6 Easy Eyeliner Techniques That Look Great Every Time

Eyeliner: There are 50,000 ways to play it, and one for every occasion in your life. Wing it for work, smudge it out for sexy first date eyes and waterline on all those other times when you’re bored of the same look you do over and over.

So if you’re a one-trick liner pony, or just over your standard look, here are some techniques for you to practice and perfect. Get your liner hand ready: You’ll be Lauren Conrad in no time.

Smudged-Out Eyes

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Let’s start with the easy. Use a pencil liner to line your top and bottom lash line and go as thick or thin as you like (get experimental!). Use either a fine brush or your pinkie — the heat of your fingertip helps to spread the product — to smudge the liner. Go as messy as you want!

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner, $5.99, Check It Out

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush, $28, Check It Out

Slightly Smudged

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The same effect, just taken down a notch. For those occasions when you’ve created a smoky eye look that’s just a little too perfect, take your fine brush and gently widen your liner out, creating a shadow effect.

Clinique Eyeliner Brush, $19.50, Check It Out

Winged Out Liner

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One winged-eyeliner look, so many ways to get it. Trust us, there aren’t many in the world who can achieve perfectly symmetrical wings without cheating a little. Everyone relies on the assistance of either a business card or the humble tape to get those gorgeous points.

Lancome Artliner Precision Liquid Eyeliner, $30.50, Check It Out

Barely-there Liner

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This is subtle, don’t-leave-the-house-without-it kinda liner. Use a flat-angled brush to get as close to the lash line as possible for an eye-widening effect.

Jane Iredale Angle Defining Brush, $25, Check It Out

No Flick Necessary

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We get it, sometimes wings are too much. Simply lining your lid with a pointed liner brush gives your face depth without looking too dramatic.

Laura Mercier Pointed Eyeliner Brush, $26, Check It Out

Classic Everyday Shading

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Retire your brush for this one, and apply a solid kohl pencil around your eyelid, keeping your eyes elongated by not tracing all the way into the inner corners. To avoid the panda eye look, apply the pencil between each lash along the lower lash line, which tamps the color down for a long-lasting finish.

Lancome Le Crayon Kohl Eyeliner, $26, Check It Out