June 4, 2018

Liquid, Pencil, or Gel? What Kind of Eyeliner Should You Use

 

Liquid, Pencil, or Gel? Did you know that you have to factor in your skin type when choosing an eyeliner? That’s right! Picking the best type of eyeliner depends on quite a few factors, much like your foundation or lipstick. To help you make the right choice and up your eyeliner game from here on out, here’s a rundown of the three most common forms of eyeliner (we’re not counting eyeshadow used as eyeliner this time) and their pros and cons.

Liquid Eyeliner

Best for: Sharp Lines, Steady Hands, Normal or Dry Skin

Liquid eyeliner is made for clean, crisp lines so there’s no room for error. If you’re a newbie at makeup or if you know that you can’t hold your hands steady for a few seconds, you might want to choose another kind of eyeliner instead. This kind of liner also stays put once it’s applied — Shu Uemura’s Calligraph:ink liquid eyeliner is formulated to last up to 12 hours, for example — so it’s best used for special, dressier occasions. Sure you could wear liquid eyeliner everyday if you want to, but be prepared double up on your makeup removal regimen, too.

Liquid eyeliner isn’t for the smoky, smudged effect but rather a sharp and polished look. It’s best for those with smooth complexions, or at least those whose skin can be evened out easily with the use of foundation and/or concealer. That’s because liquid eyeliner adds a certain sharpness to your features that can throw imperfections into greater relief. If you need something more forgiving, perhaps a pencil liner is the better choice. Liquid eyeliner also tends to cling better to normal and dry skin; if you have oily skin, applying a setting powder or even a bit of eyeshadow powder can help the liquid to settle better.

Pencil Eyeliner

Best for: Smoky Eyes, Waterline Application, Oily Skin

The pencil eyeliner (also called kohl eyeliner or kohl pencil) has been a mainstay in the makeup industry, and its easy to see why. Kohl liners are easy to apply, even for beginners, and is the best tool to use to achieve the perfect smoky look. You can also smudge this type of eyeliner without removing it completely, creating a softer look that you can’t achieve with a liquid eyeliner. It’s also easier to find various colors of pencil eyeliners and they’re also great for waterline applications for that pop of eye-opening color. Another unbeatable advantage of kohl? They have a much longer shelf-life compared to liquid and gel liners.

If you have oily skin, pencil eyeliners are the best product for you since their formula can soak up some of the excess oil. However, it’s still good to use a bit of powder to set your eyeliner and prevent it from accidental smudges. One downside of kohl is that it doesn’t last as long as liquid or gel liners; you might need a couple of touch-ups throughout the day. However, since they’re so easy to apply (and cheap, too), it’s not as troublesome as you might think. Just make sure that you keep the tips of your kohl liners properly sharpened and you’re good to go.

Gel Eyeliner

Best for: Various Looks, Normal or Oily Skin

Gel eyeliner, despite its name, has a creamy consistency that makes it easy to apply. It is as versatile as you can get when it comes to eyeliners: you can create both a sharp cat-eye or a dramatic smoky look simply by switching the brush that you use to apply it with.  And because you can choose the kind of brush to use (unlike liquid eyeliners that usually come with a built-in applicator), gel eyeliners are quite easy to control and achieve the look you want.

One thing to remember is that you should wait for a few seconds for the gel eyeliner to set before smudging it, so you don’t wipe most of it in one go. It can also dry out your skin rather quickly, which makes it a better fit for normal or oily skin. If you have dry skin, make sure you apply enough moisturizer around the eye area so the gel liner doesn’t flake off over time.

As you can see, there is really much more than meets the eye when it comes to picking an eyeliner. With this guide, we hope that we’ve made your decision a little bit easier to make.

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