Make Eyes Pop: How to Tightline Your Eyes

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Posted by Elizabeth Freda on August 1, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Tightlining is a great way to make eyes pop, but can seem intimidating if you’ve never tried it before. Sometimes referred to as the “invisible eyeliner,” tightlining is applying eyeliner to the underside of the upper lash line, along your waterline. Here’s a how-to:

  1. Make sure your hands are clean in order to avoid an eye infection. You should also be cleaning your makeup brushes every other week to get rid of bacteria build up. I’ve found that an angled eyeliner brush paired with a smudge pot of liner works best. Waterproof formulas work well because they aren't affected by your eye's natural moisture.

  2. Pull your eyelid up and away from your eye, exposing your upper waterline. Use the brush to gently tap product onto the waterline. Keep a fair amount of product on the brush, as it will make the process easier and you won’t have to force product onto your waterline. Try to get as close to your lash line as possible.

  3. With the leftover product on your brush, work the eyeliner into the roots of your lashes to cover the gaps between them.

  4. For extra drama, you can tightline the bottom waterline as well. Be careful, however. Eyeliner can migrate south and darken the area under your eyes, making bags and wrinkles more prominent. Avoid tightlining the inner corners of your eye, as it's almost guaranteed to smudge. 

  5. Finish with the rest of your makeup, including your normal eyeliner routine if desired.

Tightlining can be uncomfortable at first, but play around with it to see what works best for you. It's definitely something you get used to. If done right, it will give your eyes the extra something they may need, especially in photos, and can make your lashes look fuller.

Do you tightline? Have any tips? Share with us below!


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    • Post a comment
    I have been tightlining for YEARS! I prefer to use a pencil eyeliner rather than a brush. It's a really odd sensation and can be irritating at first, but it's almost like second nature to me now.
    I may try a pencil since it seems more convenient, but I'm so used to a brush now! Tightlining definitely is something to get used to, but I love it. Thanks for the feedback, Rebecca!!