How to wear colored eyeliner without looking like a 12-year-old

If I had to pick just one beauty trend to wear this season, it would be the brightly hued eyeliners that are popping up everywhere. They look so pretty and flattering, while making makeup super-simple – just a flick of the pencil and you are ready to go! However, this is also one trend that seems to scare women the most because it’s easy for colored eyeliner to go the route of a 12-year-old playing with her mother’s makeup. So, how do you walk the thin line between cool and kiddish? Read on.

colored-eyeliner1. Don’t just pick a favorite color

Like clothes and lipstick, the color you adore might not be the best option for your peepers. To make colored eyeliner work, you NEED to pick one that compliments (not matches) your eye color. Remember that opposites attract: brown eyes look best with richer, more saturated colours like purple, lavender, pink, turquoise, blue, gold and copper; blue eyes are incredible when paired with bronze, orange or rust; green eyes look wonderful with purple, gold or a dark turquoise; and hazel eyes really stand out in green or purple.

2. Choose your formula

The texture matters. A LOT. Pencil liners give maximum control, making them excellent for novices or those who don’t have the steadiest of hands. If you want to rim the inner lashlines, use a firm, traditional pencil. For a smudgy look, choose kohl, which is more malleable. Liquids give the thickest, most dramatic line – those with a brush deposit the most pigment but require a steady hand; pen versions dry faster but are less saturated. Gels produce an even line and glide on more smoothly than liquids.

3. Get close to the lash line

Colored eyeliner really works best when it hugs your lash line, without any skin peeping through in between. For the cleanest effect, work your way from the top innermost area to the outer corner. Then do the bottom line, starting from the outside and working your way inward. Move the liner rather than you head.

4. Go graphic

Another way to distinguish yourself from that fun-loving-yet-clueless 12-year-old? Opt for graphic lines. The simplest way to do this is with a thin line of pencil along your upper lashes (you can tick it up at the edges, but don’t wing it out). For a strong, nighttime look, trace your upper and lower lids with the liner, extending it outwards in a triangular shape. If you are feeling more daring, trace a colored line in the crease of your eyes.

colored-eyeliner5. Make colored eyeliner the focus

Colored eyeliner is the beauty equivalent of a little red dress – meant to be seen, not overshadowed. And certainly not treated as “part” of an outfit. Frankly, the main reason colored eye makeup often ends up looking tacky is that it’s paired with super-bright lips, OTT eye shadow and teased hair. Want to keep it chic and cheerful? Stick to loose waves or a high ponytail and natural makeup (soft pinks, peaches and roses work best). If you use an eye shadow, make sure it’s neutral. In fact, makeup pros recommend ditching mascara for a clean, fresh take on the trend.

6. Go dark!

On a day when I want to go bright yet not so dramatic, this is the best bet: first, line your eyes with a soft black pencil. Then trace the colored eyeliner (jewel tones work best here) right on top of the black, lightly smudging them together. What you get is a deeper, richer shade that’s almost – but not totally – black. It gives just the right pop of color without screaming out loud.

colored-eyeliner-3

Have you ever rocked colorful eyeliner? What is your best tip for dramatic eyes?

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