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Eyeliner comes in various textures

By Al Varela

A reader wants to know: It seems like all the popular magazines show women wearing black eyeliner around their eyes. I like the way it looks but when I try to wear my liner like that, it always looks too heavy and dark. What am I doing wrong?

Since the days of Cleopatra, when eyeliner was first used in the form of kohl, eyeliner has come into and out of style. Today eyeliner is more versatile and comes in several textures and colors, giving women a wide range of creative, fun ways of doing their eyes.

Eyeliners are available in the form of liquid liners, pencil liners and cake eyeshadow powders and are made in a variety of colors. Each of these can be used to achieve different effects. A pencil liner gives the eyes a more subtle definition while a liquid liner results in a harder, defined look. Cake eyeshadow powders are used for a softer, smokier look.

The problem you are experiencing is caused by the use of a liquid eyeliner. Most of the models you see in magazine ads have a look that makeup artists create with a cake eyeshadow powder. This powder gives the illusion of a liner but with a softer result.

The cake eyeshadow powder is more dense than a normal eyeshadow which allows it to be applied in various degrees of thickness depending on the look you want. Some of the cake powders come with a liner brush included. The best brush to use is a small contour eyeliner brush.

Start at the inner eyelash area and apply the powder with short, continuous strokes towards the outer edge of the eye. Increase the thickness of the powder as you go, with the darkest color being at the lash line. After you have finished the top of the eye, repeat the same for the bottom eyelash. Then use a makeup sponge to blend and remove any excess powder.

I prefer to use basic colors of eyeliners to give the eyes definition, and avoid using a color of liner that is the same as a woman's eyes. Black, brown and gray are the colors I use most frequently to define the eye area. I always follow the lash line, both upper and lower, to give a fuller and more defined look to the eye.

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