I have to admit, eyeliner was one of the last techniques that I mastered when learning to do my own makeup.  Martha Lynn here, and trust me: I totally get how intimidating it can be. A “smokey eye” can seem daunting even for a pro and you might be afraid to wear any liner at all for fear of looking too “made up”. Starting with the soft look pictured above, I thought I’d offer a few degrees of eye liner techniques that can work for all kinds of occasions. And if black is too stark, you can always modify the look by trying a lighter color for more subtlety, or dare to test out the seasons bold colors for anything but!

The No-Makeup Makeup: This technique is great for achieving an out-the-door-quick look. Simply apply one line of shadow (we used a dark grey here) along your upper lash line with an angled liner brush. It’ll appear as if you have on liner at all and will add a depth to your lashes!

Everyday Liner:  This builds on the first look by adding a thickness with a second line on the upper lid, and adding a line along the lower lashes using the same liner brush. Perfectly soft enough for everyday wear and will open your eyes.  Balance the more intense liner by adding a soft, neutral shadow in your crease. Rule of thumb: the heavier the liner, the heavier your contouring shadow should be. 

The Smokey Eye: This look can be as dramatic as you want. To build on the previous look, use a black pencil liner to add a darker line on the upper lid, and also to line the waterline on the inside of the eye (to do this, line the bottom and blink hard to transfer some the color to the top waterline). Use a q-tip of small brush to gently smudge the top pencil line and blend out the color until it’s smokey to your satisfaction. Again, increase the color in the crease so that it’s balanced and dramatic.

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Martha Lynn