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Eyeliner is one of my biggest makeup struggles. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably one of yours too.
I have hooded and close-set and downturned eyes. Arguably three of the most finicky, and all together frustrating eye shapes to work with. Oh, how I wish my eyes were wide-set and upturned with a well-defined crease…
After a ton of trial and error, I think I have finally figured out exactly what styles of eyeliner work well on my, well, different eyes.
This one is for all you ladies who feel that your “difficult” eyes make applying eyeliner next to impossible.
Ready to see all the ways I apply eyeliner and grab some awesome eyeliner ideas for your own arsenal? Keep reading!
My current favorite eyeliners (Seriously the best!)
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper >> [Sephora]
Eyeliner is NOT one size fits all!
We’ve all been there, trying in vain to recreate that gorgeous eyeliner that so-and-so beauty blogger demonstrated, only to be sorely disappointed in the result.
No, my eyes aren’t the same as some of the ladies I watch on Youtube, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful, or any less capable of rocking super cute eyeliner styles!
These are the best eyeliner styles I’ve discovered that make my hooded, close-set, and downturned eyes look their best.
Classic upper eyeliner — The easiest of all eyeliner ideas
So obvious, yet so simple! It’s just incredible how just a simple swipe of black liquid eyeliner opens up your eyes and visually thickens your lashes.
Just a quick note- I skipped mascara in all of these photos so that you can get the best view of the eyeliner. Didn’t forget!
This look works for pretty much all eye shapes, and it just enhances what you have naturally going on. Which is gorgeous, BTW.
I love this one as a great default for when I don’t feel like thinking about my look too much. It works whether I have on a basic one-eyeshadow look, but it also enhances a smoky eye beautifully when I don’t feel like going all-out winged.
The felt tip in the Urban Decay Perversion Liquid Eyeliner is my favorite for throwing on this basic style.
Thin-to-thick Liquid Eyeliner
This is similar to the previous look, with one slight, though very important, difference. Downturned-eyed owners, listen up!
This liner begins super thin near the inner corner, and gradually thickens toward the outer half of your eye. The thicker line toward the downturned outer corner gives it a visual lift making it appear more almond-shaped.
I find the most foolproof way of achieving this look is to draw the thinnest line you can all the way across your upper lash line, and then gradually thicken the outer half by placing your liquid eyeliner down right at the high point of your eye, or right above where your pupil (the black part of your eye,) rests.
I do this look when I want a very simple look, but I’m not wearing any eyeshadow that helps give my outer corner the lift it needs.
Smoky Lower Lash Line
Sometimes I just want something a bit more edgy, but that isn’t too much. On those days, I smudge some black pencil eyeliner on my lower waterline. I may add a bit of eyeshadow to my top lid, or I may not, and I like the way it looks either way.
For those of you with downturned eyes, concentrating the color on the outer half of your lower lash line highlights the “curving up” part, for lack of a better word. This detracts from the “downturned-ness” of your outer corners.
Wow, I’m just making up all kinds of words today.
I enjoy a skinny eyeliner because it’s much easier to control, and Maybelline has an awesome option that is happily inexpensive.
Smoky Outer Corner — Eyeliner ideas for a slight bit of edge
This look works especially well for close-set eyes because it draws all the attention to the outer halves of your eyes, visually moving them apart.
I apply the same Maybelline skinny pencil eyeliner to my lower water line, and then extend it up around the outer corner to to the center of the upper lash line. Blend the product with a clean dome brush, or add a but of eyeshadow for a different tone to your smokiness.
If you only have gel eyeliner on hand, or you just like the creaminess of it, then you can totally use that too. My favorite is the L’Oréal one. Just another option.
Want a little something-something that isn’t too dramatic? Try the kitten wing- basically just a teeny wing. It’s great for close set eyes because it extends the edge of your eyes, which makes them appear farther apart.
It’s a trick of the eyes. Pun totally intended.
I start this look the same way I would for the Thin to Thick eyeliner look, and then I extend the line carefully around my hood crease. I definitely don’t want the wing getting cut off when I open my eye.
For any kind of wings or detailed eyeliner work, the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is the absolute best. The tip lays down product with even the slightest amount of pressure, so you can easily achieve that super sharp tip that makes winged eyeliner look sharp and fierce.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper >> [Sephora]
Dramatic Cat Eye Winged Eyeliner
Yes, this is my idea of a dramatic cat eye. Clearly you can make your wing longer if you’re feeling more bold than I apparently was this day.
Wings are obviously everywhere, but full inner corner “eagle eyes” as I like to call them, aren’t as widely seen. And I think they look so beautiful!
Now, this style doesn’t look the best on my particular eyes (thanks to my inner corner webbing…,) but it looks incredible and edgy on basically everybody else.
To keep “black overload” style like the one from closing off your eyes, I recommend adding a nude colored pencil liner to your lower waterline. It’ll brighten everything up and leave you looking spiffy, not sleepy.
Graphic Cat Eye Winged Eyeliner — Eyeliner ideas that bring the drama
There’s so much you can do to spice up basic winged eyeliner. Get creative!
Here, I simply added a second line under my main wing, and it totally changes the look. It went from everyday to music festival with a flick of my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Easy as that.
If you’re feeling especially wild, try drawing extra lines or dots around your wing, beneath your lower lash line, or around your inner corner.
Pssst! I’f you’d want to see a post all about graphic eyeliner ideas and inspiration, leave me a comment letting me know below. I’d be happy to do that.
Cut Crease Winged Eyeliner
This one isn’t really an everyday look.
BUT, before you dismiss this look as something you’d never wear, hear me out.
If you have hooded or downturned eyes, you know how frustrating it is when you try so hard to recreate an eyeshadow look you see and you end up getting it all wrong. Likely because you misjudged where you ought to place your cut-crease so you end up with weird, anime looking eyes because you aren’t able to connect the higher crease to your natural outer corner smoothly. (I do hope this makes sense.) It happens to me all the time.
This is the technique I use when I want to create a look requiring a larger lid area and defined crease. By working the cut crease up from the wing, then you can be sure everything will blend together and make sense in the end because the structure is already set. All you have to do is fill in the colors!
I like using my L’Oréal gel eyeliner and a super small brush to draw the cut crease. It’s just blendable enough so that I can soften it, but it stays in place so I don’t have to worry about the line migrating all over my continent-sized eye area.
Or you could wear the look as it is shown here. I do sometimes.
Eyeliner ideas to suit everyone — Try them out!
Trust me, I’ve gone through my fair share of baaaad eyeliner days. Don’t believe me? Check out my how I did my makeup in middle school. It’s pretty crazy.
If I can figure it out, so can you
That’s all for today!
Like this post? You’ll definitely love this one too >> Pink Ombre Winged Eyeliner Tutorial (Perfect for Summer!)
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below! And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.