To all my female readers, I have a confession to make….I’ve been keeping a secret from you….for quite some time. In fact, I’ve been keeping a few. But for today, I’m spilling the beans about just one of them. I know, I know, I’m a tease. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this for awhile, but well, life got in the way. I know some of you probably know about what I’m about to tell you, so apologies to the already initiated. To the others who aren’t on this band wagon – then welcome! You know when you’re flicking through a magazine, or are watching the television and see an actress or model claiming they’re not wearing a scrap of makeup? Well, nine times out of ten, they are. And the secret and the one I’ve been keeping from you? They’ve tightlined their eyes. To the uninitiated you’re probably wondering, “what the heck is tightlining when it’s at home?” Tightlining, or invisible eyeliner, for those who aren’t familiar, is where you apply eyeliner directly to your lash line – more specifically the underside of your top lash line. This technique works for everybody; young, old, round eyes, almond eyes, pale skin, dark skin. If you’ve got a pair of peepers, I promise you this make-up technique will make your eyes look brighter, bigger and more awake – who wouldn’t want that? Once you’ve mastered the technique (it is a bit fiddly in the beginning, but it’s worth persevering) in a couple of minutes or less, you’ll have beautifully defined eyes and lashes that look longer and fuller.
I first tried tightlining about 10 years ago and was immediately hooked. It is a natural, enhancing effect that is very hard to reason against. My product of choice, being a Laura Mercier addict, for achieving this look, is of course Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner. Tightlining can be achieved with various eyeliner products: gels, liquids and pencils (although for me, pencils might be a bit too harsh for this area of the eye and not as long-lasting). The Laura Mercier one is my favourite owing to its staying powder. It comes in the form of a pressed powder, but is applied wet. I use a flat eyeliner brush to apply this miracle product. I dip the brush into clean water and then swirl it around the cake liner, creating a creamy type consistency.
The technique of applying eyeliner to your inner lash line, is actually quite simple. Although saying that, for some inexplicable reason it took me FOREVER to master it. Now thankfully I’m a dab hand at it, and can tightline my eyes in about 30 seconds (I timed myself for this post).
Here’s how to tightline:
- With one hand, gently lift your top eyelid so you can see where the lashes meet the eyelid.
- With your other hand, wiggle the brush (pen or pencil) back and forth between the lashes and the eyelid, really working the product into your lash line. What you’re trying to do here is fill the spaces between your individual lashes.
Easy peasy, right?
As well as the LM one, there’s many others on the market at various price points. Below is a list of a few others that I’ve come across. I can’t confirm or deny how good they are though, as I haven’t tried them – sorry! If you happen to use one of the below, or end up buying one, please pop a comment below letting me know what you think of it.
- Maybeline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
- Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner
- Revlon Colorstay Creme Gel Eyeliner
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Gel Eyeliner
- Clinique Brush-on Cream Liner
- Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner
- Seventeen Smoulder Gel Eyeliner
- Nars Eye Paint
- MAC Creme Liner
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
- Illamasqua Eyeliner Cake
- Suqqu Creamy Eyeliner
- Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeliner
- Bare Minerals Liner Shadow
- Trish McEvoy Eye Definer / Eye Liner
For the novice or if you’re struggling to get the hang of things, then give Clarins’s 3-Dot Liner Pen a whirl. The three little prongs can be pushed into the roots of the lashes, so you don’t even need the ability to draw a continuous line – just a series of tiny dots.
Domestic Princess tips
- Probably goes without saying, but make sure your hands and brush are clean before starting.
- There is another method for tightlining that involves placing a mirror lying flat in front of you and looking down at it with your eyeballs while keeping your head up. In the beginning, this approach really helped me, however, I can now just pull my eyelids up and do it straight-on in front of the mirror.
- If you use a pencil try to use one that is waterproof to avoid smearing.
I consider tightlining to be somewhat of a miracle technique, as for a tiny amount of effort you end up with a tremendous difference in your look, one that can either be more on the au naturel side of things, or can be added to, to create a more dramatic look.
I’m curious, have you tried tightlining your eyes, or are you a novice?
With much love
The Domestic Princess