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  • Writer's pictureElise Marquam-Jahns

The Easiest Ways to Apply Eyeliner for Older Women

Link to Accompanying YouTube Video:

As we all know, eyeliner application can go very wrong, very quickly and we’ve all been down that road. And as the years roll by, eyeliner application can get a bit trickier for us for many reasons: our eyesight often changes over the years, we may develop hooded eyes, the texture of our eyelids changes or our hands may not be quite as steady as they once were. . . or a combination of the above. But thankfully there are some application tools and techniques that can make the process of eyeliner application a whole lot easier.

Since our lashes get lighter and shorter and become less dense as we get older, it’s more important than ever to highlight our eyes by giving them more definition and dimension. Our lashes can look fuller and thicker with eyeliner and we can also better define the shape of our eyes. So here are some tips that I hope will make eyeliner application easier.

Some Initial Tips to Consider

The first tip is to definitely invest in a magnifying mirror or magnifying makeup eyeglasses. As scary as these products can be, they are definitely essential to ensure that we can really see what we’re doing.

Tip two is for those of us who have issues with shakiness. It can help to sit down, plant our elbows on a firm surface and rest our pinky finger on our cheek. These three things will ensure greater stability as you apply eyeliner which will really help.

Third, apply eye primer over the entire eye area and under the eye as well. The primer will keep all your eye products in place longer—especially if you have oily eyelids or hooded eyes.

Next, choose an eyeliner product that applies easily and glides across the lid so it won’t tug or pull that delicate eye area skin. And since many of us have issues with eyes that water easily, choosing a waterproof eyeliner can also be helpful.

Which Eye Liner Products Are Easiest to Apply?

Next it’s important to think about what type of eyeliner to use. There are so many different options: we can choose creams, gels, pencils, liquid liners or eyeshadow. Whatever is easiest for you to use is best, but I think for most of us pencils or eyeshadows are the easiest products to apply. And if we’re using a pencil that needs to be sharpened, we want to make sure it’s sharpened before we begin our application. (And by the way, here’s a quick tip—to help ensure that the pencil doesn’t break off as you sharpen it, try putting it in the refrigerator before you start your makeup routine.) In the video I’ll demonstrate using an automatic pencil eyeliner on one eye and eyeshadow on the other eye.

Two Techniques Using Eyeliner Pencils

On the eye where I’m using an automatic pencil, I’m going to demonstrate two different techniques. Now it’s certainly not necessary to use both of these techniques, but you certainly can. The first technique is to tightline. This technique involves applying eye liner under the lash line in the water line of the eye. Tightlining is especially helpful if we have hooded eyes since often we don’t have a lot of space on our lids to apply eyeliner. Tightlining can also help our eyeliner look a bit softer and less intense. I certainly know that tightlining can be a bit intimidating and it’s certainly not for all of us, but once we practice it a bit and get used to doing it, it does become far easier.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

So here’s a technique to tightline: first gently place one finger in the center of the eyelid and gently pull up. Then take your waterproof eyeliner and apply it under the lashes as close to the lashes as possible. Then hold the eye open for a few seconds so there’s less chance that the eyeliner will transfer down to the lower lid. But if it does transfer, just take a Q-tip and gently remove it. If you have very sensitive eyes like I do, you may not be able to tightline with every eyeliner. The only eyeliner I’ve found that I can use to tightline that doesn’t irritate my eyes is eyeliner from the brand Tarte. In the video I’m using Tarte’s Quicksticks * which have cream eyeshadow on one end and eyeliner on the other end.

But if you’re not comfortable with tightlining or you want to tightline and apply eyeliner above your lash line, here are some tips for applying eyeliner above the lash line. First gently pull the eye slightly taut so any texture we have in our eyelid area doesn’t cause an uneven application. Then apply the eyeliner as close as possible to the base of the lashes—or even between the lashes. One tip that can be helpful is to just apply dots or small dashes and then connect the dots and dashes by using a smudging tool, a small brush or a Q-tip.

Try Some Different Tools To Make the Application Easier

It’s also important to know that different tools can make applying eyeliner along the upper lash line easier. For instance, we can take a small angled brush and then rub it against the eyeliner pencil several times to pick up the eyeliner pigment. And then we can use the brush—which is far more forgiving than an eyeliner pencil—to actually apply the eyeliner. Then, if you like, you can smudge out the line with the brush, a smudger or a Q-tip.

And if you’re still not totally happy with how the eyeliner looks, here’s one more thing we can do which works wonderfully: go over the eyeliner color with eyeshadow to smudge it out a bit further. The eyeshadow works wonders to cover up any mistakes.

Tips for Using Eyeshadow as Eye Liner

On the other eye, I’m going to just use eyeshadow as my eyeliner and use my small angled brush to apply it. Now I have one caveat with this technique: not all eyeshadows will work effectively as eyeliner since some will disappear quite quickly. So it’s important to experiment with a few different eyeshadows to see which ones will be long lasting. If you have really oily eyelids or hooded eyes, you may also want to take a very small amount of translucent eyeshadow or powder on a brush and apply it very lightly over the eyeliner so it will stay in place longer.

And there are two products that can be used to turn any eyeshadow into waterproof eyeliner: Makeup Forever’s Aqua Seal * or Inglot’s Duraline. You simply put a drop of Aqua Seal on the back of the hand, pick up some eyeshadow on a brush and then dip the brush into just a tiny bit of the Aqua Seal and apply to the eyelid. You’ve now turned your eyeshadow into waterproof eyeliner. But, you do have to wash out the brush that’s been used right away or it will stiffen and be unusable.

How to Fix a Mistake

Usually it’s possible to easily clean up any mistake by dipping a pointed Q-tip into some makeup remover. Or, it’s possible to purchase an actual makeup remover pen.

*Indicates affiliate link. There is no additional cost to you if you use this link. If you do choose to use this link, I thank you for your support of Boomer and Beyond Beauty.

Are you using a different type of eyeliner now than the type of eyeliner you used when you were younger? If so, what product do you find easiest to use now? What application technique do you find to be the easiest for you? Do you have a favorite eyeliner product? If so, please share.

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