Makeup has always been one of those things I’m just effortlessly good at. I was good at it before I even cared to wear any on a regular basis. (Oh, teenage rebellion- some kids smoke cigarettes and cut class, I questioned the role of females in society and only painted my face up for Halloween.) So, naturally, I just assumed that if my seriously unskilled ass could do it, that every woman could. Ummmm, no.  It wasn’t until adulthood that I found out you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting at least 4 women who are completely confounded by cosmetics.

    This past weekend, an alarming number of my girlfriends asked me for tips on the sly. Of course, we got too drunk and forgot all about makeovers. Boo. Now that my hangover is wearing off, I’ve been thinking, “if I could give just one simple tip that would prove invaluable to women who are clueless about makeup, what would it be?” Why just one tip? Because I’m lazy and don’t feel like writing anything that’ll take more than 15 minutes. Besides, if I dole out the beauty tips one at a time, y’all will keep coming back. I’m like the neighborhood crack dealer. Or, like, Philip-Morris or some shit.

   Anyway, the Holy Grail of makeup tips concerns eyeliner. (Ooooh, I’ve gotcha now…)



   Most women want to know about how to do their eyeliner. Some women want to know how to do it better. The 2 things about eyeliner most women need to know about are:

!. How do I put the shit on?

2. Once it’s on, I can’t get it to stay on, what gives?

   Blowing your mind, right? This is like a breakthrough in therapy- YOU ARE NOT ALOOONE! Seriously. This is the most common problem. Easier to answer, however, is the latter, so I’ll hit that one first.

  The trouble with eyeliner melt-off is more product-related than human error. Now, I’m not all about product-pimping, I’m really not, and if I thought that the better option would be to teach you guys how to work with Wet’n’Wild 99 cent stick eye liner (and it can be done) then that’s what I would do. However, really, truly, the only way to rectify your smearabella status is to upgrade.

Gel Liners are not yo mama’s eyeliner

   Modern cosmetic technology has given us a blessing in the form of gel-based eye liners. They glide on quickly, deliver precision lines, won’t smudge unless you smudge them as you apply for a less-precise look, you don’t have to sharpen anything, and they stay on allllllllll day. The only setbacks are that they’re more expensive than stick liners, you’ll need to buy an eyeliner brush in order to use them, and they dry fast, so you’ll have to work fast.

See, how cute? They come in sweet little pots and one pot will last you way longer than any stick, because you lose a lot of product from sharpening. Also, you’ll never need to re-apply in a day, so you’ll save there too. The “higher” cost actually evens out in that way. Some great gel liner brands are: Clinique, Shiseido, MAC, Nars, Smashbox, and many many more. They’re easiest to find at Sephora, that way you can test out all the different kinds to find your favorite.

This is they type of brush you should look for. Small, angled, and with a thin handle. You can find these at any makeup counter or at beauty stores like Sephora or Ulta.  My pick for a bargain buy is to get theangles eyeshadow brush from KashukTools at Target. The Kashuk brush is a little thicker than I’d like, but the bristles are softer than most, which I like.


Now, how to apply it?

  This is something that’s been evolving for me over the years. I used to close the eye I was lining, slightly pull the skin back towards the temple with one hand, and just try to draw a straight line along the lashes, from the inner corner to the outer corner, using my primary writing hand (left, y’all). This worked well enough, but the results were mixed, and I could almost never get both eyes to match.

  Later, I’d open the eye and try to draw the line from the inner corner straight to the outer. This was close, but no cigar.

   In a moment of ‘thinking outside the box’, I decided to try doing my eyeliner in stages. See, I grew up using old-school liquid liner, and it makes sense to just do it all in one swipe. But it’s really hard to get in even on both eyes this way. So, anyway, the jackpot eyeliner method in stages is as follows:


1. With both eyes open (so you can see what the hell you’re doing, and so that the way it looks while you apply it is the way itll look when you’re done), start the line in the center of the eye, and draw just to the end of the lashes on the outer corner of the eye.

2. Then, go back to the center of the eye, and extend the line in the opposite direction back to the inner corner of the eye.

Repeat steps 1 & 2 on the opposite eye.

* If cat-eye’s look, or if you’d like to “wing out” on the ends, go back and apply wings to the edge of the eye with the eye ope. Repeat on the second eye, being careful to match the 1st eye.


That’s basically it. It takes a little while to not only get used to the new product and to master the 3-part eyeliner trick, but I swear you’ll never go back! Leave me comments, bitches!