Of all the beauty tips and tricks out there, eyeliner is one of those with the steepest learning curves: People have tried everything from spoons to dental floss to avoid the copious smudging and earbud casualties that your average cat eye involves. ‘Knowing how to properly apply eyeliner will always allow you to create a modern look,’ says celebrity make-up artist Rae Morris, author of Beautiful Eyes: The Ultimate Eye Makeup Guide.

To help us achieve those enviable brush strokes, we asked Rae to share some helpful tips for choosing the right kinds of eyeliners for your eye shape and the best techniques for creating a stiletto flick. See below for her product recommendations and pro tips.

1. PREP WORK  

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‘Eyeliner smudges so easily because the eyelids are the greasiest part of the face,’ explains Morris. Before applying make-up, reduce oily residue with an alcohol-free make-up remover. Then apply a light layer of foundation to even your base, and finish with a dusting of translucent powder over the lid. It will set the colour and absorb oils throughout the day.

MC TIP: Skip – or cut back on – putting eye creams on your lids pre-make-up to avoid slippery textures later.

2. THE TOOL

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L’Oréal Paris Makeup Designer Infallible Eye Gel Crayon, R160

‘Any type of hard line on the face needs to be done perfectly or not at all,’ says Rae. ‘Messy liquid liner makes people look older and harsher.’ If you have rounder eyes, opt for powder and gel liners that will smudge enough to create an almond-shaped contour. Fine pencils and pens are ideal for more elongated or oval-shaped eyes.

MC TIP: Avoid dull or waxy points, and put pencils in the freezer for 30 seconds before sharpening.

L’Oréal Paris Makeup Designer Infallible Eye Gel Crayon, R160

BUY IT: Foschiniforbeauty.co.za

3. THE TECHNIQUE

 

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Resist the urge to pull your lid taut when applying liner. ‘When you let go, the line will look distorted,’ warns Rae. Instead, create your own eyeliner stencil by applying a piece of Sellotape across your partially closed lid (press it on your arm first to make it less sticky). Then fill in the area below it, starting at the outer edges and moving inward.

MC TIP: Keep eyeliner on the top lid three times thicker than liner on the bottom. And for extra staying power, use waterproof gel liners on the bottom lashline.

4. THE TOUCH-UPS

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‘Great make-up requires touch-ups, so be ready to reapply,’ says Morris. When relining, maintain eye contact with the mirror as much as possible. ‘Eighty percent of your eye make-up should be done looking straight into a mirror for the best results,’ she explains.

MC TIP: Dab blotting papers on your lids throughout the day to catch crease build-up without smudging your line.

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