5 Tips on How to Apply Graphic Eyeliner & Graphic Eyeliner Designs

Graphic eyeliner, otherwise known as negative space eyeliner, is a brand new hot makeup trend that is revolutionizing the realm of eyeliner application. A step up from the beloved trend of winged eyeliner, graphic eyeliner includes sharp lines of eyeliner that are detached to create a dramatic, modern look that can be worn as part of an everyday look or for special occasions.



There are many different common graphic eyeliner designs, including double lines, dots, angles, and more. Graphic eyeliner is a fun way to spice up your standard eyeliner routine, but it can be difficult to apply, especially for the beauty beginner. Read on to discover several helpful tips on how to graphic eyeliner flawlessly without slip-ups or frustration.

1. Choose the Right Formula



There’s really no right or wrong formula when it comes to graphic eyeliner application. It all comes down to which formula you feel most comfortable using. Powder, gel, and liquid liners are all on the table for applying graphic eyeliner.

Powder eyeliners work best for graphic liner looks that do not need to be too precise and can have a smudged, blended finish. The Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner ($25.00) is a richly pigmented pressed powder eyeliner that is great for graphic eyeliner application.

Gel eyeliners are a great choice for dramatic graphic eyeliner looks that require a dark and obvious liner for best results. Gel eyeliner can help create thick lines, such as those in angled winged eyeliner. An excellent gel liner for graphic eyeliner application is the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($26.00). It won’t smudge or run throughout the day and will maintain its dark and dramatic color all day long.

Liquid eyeliner is usually your best bet when it comes to graphic eyeliner. While it can be difficult to wield and control for beauty beginners, liquid liner is able to create precise lines that are perfect for graphic eyeliner and cannot be achieved using gel or powder liner. Liquid eyeliner is best for graphic eyeliner that includes double lines, detached lines, or any other design that requires intense precision. A great, long-lasting liquid eyeliner is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($19.00).

2. Hold Your Skin



When you apply graphic eyeliner, the designs are often intricate and complex. They require great control and intense precision to achieve the desired results. In order to apply graphic eyeliner well, you need to transform your eyelids into a smooth canvas for you to work with.

A great trick to use when applying graphic eyeliner is holding the skin of your eyelid with one hand while you apply eyeliner with the other. Use your index and middle fingertips to pull the skin of your eyelid just under your eyebrow up and out toward your temple. This trick helps hold your eyelid skin taut while you apply your graphic eyeliner in order to prevent skips and slip-ups in your liner.

3. Use Dots and Dashes



If you try to draw double-sided cat eye graphic liner in one smooth, straight line, it is very likely that you will end up with–well, not a smooth, straight line. Trying to draw complicated graphic eyeliner designs with one swoop of your brush is a feat you shouldn’t attempt, especially because it’s unnecessary.

Instead of trying to draw one fluid line, use dots and dashes to outline your design. Then, use thin lines to fill in your outline until you reach the thickness you want for your liner.

4. Q-Tips Are Your Friend



When you first start to apply graphic liner, and most-likely even after you’ve been doing it for a while, everything is not going to go as planned. You’ll likely end up with crooked lines, smudges, and other mistakes that need to be fixed before you leave the house.

To use a Q-tip to fix your mistakes without smudging the rest of your eyeliner and having to start all over from scratch, twist the cotton at the end of a Q-tip into a thinner point. Dampen the cotton tip with liquid makeup remover, and gently swipe it over your mistakes to loosen the makeup. Then, use the other, dry end of the Q-tip to wipe the messed-up makeup away without disturbing the rest of your design.

5. Don’t Forget a Primer



Eyeshadow primer is always important, but it is especially vital when you wear graphic eyeliner. Even if you don’t plan to wear any eyeshadow with your graphic liner look, you need to layer the area to which you plan to apply your eyeliner with eyeshadow primer. If you don’t, the natural oils on your eyelid will inevitably cause your eyeliner design to run and smudge, making you look like a wounded gutter raccoon instead of a dramatic, sophisticated rockstar. An excellent invisible eyeshadow primer to use under graphic liner is the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original ($20.00).

Graphic eyeliner doesn’t have to be an intimidating trend you’re afraid to touch. Use the tips in this post to achieve seamless graphic eyeliner every time without a struggle.

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