In speaking of lines, the ones that are painted above, beneath and around women’s eyes as cosmetics can be some of the most effective ways to add dramatic beautifying effects to all eye shapes and colors. The “line” between perfect application and circus-worthiness can be blurred, but when crossed, you’ll have moved from runway-best to cartoon hell. This being said, there is certainly a time and a place for wearing a little shadow and some mascara, just as there exists opportunities to do it up more, with expressive eyelining effects that are eye catching without being outright scary.

The Best Dramatic Effects are Typically Minimal Ones
When applying liner to the eye, it’s particularly effective to select one area, concentrating the bolder method of design there, rather than to simply bathe the entire perimeter of both eyes in obvious cosmetic intensity. For instance, you might select a bolder color, but only apply it in one area, such as the popular runway technique of smudging such color around the inside eye rim. Doing so serves to reflect light upwards and into the eye, in a brightening move that speaks, but not like yelling.

Let Your Liner Steal the Show, as the Headliner
Let your dramatic eye lining effect be seen, and not have to compete with any other makeup effects. With your eyeliner being the focal point, you’ll want to downplay your other features. Keep everything else minimal and close to colorless or sheer. You can vamp up the eyebrow a bit, adding a little to extend the outer end.

Hold That Thought
Try to maintain the same eye pose during application, as in opening and closing your eye during the lining process, you will not be able to maintain the same line width and position to the eyelashes and rim. The best position for eye makeup application is to place your mirror on the counter, lying flat, with you hovering over it as you apply your eye makeup. Your eyes are most relaxed in this position, and least likely to twitch or move.

Eye Liners are Not Equal
There is nothing worse than improperly applied eyeliner. You need a steady hand, and a superior product. These are no-fail liners that are worth every penny:

  • Yves Saint Laurent, Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Shocking, $34: Superb precision ultra fine point tip delivers intense black lines with precision that is waterproof and stays put until you decide to take it off.
  • Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner, $16: When you want bold thick lines, this eye marking tool will help you get them, and with perfect symmetry!
  • Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, $55: Each end of this wand opens to reveal a specifically designed nib, with one for micro detail and one for creating more wispy effects.