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Best Eyeliner for Tightlining Guide: Which Eyeliner Is Our Top Pick?

Have you ever wished that your eyes were larger, whiter, and more distinguished? Join the group. When it comes to making our eyes pop, eyeliner is our go-to move, and there are so many various methods to apply it depending on your skill level, eye shape and desired eye makeup effect.

For those seductive cat-eye moments, there’s the dramatic winged tip, the smeared gel eyeliner approach for grungy makeup looks, and last but not least, the classic tightline for days when just a touch of delicate “invisible eyeliner” is in order.

Today, we are going to focus on tightlining your eyes. We will explain how to tightline your eyes, the best types of eyeliner to use, and a few risks that come with this particular technique. Let’s get to it!

What Is Tightlining?

Tightlining, often known as “invisible eyeliner,” is a wonderful technique to give your eyes more definition. If you don’t have naturally thick, full lashes, you’ll need to learn this easy method. Tightlining is utilized to make your eyelashes appear thicker and fuller in addition to making your eyes appear bigger (I told you there was hope!).

To give the illusion of longer lashes without mascara, line the inside of your lash line and between the roots of your lashes to obtain a tightlined effect. This method may be applied to all skin tones, by all levels of beauty aficionados, and for any occasion.

How To Tightline Your Eyes 

The first step is to use freshly cleaned hands to identify your top waterline (standing in front of a mirror in a well-lit area helps). Gently raise one eyelash until the spaces between each eyelash on your top lash line are visible from underneath–this is where you’ll apply your eyeliner.

With one hand, carefully sweep your eyeliner across the lash line, from the outer corner to the inner corner, until the lash line is completely filled in. 

There isn’t much yanking or pulling necessary here. Instead of creating a single fluid line, dab or softly dot the liner down the lash line for the lightest touch. If you need to wipe up any smudges, we recommend having a Q-tip and some makeup remover available. 

Many individuals stop at the upper lash line, but you may also line your lower lash line for a more dramatic tightline appearance. To disclose the gaps between each of your bottom lashes, simply draw your lower lashes slightly downward. Fill in the gap between the outer corner of your eye and the inner corner with one delicate sweep or many little dabs of eyeliner. 

Once you’ve gotten your perfect tightlined appearance, you’ll want to make sure your hard work doesn’t smear or smudge during the day. Here are some expert methods for keeping your tightline looking perfect for hours.

Tip 1: Curl Your Lashes

Use an eyelash curler just before starting step one of this lesson to keep your lashes perky and erect (so you can better tightline the region beneath them). This will assist to separate each lash and give the final effect even more definition. Some individuals even apply mascara to their lashes before applying their tightline so that they can see exactly what blank spots need to be filled up with eyeliner for a flawless tightline. 

Tip 2: Set Your Eyeliner With Eyeshadow 

If your eyes are prone to watering, consider layering an eyeshadow in the same color as the gel eyeliner. The liner will be adjusted for extra-long wear protection after this. 

Tip 3: Go Easy 

Avoid placing eyeliner where you would typically place it while tightlining your eyes. This double-lined appearance is usually excessive and untidy. 

Tip 4: Keep Your Pencil Clean 

Before applying tightline eyeliner, make sure your eyeliner pencil is clean. Because the rims of your eyes are more susceptible to infection than other areas where you apply makeup, it’s very vital to use clean tools there. Sharpen your eyeliner pencil every time you wish to use it to keep it clean. This procedure will remove any bacteria-infested outer layers of the pencil, leaving it clean and sharp for you to use.

Other Eyeliner Techniques to Try 

Tightlining isn’t the only eye makeup trick you can do to elevate your look. We’ve compiled a list of four additional eyeliner methods for you to try out. 

Smudged Liner 

Are you looking for sexy, edgy eyeliner? This is the method for you: smudged eyeliner! This eyeliner method entails intentionally smearing your liner for a smooth, flawlessly undone appearance, as the name indicates.

Winged Eyeliner 

Winged eyeliner is a timeless eyeliner design that’s ideal for a night out. It entails lining your top lash line and producing a “wing” that extends outward from the outer corner of your eye.

Inner Corner Eyeliner 

Looking for a strong look that isn’t too ostentatious? Lining the inner corner of your eye is a good idea. Even better, add a burst of color with a colored eyeliner to liven up your look.

Skinny Liner 

Do you like the notion of tightlining but are hesitant to do it on your upper waterline? We are aware of the situation. If you haven’t yet mastered tightlining, don’t worry: you don’t have to compromise a defined lash appearance.

By lining precisely over your lashes, you may create a kind of invisible eyeliner. Stay as close to your lashes as possible and draw an extremely thin line for a thicker appearance that isn’t noticeable.  The wonderful thing is, you can tightline with any of these other eyeliner techniques to achieve a sexy, mysterious eye look. 

Best Eyeliner For Tightlining 

You may be asking yourself by this point, what’s the best type of eyeliner for tightlining? Don’t worry, we’ve come up with a list of the best types of eyeliners for tightlining. 

Rimmel Scandaleyes-Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner 

Whether you’re sweating, rubbing, weeping, or caught in high humidity, this kohl liner (available in five hues) won’t run – and even if it did, it’s been ophthalmologist tested to be entirely safe for even the most sensitive eyes. This easy-to-use liner features a high-impact color and a smooth, creamy texture that any lid will appreciate. 

Makeup For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil 

This wonderfully smooth eyeliner, which comes in 14 unique hues, falls in between a cream liner and a pencil. You may select from five distinct textural finishes, including iridescent, satiny, diamond, matte, or metallic, for ultra-pigmented color that won’t fade over time.

Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Liner 

A two-in-one liner and texture tool that lets you mix before it sets – and set it will, for hours of vivid color. Our favorite feature of this liner, which comes in traditional hues like black and brown, is the twist-up applicator, which gives you the accuracy of a pencil without the need for sharpening.

BareMinerals Long-Lasting Eyeliner

BareMinerals Long-Lasting Eyeliner

This bareMinerals liner (available in eight hues) hits all the multi-tasking boxes we were looking for in the finest eyeliners for tight lining, including a built-in sharpener and an ergonomically angled smudge tip. They didn’t stop there; they also added a combination of nutrient-rich minerals and vitamin C to their smear-resistant composition. 

CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner 

We don’t all have a professional makeup artist steady hand. This 2 mm beginner-friendly pencil (available in four colors) is the magic you’ve been waiting for those of us who need a little trick under our sleeve.

This brand, in addition to making their goods more accessible to the general public, provides all of the features of higher-end pencils, such as being waterproof, smudge-proof, and having an ultra-pigmented finish. 

Final Verdict 

I love the Clio waterproof eyeliner, the smudge, and waterproof, thinner pencil, and it having ultra pigment for such a cheap price. This pencil is perfect if you’re just starting out with tightlining or if you don’t tightline on a daily basis. Now if you’re a pro and don’t mind spending a little extra for eyeliner, the way to go is Makeup For Ever eye pencil. With the color selection, you can tightline for any type of occasion. 

What To Look For In Your Tightlining Eyeliner 

Eyeliner is often used to line the area just above your lashes. When tight lining, however, you should apply your eyeliner on the inside of the top lash line and between the roots of your lashes. Because of the closeness to your eye, there’s a much higher risk that your liner may leak into your eye and into your bloodstream, so choose your eyeliner carefully. 

Toxic and possibly hazardous chemicals like benzalkonium chloride (BAK), p-Phenylenediamine, and carbon black are avoided in the finest eyeliner for tight lining. Avoid using a liquid liner, since it is very moist for this approach and can easily go into your eyes.

Look for a pencil, cream, or gel liner instead. Although the liner should be water-resistant to avoid smudging or running, it should not be made with primary yellow carnauba wax. You may also search for a kohl eyeliner or one that’s designed to stay put in the moist regions of your eye. 

What Are Some Risks to Tightlining 

Of course, there are also risks when it comes to sensitive areas of the body. This being the eyes, we’ve compiled a list of possible risks one may face if you tightline your eyes. 

  • You can irritate your eye, especially if you wear contacts, by little bits flaking off the pencil. To prevent this from happening, dip the tip of your pencil into a little bit of water, try not to soak the pencil as it will not apply well, this will help for a smoother application. 
  • If you don’t switch out your old, expired eyeliner, you could expose your eyes to bacteria, which can lead to an eye infection. 
  • Another way you can get bacteria in your eye is by not cleaning it before using it. To clean the tip of the pencil, go ahead and sharpen the pencil prior to the appliance. 


Question: Is tightlining bad for eyes? 

Answer: The findings imply that inner-rim lining, also known as tightlining, maybe a terrible choice for those who use contacts or have dry or sensitive eyes, not to mention those who want their makeup to last all day. There have been times where tightlining ends up running if you don’t apply it with the proper product. So if you want your tightline to stay throughout the day, make sure to use a waterproof and smudge-proof liner. 

Question: What is tightlining? 

Answer: Tightlining is an eyeliner technique that involves lining your upper waterline to draw attention to your eyes and give them a broader, wider appearance. You may tighten your eyes and create the illusion of dark, thick lash roots by putting eyeliner directly into the lash line of your top lashes. 

Question: Does tightlining make your eyes appear bigger? 

Answer: Tightlining is utilized to make your eyelashes appear thicker and fuller in addition to making your eyes appear bigger (I told you there was hope!). To give the illusion of longer lashes without mascara, line the inside of your lash line and between the roots of your lashes to obtain a tightlined effect. 

Tightlining Eyes Conclusion

Tightlining your eyes (also known as “invisible eyeliner”) is a fantastic technique to give your eyes some subtle definition. The goal of tightlining is to make your eyelashes appear thicker and fuller, rather than making your eyes appear bigger.

You line the inside of the upper lash line and in between the roots of the lashes instead of the skin above your lashes. Filling in the inside of the lash line, rather than merely using mascara, gives the illusion of longer lashes. This method is simple to perfect and may be utilized for any casual or formal occasion.

If you’re on a budget, the best liner to use to accomplish this technique is the CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof pencil liner. If you’re not on a budget and are willing to spend a little more money on an eyeliner, Makeup For Ever Aqua XL eye pencil is the way to go.

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