye color and complements your skin tone. Cat-eye liners are one of the most famous liner looks. Therefore, selecting a color that’s easy to apply and build up is essential. For example, you can choose a liner that’s two-toned or subtle like our gel eye liner in Espresso.


Blend with a brush or spoolie

You can also blend your liner using a damp brush or spoolie. This can be particularly helpful if you’re starting or applying liquid or gel eyeliner. A damp brush can help blend your liner along your lash line and lower lashes. Alternatively, a spoolie like the MAC 217 can be used to pick up the excess liner and blend it along your lash line. Blend your liner along the edges of your eyes (your lash line) to prevent it from smudging onto your lower lash line. You can also use a concealer brush to blend your liner as well.


Add color to top it off

Now it’s time to add color to your liner! This can be done with any eyeshadow color you like, or you can use a gel liner to create a subtle wash of color. You can layer or add eyeshadow's crème formula to add more definition to your liner. However, if you want an intense look, you can also add a bit of eyeshadow or cream liner to your liner. Apply the color along the line and blend it with a damp brush or spoolie. If you want your liner to look more metallic, then apply eyeshadow along the line and blend it with a damp brush. If you try out a gel liner for the first time, then you can also add a bit of cream or liquid liner to your liner. This will create a wash of color that lasts longer than a liquid liner.


Seal with eye shadow or makeup sponges

To finish off your cat-eye or winged liner, seal it with an eye shadow or makeup sponge. This helps to keep your liner in place and prevents it from migrating downwards. You can seal your liner with any of your favorite eye shadows. Choose a shade that complements your skin tone and liner color. You can also choose a color that complements your décor or outfit. Alternatively, you can also try out a sponge applicator. These are particularly helpful if you’re starting, as they allow you to create precise lines easily.


Tips & Tricks!

Before you begin, it’s important to remember that applying liner can be tricky so be patient with yourself. You can also use a pencil liner to prevent the liner from bleeding down onto your lower lash line. This helps to create a thicker line and prevent your eyes from watering. It’s also important to keep in mind that the liner dries quickly. Therefore, if you start to smudge, you have less than a minute to clean up the mistakes. If you slip up, no worries! You can use a Q-Tip or tissue to clean up those mistakes quickly. When applying liner, use dry hands to prevent slipping and uneven sketches. If you want to master the cat-eye or winged liner, give our tips a try. If applying a gel eyeliner with a brush seems too intimidating you can always use an all-in-one liquid eyeliner with a precise tip for easier application.


Want to nail this look? Check out our  Camera Ready Collection eyeliner products.