How to Apply Perfect Eyeliner, Fast!

We tested six cat-eye techniques for ease, effectiveness, and time suck.

Most Popular

Technique No.1: Use a Guide

[inline 6]

The Time Taken: 1 minute, 25 seconds

The End Result: Straight lines, with some practice.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Tools Used: Liner.designer, $16, beautyblender.com; Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen by Urban Decay, $22, sephora.com.

The Takeaway: If you really can't draw eyeliner in a straight line, a guiding tool will be a huge help. But if you're used to drawing wings, a guide might be more hindrance than help. Take your time to figure out the right placement of the guiding tool—basically a little ruler for your face—for best results.

Most Popular

Technique No. 2: Felt-Tip Pen

The Time Taken: 36 seconds

The End Result: Close to the lash line, with a subtle wing.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Tools Used: Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen by Urban Decay, $22, sephora.com.

The Takeaway: A liner that's built like a felt-tip pen is easy to handle and to apply at the lash line. Stay focused, and this could be your one-and-done solution.

Technique No. 3: Gel Pot + Brush

The Time Taken: 59 seconds

The End Result: Subtly smoky.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Tools Used: Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, $26, bobbibrown.com; Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush, $28, bobbibrown.com.

The Takeaway: Bobbi Brown's potted gel eyeliner goes on smoothly with the help of a thin brush. It offers less precision than a liquid liner, which makes it the best choice for a blended smoky-eye effect.

Technique No. 4: Angled-Tip Pen

Most Popular

The Time Taken: 51 seconds.

The End Result: Close to the lash line, with a pronounced wing.

The Tools Used: They're Real! Gel Eyeliner Pen, $24, benefitcosmetics.com.

The Takeaway: Benefit's They're Real! eyeliner hugs the lash line, thanks to a flexible rubber applicator. The angled head makes it a nearly foolproof way to get a good wing, and the formula of the liner is long-wearing, adding up to a real winning product.

Technique No. 5: Fine-Tip Brush

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Time Taken: 1 minute, 21 seconds.

The End Result: A thin line with opportunity to build.

The Tools Used: Line Out Loud Intense Shimmer Liner, $7, palladiobeauty.com.

The Takeaway: Traditional liquid liners (those not shaped like pens) tend to have long, skinny brushes that can get close to the lashline. However, these liners are also trickier when it comes to mastering a wing, since thin brushes can be difficult to control. Quick application will leave you with a thin cat eye, so be prepared to go back in for another layer if you want a more intense look.

Technique No. 6: Stencil

The Time Taken: 1 minute, 43 seconds

The End Result: Clean and sharp.

The Tools Used: Eye Candy Starter Pack, $10, bethbenderbeauty.com; Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, $26, bobbibrown.com; Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush, $28, bobbibrown.com.

The Takeaway: Before you dive into makeup stencils, you must accept that patience is a virtue. It takes some trial and error to apply eyeliner sticker stencils just right, but once you do, messing up is unlikely. Total makeup beginners, this could be your secret to straight lines.

Do you have any eyeliner tips or tricks? Snap me @rebeccadecz!

More from sweet: