The aim is simple. Two small lines that make you look effortlessly 60s and French and perhaps like you just breezed in from the airport. So why does it feel like diffusing a bomb?
Don't let the pressure throw you. It can be easy if you know what to do and you can look like a celeb in less than five minutes if you do it right!
Basically, you taper from thin in the inner corner, to thick in the middle, to thin at the wing again. Do that well and you've nailed a classic cat eye.
Read on for tips on how to apply liquid eyeliner.
1. Choose your liner well
Not all liquid eyeliners are created equal – there are pens and wands, thick and thin, waterproof and not so waterproof. Try a few, find your favourite and stock the hell up.
2. Mentally pick the angle of your flick
Before you draw either wing, decide how you want them to look and draw that for both eyes – more symmetrical result than just drawing and trying to match whatever happens on the first eye (but also, accept that you can't ever be 100% symmetrical. No one is. Not even Beyoncé.)
3. If you need to blink, blink.
Pause your drawing and move the pen or wand away from your eye. Blink till your heart is content and avoid making a mess. And for the love of setting spray, keep your wand away from your face if you feel a sneeze coming on.
4. Use little strokes
Drawing a little bit at a time rather than one long line will help with the shape of your line and make it easier to make both sides even and consistent. Once you have drawn the line, go back and smooth out any rough edges (careful, fill in too much and your line will be waaaay too thick).
5. Tidy up your mistakes with a cotton bud
Just like with the rest of your makeup. Even the little dots your liner will create if you look up. Easy.
6. Use the shape of the pen as a stamp
Most liquid eyeliner applicators have a tapered end that you can use to create the flick on the end as well as the taper on the inner corner of your eye. Really helpful to get your liner looking sharp.
7. Be ready to start again if it is unsalvageable
Know when you've gone past the point of no return, take it off and strive again to that perfect point.
8. Use setting spray
There is nothing worse than getting your liner looking bomb.com and then strutting out your front door to light drizzle that makes you look like The Joker.
I find liquid eyeliner application very, very easy. It is my go-to I-need-to-look-polished-with-no-time-and-effort NOW look. I could probably do it without a mirror. But that is because I do it every day. Do it again, and again, and again and you too will be able to wing your eyes in less than a minute. Once you have it down pat, it's like a superpower.
10. Don’t be scared to be a little bit creative
Once you have the basics down you probably have enough of a steady hand to play around with it. Try a thinner line, a smaller wing, a bigger wing or starting your inner corner taper more toward the centre of your eye to make your eyes look rounder.