Perfecting your eyeliner technique is truly an art form. After you spend half an hour—fine, 45 minutes—emulating Adele's always-perfect cat eye, it's seriously annoying when it fades after only a few hours. So, to make sure that you masterpieces (AKA wings) can be truly appreciated, we're sharing a few tips to help your liner last all day and all night long.
1. Choose an eyeliner that actually lasts
A waterproof gel or liquid liner is your best bet for precise application and long-lasting wear. Our favorites are Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner, $19 and Almay Liquid Eyeliner, $6; these liners go on and stay on. If you need to erase any mistakes—nobody's perfect—just use petroleum jelly and a cotton swab.
2. Pick up some primer
Using a primer before applying your eyeliner will keep your eye makeup looking fresh all day. Try Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $20 to lock in a smooth and vibrant look.
3. Beware of oil
Oil is a major cause of eyeliner smudging, streaking, and smearing. Use a lightweight setting powder like HD Microfinish Powder from Make Up Forever, $34 so that your face's natural oils don't spread. If you are prone to oily skin, use blotting pads to soak up excess oil when you are finished applying makeup.
4. Layer, layer, layer
Not only should you apply multiple layers of eyeliner, but also you should trace over your liner with a coat of a similar colored eyeshadow to keep it in place. If you're looking for a bold, jet-black finish, try a shade darker so you don't dull the color of your liner.
5. Don't forget mascara
Water resistant mascara will help your eye makeup stay in place and avoid raccoon eyes or under eye smudge cause by the occasional tear (you know, the kind you get from a gust of wind or the sad ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan playing…). Our favorites are Urban Decay's Perversion Mascara, $22 and Benefit's They're Real! Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara, $24.
6. Be prepared
Throw an eyeliner in your purse so that just in case your line does budge, you can fix it up in no time.
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