9 Pro Tips For Getting Perfectly Precise Eyeliner

A sharp wing is within reach.

Here are easy eyeliner tips for shaky hands that will help beginners get clean, precise lines.
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Eyeliner can easily level up your overall makeup look, but application isn’t always so easy. Very few people have perfectly steady hands — but thankfully, professional makeup artists are willing to share their expert eyeliner tips for shaky hands that will help you create crisper, more precise lines. (And just in case you make a couple mistakes along the way, there are some quick fixes below, too.)

Read more: 21 Eyeliner Tips For Hooded Eyes That Are Totally Genius

Even if you already have the basics down, attempting to recreate a graphic eyeliner look can be a little (or a lot) more difficult and require more artistic abilities. You may have scrolled through Instagram or TikTok and spotted some of the many eyeliner hacks on the platforms, showing how items like dental floss and even a banana can create perfectly even eyeliner.

Luckily, the advice below doesn’t involve household items or produce. In order to get practical and straightforward eyeliner tips for shaky hands, Bustle spoke to Terri Bryant, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Guide Beauty, and Charlie Riddle, Stila’s global beauty director. It could simply be a matter of switching to a different eyeliner formula or adjusting the way that you hold your makeup brushes. Read on and you’ll be applying like a pro in no time.


Opt For Pencil and Gel Eyeliners

The kind of eyeliner you use makes a big difference, and if you’re a beginner (or not-so confident with liner), Riddle suggests reaching for a pencil or gel formula rather than liquid. “Pencils and gels are particularly great because they are much easier to correct,” Riddle tells Bustle via email. “You have more time to manipulate and move them before they dry down.”

He recommends using the Stila Stay All Day Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. “It’s a really smooth-glide formula but you have a little time before it sets into place to either perfect it or smudge out; but once it sets, it does not move.”


Keep Your Arm & Hand Relaxed


Once you’ve found a newbie-friendly formula, focus on adjusting your grip on the eyeliner brush. It shouldn’t be too firm or loose — make sure you’re comfortable and your arm is relaxed. “Before you start, take notice of your grip and how tightly you are holding onto the applicator or pencil,” Bryant explains. “It should feel secure, but not like a vice grip.”

Riddle suggest “balancing [the applicator or product] perfectly in the middle of your index finger and thumb” for a controlled yet mobile grip.


Invest In A Good Hands-Free Mirror


Be sure to use a hands-free mirror; it’ll help you stay focused on your eyeliner. “I always recommend investing in a good hands-free mirror and — if you have the space — a comfortable place to sit when applying your makeup is ideal,” Bryant says.


Keep A Silicone-Based Primer And Swabs Handy

A great solution for easy clean-ups? “Keep precision (pointed) Q-tips and a silicone-based primer on hand for a quick fix,” Bryant says. “Try placing a tiny amount of silicone-based primer on the back of your hand and rolling a pointed Q-tip back and forth to lightly saturate. Next, gently run the tip along the area you want to clean up. The primer makes it easier to target just the area you want to clean up without bleeding into and disrupting the surrounding area.”


Try The Tightlining Method

Bryant says tightlining (aka “invisible liner”) is her absolute favorite technique. If you have hooded eyes, this will be great for you since it involves creating “the appearance of a thicker, more defined lash base by applying eyeliner to the upper waterline (just under the eyelashes).”

It doesn’t just open up your eyes. According to Bryant, you also “don’t have to worry about shape, placement, or if the lid and liner will overlap and cause smudging.”


If You Love Liquid Liner, Use One With A Felt Tip

Shopping for an eyeliner? Be sure to take a close look at the applicator. “For liquid liner lovers or cat eye beginners, I recommend a felt tip like the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner over using a brush tip,” Riddle says. “A brush tip requires a very steady hand where the precision of a felt tip anchors better on the eye for an easier placement.”


Don’t Start From Your Inner Corner

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When choosing a starting point for your eyeliner, stay away from your inner corner. “Never start in the inner corner,” Riddle says. “Either start from middle or work outwards in, and then fill in the inner corner last for more control.”


Use Eyeshadow To Camouflage Mistakes

Don’t panic if you’ve got mismatched liner and don’t have time to start from scratch. “Liquid and cream shadows are the best friend when it comes to eyeliner mistakes,” Riddle says. Instead of wiping it all off, “simply go over and diffuse [the liner] out and it will blend it together.” A neutral dark brown or bronze shadow can easily be blended out with your fingers in less than 60 seconds.


Try Reverse Eyeliner

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If you’re struggling to swipe your eyeliner on your top lid, try putting it on the bottom. “I always recommend a reverse liner or cat eye as well for people with hooded lids who struggle to place eyeliner on top,” Riddle says. “You still get the intensity and it’s easier to apply.”