Makeup Tutorial: How To Tightline Your Eyes

July 24, 2006

I have covered tightlining briefly before but here is a more detailed entry with step-by-step pictures so you can really see the difference.

Before and After

What Is Tightlining?
Tightlining is a more advanced lining technique commonly used to make the eyelashes appear fuller. It is usually done along the top lash line where the liner is being “pushed” into the lash line. It is also known as “invisible liner” in Asia.

What You Will Need

* Push Brush with Gel Eyeliner/Cake Liner. My picks are MAC 212 Flat Definer and MAC Fluidline.

* Pencil Eyeliner. A waterproof one is highly recommended to avoid smearing.

* Liquid Eyeliner. I like to use one with a felt-tip applicator like MAC Penultimate Eye Liner.

How To Tightline Your Eyes

Step 1: Gently lift up your eyelid and run a pencil between the roots of your lashes to fill in the tiny gaps between them. Make sure the tip of your pencil is soft enough and be careful not to poke yourself in the eye.

Step 2: Follow with a liquid liner so the line stays on better. You can also just use a liquid liner by itself.

With a gel liner, you dip a flat brush into the product and gently push the liner into the lash line from beneath the lashes.

Use a Q-tip to clean up smudges and make sure there are no spaces between the liner and your lashes.


  • Reply Rate My Makeup July 25, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    That’s a great article, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply wendy July 26, 2006 at 2:34 am

    Omgosh thank you soooo much! ^^
    You’re wonderful! 😀

  • Reply Peggy September 7, 2006 at 11:23 am

    wow! thankyou so much~ the tutorial’s been very very helpful =D
    but i have a small question, is tightlining possible with normal pencil liners? or will gel liners be the best solution since maybe it will smudge? thankyouu xx

  • Reply Anonymous September 13, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    What do you think of eye tatoo?

  • Reply Phyllis September 14, 2006 at 4:35 am

    I personally will not try it. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against it and I have seen people with pretty good results. I just think the idea of drawing a permanent line so close to your eyes is kinda freaky. If you are considering eye tattoo, just make sure you do enough research and go to someone who is experienced.

  • Reply Phyllis September 14, 2006 at 4:47 am

    hi Peggy, you can tightline with pencils, gel liners and even liquid liners – it’s all the same.

  • Reply Anonymous April 19, 2007 at 2:03 am

    Hi, I love this kind of technique but I am afraid it would make my eyes infected or u have the experience that the eyeliner gets into ur eyes when the first time you apply it? Thanks

  • Reply Anonymous April 30, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Great tutorial – After learning to do this from you, tightlining is now my favorite way to line the eyes =)

    Just wondering, what would you recommend to line the lower waterline with? Everything I’ve tried disappears after a short time.

  • Reply Phyllis December 16, 2007 at 11:06 am

    To prevent your eyes from getting infected, you need to make sure you clean your brushes and sharpen your pencils regularly.

    Of course everyone makes mistakes at the beginning – that’s how you learn. Practice is the key. Do not be scared to experiment =)

  • Reply Anonymous January 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    hey awesome tutorial 🙂
    but i was wondering (even for lining the bottom waterline), how would you get it off? wouldn’t it just end up going in your eyes/erasing itself as it goes in your eye? ._.

  • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    love it phyllis ;)~ ditto last comment

  • Reply miss betty August 26, 2008 at 2:09 am

    This is freakin’ genius!!! I love this method, especially if you’re going for the natural look. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    I’ve found that using waterproof eyeliners are more helpful, so they don’t end up smearing into your eyes (and contacts!).

  • Reply Anna January 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Phylis, I only tightline the upper lash line AND the upper water line with Maybellines liquid eyeliner (the regular one not the ultra, it doesn’t even exist in Canada yet!) Anyways, once applied on the water and lash line,it stays on the whole day, it doesn’t disappear anywhere! you should try it 😀

  • Reply Tara January 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I do this all the time and it’s an easy way to make your lashes look fuller and give the eyes a bit of definition. I did this early in the morning before a wedding and it lasted all day. Thanks for spreading the word!

  • Reply Jen January 17, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Thanks, this is a great tutorial! I have the same question as above- what is a good way to take it off? When I use pencil, it’s not a problem, but if I use a gel liner it really stays on, and I’m just not sure what the best way to get it off is? do you put makeup remover on a q-tip?

  • Leave a Reply