Types of Eyeliners | Powder, Pencil, Gel, Liquid

In the past week, I have received a number of enquires from people regarding eyeliners – everything from how to choose the right one, to how to apply it without looking like a panda.  With this in mind, I have put together a guide which will hopefully be of assistance to you.  I have split it into two parts; this post (part 1) deals with the different types of eyeliners and part 2 outlines some of my favourite eyeliner application techniques.


  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Pros: Soft finish / suitable for mature skin /  variety of colours.
  • Cons: Fades the fastest / can smudge and become displaced easily / not water resistant.
  • Caroline’s top tip: Apply your chosen eyeshadow colour using a small angled brush (like a MAC #266).   Dip the brush in water beforehand for a more intense colour.

iStock_000013751378 (XS) Eyeshadow Palette

Soft browns, greys and khakis look great as eyeliners


  • Difficulty level: Easy.
  • Pros: Easy/ versatile (you can do a sharp line or a soft smoky blended line) / variety of colours.
  • Cons: Can fade, smudge and become displaced / not entirely water-resistant (even the waterproof ones).
  • Caroline’s top tip: Sharpen the eyeliner pencil after every use.

iStock_000013767407 (XS) Eyeliner pencil and sharpener


  • Difficulty level: Medium.
  • Pros: Clean, crisp finish / waterproof / doesn’t move or fade.
  • Cons: Practice required / product can dry out quite quickly / expensive (good cream liners can cost €20, with a good brush costing nearly as much).
  • Caroline’s top tip: Coat the bristles of the brush from root to tip with the product and then wipe the excess off on the rim of the gel pot/jar.  This will enable maximum precision on application.

MAC-Fluidline1MAC Fluidline Gel Liner

mac 266MAC #266 Angled Liner Brush


  • Difficulty level: Hard.
    Pros: Clean, crisp finish / great for creating dramatic looks.
  • Cons: Hard to master / unsuitable for mature skin.
  • Caroline’s Top Tip: Instead of using the wand that comes with the liner, use an angled liner brush (example pictured above), which I find is much easier to control.  Make sure that you coat the brush hairs from root to tip for better results.

Benefit Magic InkCaroline’s favourite liquid eyeliner: Benefit Magic Ink

In my next post, I will discuss my favourite eyeliner application techniques.


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