Lining your eyes 101: Pencils

Shaky hands? Afraid of poking your eye out? Prefer scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush to lining your eyes? Good news for you, you’re not alone! Everyone starts from zero, yours truly included. Here are a few tips that are helpful to me … but rule of thumb is – practise makes perfect!! You might not get it the first few tries, but the more you do it, the easier it’ll get.

In this post, I will be using a pencil liner. In my opinion, pencil liners are the easiest. Liquid liners aren’t so forgiving, and you need an additional tool (a brush) for gel liners. For a pencil liner, you’d want a creamy pigmented one that does not pull or tug your eyes. When you try out the eyeliner at the store before buying, you probably want something that doesn’t feel sharp or hard against your skin. You want something softer and creamier that transfers easily. Drugstore brands like Maybelline, Revlon, Silky Girl, L’oreal and Rimmel all have pretty good eye liners.

Now, grab your pencil eyeliner and I’ll take you through step by step. Before we start though, you might want to loosen your death grip on your pencil. It’s just gonna make it harder. Relax your hold and inhale, exhale.


Picture 1: Shaky hands? You might want to lightly rest your chin on your palm while you line your eyes. Don’t hold the pencil too close to the tip. Let it slide, hold it a little further than midway.

Picture 2: With your free hand, pull your eye taut. It’s very much easier to line this way! I don’t push the pencil too hard either. Just let it glide. You can do short strokes, going back and forth or you can just line it with one stroke. There’s no hard and fast rule on this one. Whatever makes you happy, whatever gives you results you want. ** Thinnest line should be at the inner corner of your eyes**

Picture 3: Once you’ve ‘graduated’ from palm-chin-resting, you can just rest a finger (I’m more comfortable with my ring finger) on your cheek to steady your hand while lining – AND using the free hand to hold the eye taut.


Picture 4: Once you’re much comfortable with all that, you can now line your eyes with only one hand, holding your eyes taut or not. I still like to steady my hands by resting my ring finger lightly on my cheek.

Picture 5: Please line all the way until the outer corner of your eyes. Do not stop before that. Even if you want to wing it out, your ‘wing’ still has to go PAST the outer corner of your eyes. Otherwise, you’ll just end up looking a little weird… -__-”

Picture 6: This is something extra you can do. With a brush like this, or even with a cotton swab, you can smudge out your liner to soften the line. Or, maybe the line you did was a little messy, just smudge it and change the look!


Picture 7: To line your lower lash line, you can use just one hand. Pull down the lower lid slightly using your ring finger and line your lower lashes. If you’re not comfortable, you can use 2 hands like Picture 8.

Picture 8: You should line closest to your lashes, or you can line it on your waterline. It’s really up to you. Lining on waterlines don’t stay long though. And also, make sure you’re not sensitive to the ingredients in the pencil or your eyes will turn red / itchy / swollen.

Picture 9: It’s best to smudge out the line on your lower lashes. Otherwise, it’ll look especially harsh. You can use a brush or a cotton swab. Always use a light hand though. You want to smudge it out, not wipe it off 😉 It is usually most flattering to line 1/4 in. For today, I lined the whole lash line.


Done! If I may repeat, the line should be thinnest at the inner corner of your eyes.

Now all you have to do is practise every day. These are not hard and fast rules but they worked for me. Please tweak it to suit your own preference. Experiment with a few ways, find the most comfortable one and let me know what works for you.

Hope this helped! If you have any more questions, please comment below. Thanks =)