I first learned about tightlining in 2003 when I visited the Laura Mercier counter in my local department store.  This was a makeup revelation! #blewmymakeupmind  I like an open eye look and rarely ever put liner on my lower rim or lash line because it tends to close up the eye. I have large eyes and like to enhance them, but I also like a natural look. #workwithwhatyougot  Tightlining is wearing liner and looking like your not wearing liner.  The effect is enhanced eyes and a thick lash line. It has been my beauty secret ever since! I’m going to be talking about my favorite products to tightline the eyes with and options for drugstore to department store. #wearenotallmadeofmoney

Now for what tightlining is: putting a liner on the inner rim of your eye, enhancing your lash line and not looking like your wearing any eyeliner on your eye. (I think I just repeated myself, but I’ll say to again to reiterate my point of how great it is.)  So, for the last 13 years I used my Laura Mercier tightline cake eyeliner in bleu marine, but it is pretty high maintenance.  You have to wet your special Laura Mercier flat eyeliner brush and be careful not to get too much water because then your tightliner will bleed into your eye- ick or transfer down to your bottom rim, but it needs to be wet enough to be pigmented to show up on your eye. #learningcurve #itsanartform. This had been reserved for special occasions as I have limited time in the morning. #kidsandwork  Most eye pencils are a little too thick to get up into my inner eye rim without poking myself in the eye. #ouch  I have had pretty good luck with NYX’s “the curve” eyeliner ($15) because you can turn it on its side, but I don’t find regular liquid liner to really stick to that wettish #itsaword part of your inner rim- it tends to wear off, smear, or transfer to the bottom rim. I would also like to note that I wear contacts and, like most people, have sensitive eyes so… I don’t want makeup products getting in my eyes. ENTER: MAYBELLINE EYE STUDIO MASTER PRECISE SKINNY EYELINER ($7) @target, walmart, any drugstore!

It comes in three colors: 210 Defining Black, 220 Sharp Brown, and 230 Refined Charcoal. This little baby has made tightlining so easy that I can do it everyday! You can see how small they made the liner so it can get right up into the bottom of your lashes without poking you in the eye, it’s waterproof, it doesn’t transfer, and it’s super pigmented #whatmorecouldagirlwant It’s also super easy to find because of the hot pink packaging, and you know what I’m talking about if you have a slew of dark colored liners.

How I tightline: Start with clean hands. I do this after I have done my eye makeup but before mascara. I use a mirror on my counter that I can look down into (makes it easier but you don’t have to have this), then I lift my lashes up (the eye that I’m tightlining) with my finger and with the hand I usually do liner with- just run it along the inner rim of my eye close to my lash line, I start from the outside and work in to wear the lashes end (right before my tear duct). My eyes are deep set so pulling my eye up from the eyelid or brow bone does not work for me, but I’m adding this in because it could work for you! #weallhavedifferenteyes You can even put this in your lash line to make it look like you have thick lashes. Then finish off with mascara.  If you’ve got a night out or like a full liner look you can do this and then line above your lash line too. Now remember I only tightline the top, you can do the bottom too but it will close up the eyes, doing the bottom is good though if doing a smokey eye because it completes the smokey look.  It all depends on what look you’re trying to achieve.


{So I can’t claim any ownership to this picture, it was was taken from beautylish’s pinterest page and there was an article to go with it which you can check out here: how to tightline eyes.}

I feel like I don’t hear about people doing this, especially since winged liner is trendy right now, but try it and I promise you will love the way your eyes will look.  I think this is a makeup tip/strategy that people find intimidating or maybe time consuming (although nothing seems more time consuming than winged eyeliner to me #iaintleavintilthewingsareeven). I still recommend all the products I mentioned from the Laura Mercier cake liner which was made for tightlining which you can use with any small brush (doesn’t have to be hers), to the NYX curve because you can lay it on its side, but the easiest and least fuss by far has been the Maybelline skinny eyeliner.


Come check me out on instagram for daily posts on the makeup I wear each day as well pictures from the blog. Come check me out on pinterest for makeup items that I have and like, blog stuff, and pictures of items that I’m lemming- looking at you BeccaxJaclynHill palette!


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Nice post!

I’ve been doing this for 20 years. When I started to play around with make-up, I realised that my eye make-up looked better and better as the hours passed – I figured out quickly that it was because the eyeliner from the waterline ‘rubbed off’ onto the lashline. Since then I’ve always applied eyeliner to my waterline AND my lashline. Although the way I do it is different – I basically squint my eyes and I run the eyeliner between the waterline and the lashline until I’m happy with the colour payoff. This has always worked like a charm for me. So if the ‘regular’ method is too time-consuming for you, try mine – it takes 20 seconds per eye. And if you don’t want the eyeliner on your waterline, I’m sure you can easily remove it with a moist q-tip. 🙂


Thanks Mrs Strawberry Blonde for the additional tip! Do tell…what are your favorite products for doing this?


I just use a regular eyeliner pencil – either black or brown (depending on what I want to do with the rest of my eye make-up). I really like Essence’s eyeliner pencils. They’re super soft (so there’s no eye-poking) and they last all day on me. And they’re £1 only!


Awesome post! I’ve been trying tightlining for long now. I still cannot do it 😅 I hope I’ll learn it soon.


Ill have to try this out, lets hope I dont poke my eyeball out, great article/post on how to.

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