Tightlining Lesson 101
Yes, you can have bigger eyes with this expert eye-lining tip!
If you are like me where your eyes are typically small and almond shaped (that’s most of the Asian population anyway), you’d go through tricks, tips and more on how to make your eyes bigger with that wide-awake look everyone loves.
It always points back to using an eyeliner to “open” up your eyes.
But here’s the thing: Using an eyeliner can be tricky and if applied wrongly, it can actually make your eyes look smaller and squinty.
No matter how light of a touch you use or how steady your hands are, applying an eyeliner can go horribly wrong – uneven winged tips, blotchy lines, too thick lines/too thin lines – I’ve been through it all and it’s not exactly the doe-eyed look I’m after.
Then I learnt about tightlining. I was watching a friend apply her eyeliner (Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink to be exact).
Her mouth slightly gaped open, one index finger pushing back and up the upper eyelid, the opposite hand deftly tracing her eyeliner brush along the lid as she faced the mirror.
Short strokes from in to out and then repeat on the other lid. She put her brush down and looked at her reflection.
Her eyes looked bigger and more twinkly and more importantly, it looked super natural as if she was born with it, almost like she wasn’t wearing any eyeliner at all.
“It’s called tightlining, a trick I learnt from the makeup artist when I bought this liner,” she revealed.
I was completely sold and utterly convinced. Now with my own pot of gel eyeliner, tightlining is the only way to go after trying this technique out for many years.
It never fails on me and I really like how towards the end of the day, it lightly smudges my lower lashline for a smokey-eye effect. Hey, two in one – every beauty fan’s favourite phrase!
Look down when you tightline, look up when you waterline!
For first timers, tightlining may appear as if you’re about to seriously impair your eyesight but it’s not that daunting or difficult once you’ve got the basics.
First up, know exactly where you are applying your eyeliner, which is on your waterline.
Water-what, you asked? That’s the inside of your lash line – the white pinkish bits right where the roots of your lashes are.
You know where you normally apply eyeliner – just right on top of your lash line.
Well, shift it a few milimetres to under your lash line and that’s where the magic of tightlining takes place. Then it is just a matter of slowly lining the area with ink, using short but sure strokes to completely fill up the gaps between lashes.
If dirty fingers near your eyes are a big no no for you, then use a cotton bud to help pull up your eyelids as you apply your eyeliner.
Here’s another tip: You can also use a black eyeshadow as a makeshift eyeliner for this look, which will result in a softer, more seductive effect.
Want a more intense effect? After applying liner on your waterline, you can further darken the roots of your lashes by gently pulling your lid taut towards the outer corner and wiggling your liner deep into your lashes to cover the “bald” spots.
You’re bound to make a mess at some point so make sure you have more Q-tips on hand to erase the mess.
Need to see the steps in video? Do what I did to learn all about tightlining: Go on a YouTube beauty tutorial binge. Do a search on tightlining and everything you thought you knew about eyeliners will take a 180-degrees turn.
Oh and don’t forget the tools! Here are some picks.
Its gel formula glides like a charm, perfect for first timers. The brush is heaven-sent when it comes to tightlining.
Its brush tip draws smooth, solid lines to fill in the gaps easily. Long lasting too!
Apply this pencil liner, wait a minute for it dry and it stays on longer. Check out the deep brown colour for a more natural effect.
Taking it all off is super easy with this. Just soak your cotton pad with it, gently pat over eyes and remove.