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This season’s bold eye looks are all about the liner. From winged to smudged, we love how the trend is both fierce and fun, and a super easy way to add a jolt of color with no professional makeup skills required.
“My no-fail, go-to favorite is carbon black for a universal shade that flatters all eyes and works well for any occasion,” says Laura Geller, founder of Laura Geller Beauty. Also, “eyeliner is the easiest way to experiment with color.”
While black may work for everyone, there’s a hue and method that will make your unique eyes pop best. Click through to find the perfect shade and application technique for your eye color and shape, along with our picks for fall’s best new bevy of liner choices. Now, let’s play!
Eye Color: Brown
“Teal and dark green is dazzling on brown eyes—it brightens them!” says Geller. Indeed, cool blues and greens are complementary on the color wheel to browns, which makes color pop. Try Paul & Joe’s Las Palmas duo, which pairs teal and dark green options in a heavenly match for brown-eyed girls.
Eye Color: Amber
“Not only does stunning gold look softer on amber eyes than black eyeliner, it also makes the flecks sparkle,” says Geller. We’re loving the brilliant Goldmine from Urban Decay’s 24/7 eye pencil collection, which is chock-full of playful shades.
Eye Color: Blue
“A beautiful copper brings out blue eyes and makes them pop!” says Geller. That handy color wheel again—complementary colors bounce off each other. E.L.F. offers a decadent copper in a water-resistant cream that comes with a mini slanted eyeliner brush for just $3. Amazing.
Eye Color: Gray
“Navy eyeliner is always a winner for gray eyes—it makes them look more steely silver,” says Geller. Hard Candy’s aptly named Stroke of Gorgeous Marker saturates a felt tip in high-payoff pigment that’s infused with a vitamin growth serum that nurtures lashes.
Eye Color: Green
“Green eyes look amazing in purple and plum eyeliners—it makes them look emerald,” says Geller. The longtime dependable drugstore eyeliner Wet n Wild comes through with a vivid version of amethyst.
Eye Color: Hazel
“Adding a bronze pencil to the inside lower rim of the eye will make hazel eyes look more golden,” says Ahnert. Known for its eyelash curler and tools, Japonesque launches eyeliners this month, including a bronze hue that’s perfect for hazel eyes.
Eye Shape: Round
“Accentuate the outer edges of your lash line to make your eyes appear longer,” instructs Geller. Apply liquid liner on the upper lash line beginning from a quarter away from the inner eye corner. Then, line towards the outside using a thin to moderate line close to the base, adds Geller, who just launched her own liquid liner range that features classic, fine point and slanted marker tips for more precision and control.
Eye Shape: Almond
“Almond-shaped eyes are made for winged eyeliner—your eyes will take center stage!” says Geller. Apply a thick line along the upper lash line, continuing straight when you reach the outside, and draw a “flick” up towards your temple. We’re loving the daring flashes of color in Lancôme’s new Artliner range that promises vibrant wear for a full 24 hours.
Eye Shape: Small/Narrow
“Keep the line thin throughout, which is best achieved by using an eyeliner brush for precision,” says New York makeup artist Kimara Ahnert. Apply a slender line to the top lashline, as well as to the outer half of the bottom eye rim to gently frame smaller eyes without overwhelming. Ahnert’s brush is tapered to fit against the lashline, with bristles that work with cream, powder and liquid product.
Eye Shape: Close-Set
For eyes that sit closely together, it’s all about adding color to the outer half of the lid. “Starting from just slightly past the center of your pupil, draw a line that gets wider as it goes outwards,” says Ahnert. Tarte’s amazing array of 12 liners in a chic travel roll includes shades ranging from jungle green to antique gold, and comes with a sharpener.
Eye Shape: Wide-Set
Wide-set eyes can carry color with flair. “Use a soft pencil or crayon to apply eyeliner to the top and bottom. Liner can be on the thicker side for more drama,” says Ahnert. Avoid extending the line past the outer corner to keep eyes more balanced. Clé de Peau’s Wintry Pencil Bouquet features three soft eyeliners that blend with ease, as well as two beautiful lip pencils.
Eye Shape: Hooded
“Liquid liner works great for hooded eyes, and it won’t smudge like other eyeliners tend to,” says makeup artist Marni Burton, referring to the annoying half-moon pencil liners can make when the lid touches itself. Tilt your head slightly backwards to get an easier angle while looking in the mirror, she adds, and fully line the top lashline. Sephora’s new Smart Liner makes tracing a cinch with an ergonomic design that works for both righties and lefties.
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