Wow. That’s a really big picture of my eyeball, no? Get ready because there’s an even scarier (but useful) one further below. I digress.I’m back with the second installment in the Back to Basics series. I will be exploring the eye area for a couple more posts and then move on to other things. I started with a step-by-step tutorial on defining the eyebrows, which, I think, are the most important feature worth highlighting on the face. Moving slightly down from the eyebrows, we have the eyes. The wonderfully expressive features that always tell the truth about what one is feeling (despite what comes out of one’s mouth). Today, I will focus on tightlining as a way of defining the eyes without requiring much skill or time.
What is Tightlining?
Tightlining is a way of defining the lashline so that it looks thicker. This involves pressing a dark-coloured liner between the base of the lashes and just underneath the lashline. Mascara alone (see “mascara only” photo above) only defines the lashes. It does little to thicken the rim around the eyes. Tightlining is a great companion to mascara. It is a wonderful technique to use for women who don’t have time for–or don’t like wearing–eyeliner above their lashes. Women who have small eyes, and are afraid that traditional eyeliner will close off their eyes, will especially benefit from tightlining. This is also a great step to put into your quick makeup routine if you want to look “awake” but don’t want your eyes to look dramatic. The best part is that it doesn’t require the ability to draw a straight, thin line. Laura Mercier swears by tightlining as part of a flawless makeup routine. See below for a step-by-step.
Above: Illamasqua Cake Liner in “Mislead”, flat eyeliner brush.
How to Tightline:
1. Obvs, that’s my eye without any liner or mascara. To tightline your eyes, you can use a precision-tip eyeliner pencil or cake liner with a small, flat brush. I prefer the latter, as it allows you to let the hairs of the brush push the colour in between your lashes. Cake liner looks like eye shadow, but it’s much more durable. For that reason, I don’t recommend cheating by using an eye shadow. It just won’t last as long. To activate a cake eyeliner, you need a liquid. Water, MAC’s Fix +, Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel or Laura Mercier’s Tightline Activator will all work well. In this tutorial, I just used water to make the brush damp. Once the brush is damp, simply swirl it in the cake to pick up colour. Do not soak the brush in liquid or use liquid eye liner.
2. I told you there was another scary picture of my eyeball coming up! I know the picture looks a little extreme. You don’t have to lift your eyelid that much, but you might want to. Using a magnifying mirror would be great until you feel confident in what you are doing. Take the flat brush and place it underneath your lashline, at the base. Start gently pushing and wiggling the brush into the base of the lashes to deposit colour. Do this until you feel satisfied with the intensity of the colour.
3. Repeat this step (if you choose) at the base of the lashes from the top. This further thickens the lashline without an obvious line.
4. Top off with lash primer (for thicker lashes) and mascara (Benefit “Bad Gal Lash” mascara used in photo). Gently sweep a touch of mascara onto your lower lashes, if you choose. Go easy though, so that you don’t get tarantula eyes.
Voila, easily define eyes!
Let me know if you have any questions, tips or requests :).