Looking for a way to fake fuller lashes? You may be surprised to hear you don’t need a set of falsies (although we won’t stop you if you love them) – you can get the look with your trusty eyeliner and the tightlining technique. Just a little liner can make a big impact and completely transform your look. Want to know how to tightline your eyes with eyeliner? Check out our best tips right here!
What Is Tightlining?
Tightlining is an eye makeup technique where you apply eyeliner to your upper waterline – the area inside the lash line. It gives the appearance of fuller lashes by making your lash bed appear bolder, and helps define your eye shape. Tightlining is also called invisible eyeliner, since it looks like you’re not wearing eyeliner at all. It gives your eyes an extra pop, but no one can figure out why. It gives you the illusion of fuller lashes and it’s really simple to do.
Are There Any Risks of Tightlining?
Tighliing does pose a risk since you’re putting it on the inner area of your eye. Eyeliner particles can flake and get into your tear film, which is not great for people who wear contacts or have dry or sensitive eyes. The eyeliner can cause discomfort, temporarily blur your vision, or bind to your contact lenses, and at worst, it could lead to an eye infection if your liner contains bacteria.
On top of this, when you’re putting products on your waterline, you’re blocking your meibomian glands, which secrete oil into our tears. Repeatedly blocking those glands can disrupt how they function, and this can damage the oil that they naturally produce, transforming it into a toothpaste texture, which is not ideal.
Due to these reasons, we’d recommend not making tightlining part of your everyday routine, but saving it for special events when you really need your eyes to shine. And always make sure your eyeliner is clean before tightlining to reduce the risk of getting bacteria into your eyes.
What Eyeliners Work Best for Tightlining?
Waterproof eyeliners typically work best for tightlining since they’re less likely to smudge and will stay put throughout the day. Try the Maybelline Unstoppable Waterproof Eyeliner or the e.l.f. No Budge Retractable Eyeliner. You can use regular pencils too, such as the L’Oréal Never Fail Eyeliner or the CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner.
Gels are also a popular choice for tightlining. You could opt for a soft tip gel pencil like the ILIA Clean Line Gel Liner or you could use a pot like the M.A.C. Fluidline Gel Liner with a flat eyeliner brush.
Steer clear of liquid liners as they can sting the eye, and liners with glitter can also cause irritation or move into the eye.
How to Tightline Your Eyes with Eyeliner
1. Prep Your Eyes
You want to have a clean canvas for tightlining. Before you start, make sure your hands and face are clean, then apply a pea-sized amount of primer all over your lids. This will help your liner and eye makeup stay in place and keep it from fading throughout the day.
2. Curl Your Lashes
Curling your lashes is an important next step. Go gently, and give them a good curl so you can get a better view of where your lashes and lids meet. To make it easier to locate your upper waterline, sit in front of a mirror in a well-lit space. For tightlining, it’s best to sit at a mirror with your elbows anchored on the table so you have more control.
3. Sharpen Your Pencil
If you’re using a pencil liner, make sure to always sharpen it before tightlining. This will give you a precise line with less smudging, and also gets rid of any bacteria that may have been left on the pencil. You can also blast the tip of the pencil with hot air from a blow dryer, to melt it for smoother application.
4. Use a Brush for Gels
If you’re using a gel liner, consider a flat or angled brush for your liner application. Dip the brush in the liner pot and flatten it by pressing the pigment on both sides of the brush to create a more pointed, flat top. This will help you create a flat line. Start with a small amount of liner and work your way up so you don’t go overboard.
5. Tightline Your Upper Waterline
Hold up your lid with your fingers and use short, swift strokes to draw a line along your waterline, or you can try to do it in one long stroke. If you’re using a brush with gel, hold your brush vertically and wiggle its tip gently into the upper waterline. Make sure to get the eyeliner as close to the roots of your lashes as possible. If you’re having trouble, try holding your upper lid in place with the help of a Q tip.
6. Define Your Lower Lash Line
Repeat the above step on your lower lash line. Pull your lower lid gently downward to reveal the spaces between each of your lower lashes. Take your liner, and push the pigment underneath your lashes. Start from the outer corner and tightline only two thirds of your lash line – this will help your eyes appear bigger.
7. Set with Powder
To ensure your tightlining stays put throughout the day, you’ll want to apply powder or eyeshadow to the waterline with your flat or angled liner brush. This will set your gel liner and give you long-wear protection. It will also layer the colour, giving extra depth to your look.
Ready to try tightlining? These tips and hacks will help you get the fuller lash look you’ve been searching for!
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