By Sheila Arkee
Ask, and you shall receive. That’s my motto ’round these here parts. A long-time reader asked via Twitter if I could explain the difference between different types of eye liners. Between gel liners, pencil, gel pencils, liquid, kohls and all the other options, any kind of confusion is entirely understandable!
For your eye lining convenience, here is an in-depth breakdown of five different types of eye liners: a basic eye liner pencil, liquid liner, kajal pencil, gel liner and gel pencils.
The most basic of all the options, most pencils tend to be a little hard and can drag on your eye. I suggest warming the tip of the liner up by dragging the liner across the back of your hand, which also helps to dull a freshly sharpened pencil tip.
The pros of eye pencils include the fact that they are easily transportable. Also, unless they’re specifically marked as being waterproof, they are easily smudgeable, which is nice if you don’t like a definied eye look.
Just take a pencil brush and smudge away.
And voila, another eye look.
Check out this past Breaking Down Beauty for more detail on applying pencil liner.
Kajal pencils are the softer, kinder version of eye pencils. The big difference is that they have a lot more pigmentation than a traditional pencil, and are a lot smoother and softer.
The one I use and love is by Stila, and is actually so intense, I most often use it with a liner brush.
MAC makes Kohl liners which are a couple steps down in terms of intensity, but have a similar softness that traditional eye pencils lack.
Eye pencils: hard. Kajal/kohl pencils: soft.
As you can see, the Kajal pencil is also very smudgeable.
These pencils are also on the other end of the hard pencil spectrum. Soft, but not too soft, pigmented, and flexible, they won’t drag on your lashline, and can even be used as a lid color!
I happen to adore L’Oreal HIP eyeliners. They are soft, pigmented, wear like iron, and they’re a great option if you’re looking for a liner that is buildable, blendable, and easy to use.
Intense, intense, intense! Liquid liners are darker, more dramatic, and less flexible lining option. Once it’s on, there’s no smudging!
There are many different types of liner applicators, but I prefer brushes like the one in MAC’s liquid liners, which are firm brushes.
Becoming adept at using a liquid liner does take a bit of practice, but once you’ve gotten used to it, you’d be surprised at how easy it is! Check out this past tutorial for a step-by-step on liquid lining.
I have to admit I really love the look of a liquid liner – there’s just something so glam about a winged eye! Once it’s on, it’s on!
Gel liners are great because they combine the best of many worlds. Using a gel liner offers flexibility, and you can really get up close and personal with your lash line.
Gel liners don’t smudge, and stay in place, which is a good thing! With every gel liner, make sure the cap is firmly in place. They can dry out if air is exposed! My favorite gel liners are Stila’s Smudge Pots, and I hear great things about Physician Formula’s gel liners.
One con about gel liners is that you must use a brush to apply the gel liner, and the brush must be cleaned every time. For more information about applying gel liners, look at this past Breaking Down Beauty.
So, there you have it! There are other lining options available, as well, including creme liners and powders. What it all boils down to, I find, is your personal preference.
I love and use many different liners, but can you guess my all-time favorite liner? Do I even have to say it? I am CRAZY about Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Liner in Zero, which I would categorize as gel liners. So pigmented, so soft, so durable, you just can’t say no!
What do you use to line your eyes?