A woman applying pencil eyeliner

Mastering the Art of Under Eye Eyeliner in 2024

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Let’s talk about the magic of under-eye eyeliner!

When applied correctly, it can completely transform your look, add depth, drama, or subtle definition to your eyes. But achieving that perfect under-eye eyeliner look can be a challenge.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide on mastering the art of under-eye eyeliner in 2023. Get ready to elevate your makeup game and turn heads with your stunning eyeliner skills!

Key Takeaways

  • Under-eye liner offers a range of looks to captivate eyes.

  • Expert tips and clean beauty brands make it easy to master the art of under eye eyeliner in 2023.

  • With proper preparation, application techniques, and setting methods you can create stunning looks that last all day!

Understanding Under Eye Eyeliner

A woman wearing eyeliner on her lower lash line
source: kseniasevrikeeva

The secret to captivating eyes lies in the delicate art of applying eyeliner. It enhances the lower lid, lower lash line, and waterline while complementing the upper eye area. The versatility of using liner techniques to make the eyes pop is what makes it so popular, offering a range of exciting looks depending on the application and color choice.

From a smoky look full of charm and excitement to subtle definition using a light peach liner for a soft and natural effect, the possibilities are endless. Just remember that smudged out lower eyeliner creates a more sultry look, but be cautious if you have dark circles, as it can accentuate them.

Choosing the Right Eyeliner Type

A woman applying pencil eyeliner
source: kikomilano

Selecting the suitable type of eyeliner is key to crafting your desired under-eye look. Eyeliner comes in various options – pencil, liquid, powder, and gel – each offering unique advantages and catering to different skill levels and desired effects.

For beginners, a pencil eyeliner type is a perfect choice, providing a natural and effortless look that’s easy to apply. When it comes to waterlining, a waterproof formula in either a gel or pencil format is recommended for optimal results.

Pencil Eyeliner

Pencil eyeliner is highly versatile and effortless, making it an ideal choice for under-eye makeup, especially for beginners or those with an unstable hand. To achieve a beautiful look with pencil eyeliner on the lower lash line, follow these steps:

  1. Start by placing the sharpened pencil close to your lash line on the outer corner of your eye.

  2. Slowly glide it towards the inner corner, using small stipple movements, drawing a delicate line.

  3. Keep the line thin and feel free to change the eyeliner length depending on the look you would like to create!

This option gives you the ability to create a smudged, clean, or soft eye depending on the pressure you use.

Gel or Powder Liner

Gel eyeliner is an incredibly long-lasting and smudge-proof option for use on the top or under-eye, offering intense, sharp, and beautiful color payoff. To apply gel or powder liner below the bottom lashes, use a thin, stiff angled brush for great results.

For applying gel product to the waterline, make sure it is a matte waterproof formula so that it lasts. Using a bent eyeliner brush or applying the gel on top of a regular pencil liner will also work wonders.

Don’t forget to use a translucent setting powder on top of your gel or cream eyeliner to keep it lasting all day without transfer!

Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner provides a crisp and precise look with great precision, perfect for creating sharp and defined lines on the upper lid, inner eye corner, and on the lower lash skin.

Just make sure to not use any liquid liner products directly in the waterline. It will bleed into the eyes causing vision issues, discomfort, and irritation.

Essential Techniques for Applying Under Eye Eyeliner

A woman preparing her skin for applying eyeliner

Mastering under-eye eyeliner involves understanding the right techniques for skin prep, shapes, pressure, and setting the liner. Taking the time to prepare your skin and apply the liner correctly will ensure a flawless look that lasts all day.

From preventing smudging to achieving a soft and natural effect, these techniques will help you create a stunning under-eye eyeliner look that complements your lifestyle and eye makeup perfectly.

Preparing the Skin

A successful under-eye eyeliner application requires a clean and primed surface. Here’s how to prep your skin:

  1. Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser or micellar water to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup residue. Pat dry with a clean towel.

  2. Apply your usual daily skincare routine.

  3. Then use an eye primer on both the top and bottom of the eyes or concealer.

  4. To ensure your skin is completely dry before applying eyeliner, set with a translucent or skintone powdered eyeshadow.

To prevent any texture, use a warm compress, apply an eye mask set, or use cucumber slices before application. Proper skin prep will set the stage for a flawless eyeliner application.

Lining the Lower Lash Line

To achieve a precise and flattering line on the lower lash line, follow these steps:

  1. Begin the liner at the bottom lash line, starting from the outside working your way inwards.

  2. Use a light hand and apply the eyeliner in small strokes.

  3. Use a smudge brush with a bit of shadow or liner to blend the line out for a beautiful, softer look.

To make the line look more natural, follow these steps:

Korean style eyeliner
source: eppeun_beauty
  1. Use a lighter shade of eyeliner on the inner corner of the eye or on the waterline.

  2. Use a darker shade on the outer corner for a stunning result.

  3. Remember to keep the line thin and soft, as well as apply a liquid sparkle shimmer liner in the center for a naturally glowing effect.

Setting the Liner

Setting the liner is the key to ensuring your under-eye eyeliner looks flawless all day. Using a setting powder or spray will keep your eyeliner in place and prevent smudging or transferring. Apply the powder before and after the application, focusing on the area where you applied the eyeliner.

Alternatively, you can use a setting spray in a left to right direction over your makeup to lock the liner in place and increase its wear time. With your liner set, you can confidently flaunt your stunning eyeliner look all day long.

Popular Under Eye Eyeliner Styles

Embrace the versatility of under-eye eyeliner by trying out popular looks such as:

  • Smoky eye

  • Waterline

  • Doll eye effect

  • Egirl

  • Aegyo sal

These styles offer unique and eye-catching looks, allowing you to experiment with different techniques and colors to enhance your eye makeup.

Whether you’re going for a sultry and dramatic look or a subtle and natural effect, these under-eye eyeliner styles will help you make a statement and showcase your creativity.

Smoky Eyeliner

A smoky eye is a sultry and dramatic under-eye eyeliner look that is achieved by smudging eyeliner along the lower lash line and waterline to match the depth of the upper eye area.

  1. Blend it out for a smoky effect with a stiff, pencil brush and a darker eyeshadow.

  2. Create depth by using a gel or liquid liner just on the quarter outer edge, and while it’s still wet apply eyeshadow on top of the area and blend it towards the inner corners.

  3. Use your finger to lightly dab a lighter shade into the inner corners of the eyes to lift the eyes upwards.

With a gel or kohl eyeliner pencil, you can easily create a smoky eye that turns heads and adds a touch of glamour to any makeup look.

Waterline Eyeliner

Applying liner in the waterline (the area of the eyes where the skin closes and makes contact with the eyes itself) is a fabulous technique that helps define the eyes and create a more intense look without obvious harshness. To apply under eye eyeliner using this technique, follow these steps:

  1. Pick a liner color that works with the eye effect that you’re looking for:

    White liner makes the eyes pop, nude/skintone eyeliner creates a soft look, black or dark brown creates a sexy look, and bright colors are fun to play up the eyes.

  2. Then, gently hold down your bottom lid.

  3. Draw a line along your waterline using short, swift strokes.

  4. Start from the outer corner and move towards the inner corner of your eye for a symmetrical finish.

  5. Make sure to apply a bit on the outer edge of the lower lashes on the skin and blend out to keep your makeup looking current!

With waterproof gel or pencil eyeliner, water line makeup can help you achieve a bold yet striking look that enhances your .

Doll-Eyed Effect

The doll eye effect is a makeup technique that uses a white or flesh-toned eyeliner on the lower waterline to brighten and open up the eyes, creating a more awake and refreshed appearance. To achieve this effect, simply line your waterline and the inner corners of your eyes with a light-colored eyeliner, such as nude, white, or a pastel shade.

Use fake lower lash strips or individual lashes under the liner penciled area for a completed look.

The bright-eyed effect is perfect for those days when you need an extra boost of brightness, making your eyes appear larger and more vibrant.


E-girl is a trendy makeup style featuring bold under-eye eyeliner that enhances depth and intensity to the eyes, resulting in a striking and edgy appearance. This style often involves unique shapes and designs under the eyes, adding a playful and artistic flair to the overall look.

To achieve the Egirl under-eye eyeliner look, follow these steps:

  1. Apply a bold black or colored eyeliner along the outer lower lash line, starting from the inner corner and extending towards the outer corner.

  2. Create a winged effect by extending the eyeliner slightly past the outer corner of the eye.

  3. With liquid eyeliner, you can easily create the edgy and eye-catching Egirl look with hearts, stars, or spikes that’s perfect for making a fun statement.

Troubleshooting Common Under Eye Eyeliner Issues

A woman troubleshooting smudging of her eyeliner

Even with the best techniques, under-eye eyeliner can sometimes present challenges like:

  • Creasing

  • Irritation

  • Uneven lines

  • Transferring

Fortunately, there are solutions to these common issues that can help you achieve a perfect and long-lasting under-eye eyeliner look. From choosing the right formula to proper application and blending, our helpful tips will ensure you can confidently rock your under-eye eyeliner without any worries!


Intentional blending is different then an unwanted, cracking eyeliner. To avoid creasing, feathering, or smudging, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a waterproof formula.

  2. Prep and prime the skin according to your skin type.

  3. Apply the right amount of product, less is more.

  4. Allow enough time for it to dry.

  5. Set the eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow or translucent powder.

Following these steps will help your eyeliner last longer and stay put! If breakage occurs, gently pat a liquid or cream concealer on the under-eye area to effortlessly fix any smudges.


A close-up image of a woman's eye with under eye eyeliner causing irritation and redness

Reducing irritation before under-eye eyeliner application enhances the comfort and enjoyment of your makeup routine. To reduce irritation, avoid applying eyeliner on the inner eyelids or inside the lash line that has red or purple dies, and use gentle pressure when applying makeup.

Don’t forget to make sure that you are not using expired makeup! 3 months is the rule of thumb once open and exposed to air.

If irritation occurs, remove the makeup with gentle skin makeup remover. Use a hot tea (earl grey works best) compress, apply Vaseline, or use cucumber slices to soothe your irritated skin.

Uneven Lines

Achieving even and symmetrical under-eye eyeliner can be challenging, especially if you have uneven eyelids or eyes, or if you tend to apply the eyeliner too quickly. To create an even look, try tightlining and adjusting the liner while applying it.

Another tip is to use a long bristled brush which will help the evenness of the line application. This can be especially helpful if you have asymmetrical eyes or if you apply the eyeliner too quickly.

Using a powder and angled brush is the best entry level tools to practice precise application.


A clean and defined look necessitates prevention of eyeliner transfer to the upper lid or under-eye area. To avoid transferring, you can follow these steps:

  1. Use a waterproof, transfer-resistant formula.

  2. Apply an oil controlling eye primer before applying the eyeliner and set with a generous amount of translucent powder.

  3. Use a thinner amount of eye liner.

  4. Ensure that you are setting the liner on the skin with setting powder too.

  5. Allow enough time for the eyeliner to dry.

Using these steps and wearing liner with a powder or setting spray can help prevent transferring and keep your under-eye eyeliner looking flawless.

Expert Tips for Enhancing Your Under Eye Eyeliner Game

Elevate your under-eye eyeliner game with our pro makeup artist tips on color selection, blending techniques, and proper tool usage.

By choosing the right eyeliner color to complement your eye color and makeup look, mastering the art of blending, and using the right brushes and tools for precision, you can create stunning under-eye eyeliner looks that will for sure earn a few compliments.

Discover our easy makeup tips that will elevate your under-eye eyeliner skills!

How to Choose the Right Eyeliner for Your Eye Color

A stunning eyeliner result depends on selecting an eyeliner shade that complements your eyes and overall makeup. Here’s our eye color guideline:

  • For brown eyes, shades of midnight blue, teal, burgundy, and violet can bring out the brightness of brown eyes.

  • Blue eyes look great with brown, copper, various shades of blue, teal, and warm metallics like gold.

  • Hazel eyes can be beautifully enhanced with purples, emerald greens, golds, and warm, neutral browns.

  • Green eyes stand out with red or purple undertones and hues.

Experiment with different colors or the classics like black, brown, nude, and white to discover the perfect eyeliner shades that make you the happiest.

How to Blend out Eyeliner

A seamless under-eye eyeliner application is achieved by mastering the art of blending. The perfect blending brush and amount of pressure can help you achieve a smooth lash line eyeliner.

  • Take a dense, yet soft blending brush that has no product on it and sweep it along the liner before it sets.

  • To smooth out the texture, tap the brush into a complimenting eyeshadow then press into the back of the hand to avoid fall out.

  • Finish by using the brush with medium pressure along the bottom lash line to combine the eyeliner and eyeshadow for a unified eye makeup look.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and experimenting with different blending techniques will help you achieve the perfect under-eye eyeliner look.

Proper Tool Usage

Different eyeliner products and brushes

The last thing you might think about before applying your detailed under eyeliner, is the type of brushes or liner tools. Some essential must-have products that we love for applying eyeliner are:

  • A thin angled brush, which is ideal for creating a precise line

  • Smudging pencil brush that is made for blending and creating a smoky look

  • A fine-tipped eyeliner brush, which is great for creating a thin, precise line

  • Blending eyeshadow brush to make the eye liner and eyeshadow transition seamlessly

  • Silicone eyeliner tools, eyeliner brushes, eyeliner stencils, and mascara guards are also fantastic tools for applying under eye eyeliner.

By using the right products, you can create a flawless and professional-looking under-eye eyeliner application on the regular.

Clean Beauty Eyeliner Recommendations

For those seeking natural and non-toxic makeup options, clean beauty or natural eyeliner recommendations are a fantastic way to enjoy guilt-free makeup.

Here are our top picks for clean beauty eyeliner:

e.l.f. No Budge Retractable Eyeliner, ILIA Clean Line Gel Liner, ILIA Clean Line Liquid Liner, RMS Beauty Straight Line Kohl Eyeliner, Antonym Eye Pencil, and Honest Beauty Liquid Liner.

Support clean beauty and feel good about the makeup you wear!


Mastering the art of under-eye eyeliner is completely achievable with practice, the right techniques, tools, and tips.

From understanding the importance and effects of under-eye eyeliner to choosing the perfect product and applying it with precision, this relatable guide has provided you with all the knowledge you need to create stunning under-eye eyeliner looks. Now go out there and rock your look with confidence!


Can you put eyeliner under your eye?

Yes, you can put eyeliner under your eye! Lower lash line eyeliner can create a seductive, dramatic smoky appearance or enhance definition, however, it should be applied carefully and with thinner lines to avoid the impression of dark circles beneath your eyes. You can also apply eyeliner to your waterline to make your lashes appear bolder.

What kind of eyeliner to use under your eyes?

Choose a waterproof, non-transfer eyeliner formula that is designed to stay in place without smudging. The best kind of eyeliner is one that is used with an eye primer, setting products, and well prepped skin!

Does eyeliner under-eye look good?

When applied correctly, eyeliner under-eye can make eyes appear brighter and more defined, helping to create an attractive and awake look. To achieve this effect, use a small amount of eyeliner close to the lashes in softer colors such as browns, neutrals, or greys to make the eyes appear larger.

Why do people put white eyeliner under their eyes?

White eyeliner is a makeup trick to help create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes and give your face a youthful boost. Used on the bottom waterline, white eyeliner helps brighten up the face and open up the eyes for a look that makes the eyes stand out.

How can I prevent my under-eye eyeliner from smudging?

By using an eye primer before applying eyeliner, setting the skin with a setting powder, using a waterproof formula, allowing enough time to dry, and setting with a matching eyeshadow or translucent powder, you can help prevent your under-eye eyeliner from smudging.