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The Basics of Tightlining

Woman applying eyeliner

In case you are unfamiliar with the concept of tightlining, it is the method of eyeliner application that nestles the color right in between the eyelashes.  It gives the eyes a defined look without the makeup being too obvious.  It also makes the lashes appear longer and thicker, again without the obvious makeup look.

The eyeliner is usually applied from underneath the lashes, with either pencil or gel plus a brush.  Keep in mind that the trick to tightlining is to get the eyeliner to the lash line itself, in between the individual eyelashes.  This is not about the waterline, which is a different technique.

For me personally, I have found that the best method is to hold the eye open with one finger from the opposite hand, and then work the flat-tipped brush between the lashes.  I have tried to accomplish this look with a pencil, but have not had much success.  I use a cream eyeliner pot and a flat-top little brush to ‘push’ the color onto my lash line.  When done properly, there will not be that gap of empty flesh-tone between your regular eyeliner and your actual eyeball.  Most people use black or brown, depending on their skin tone, but once you get the technique down, play with something fun.  I find that navy blue makes the whites of my eyes brighter.

Do be careful when you are removing this particular type of eyeliner technique.  It can be more difficult because the product is located deeper than normal eyeliner.  I usually end up removing my eye makeup in the same way, and then using a Q-Tip to clean up the remainder.

If you have contacts or sensitive eyes, please be cautious since the product can more easily move into the eye itself.

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