Weekly Q&A: How To Pick The Right Eyeliner For Light Skin And Eyes

This week, let us look at Val84‘s question on eyeliners for women with lighter skin and eyes.

Question:“Hey Phyllis, I have blonde hair with fair skin and blue/green eyes and I am having trouble finding a color to line under my eyes. Black and brown eyeliners often drag my eyes down, making them look smaller and tired. I have tried everything but nothing works. Any suggestions?”

Answer:- Unless you are going for a rock chick look à la Avril Lavigne, black can be a bit too harsh against lighter skin. Some great alternatives are gunmetal/charcoal gray like MAC Knight Divine Eyeshadow, midnight blue, plum (this will make green eyes pop) or even olive. Brown would work too but you need to pick a honey shade with golden undertones and stay away from coppers or anything with red undertones.

You can also use a liner with a metallic finish/sparkles to keep the line from looking flat and to make your eyes pop. Rimmel London‘s new Underground line has a great collection of metallic pencil liners that will glide on easily without breaking the bank. Swatches here.

If all else fails, try considering defining the lower lash line by skipping eyeliner and using a mascara on your bottom lashes instead. This will still open up your eyes minus the harshness of an actual line. Just make sure you use a mascara that is water-proof to prevent smudges.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. Dear Phyllis
    I read from your blog about eyeliner reviews and decided to try Barry M liquid eyeliner in black. One thing that this liquid eyeliner is bothering me is that it seems to sting my eyes. do you get this stingy feeling too when you apply ? what is the cause of it ? and will this make my eyes age faster ?

  2. Aww I’m sorry to hear that! I personally did not experience any problems with the Barry M Liquid Liner, neither did my sister (she uses this too).

    If you experience a burning sensation, you might be allergic to some of the ingredients in it. I would suggest you to stop using it immediately.

    p.s. No it won’t make your eyes age faster but it might cause irritations on your skin.

  3. Thank you so much Phyllis, I really think this will work for me. I love your blog! It has both professionalism and PERSONALITY which is hard to find on other beauty blogs :)

  4. if you want to look your eye bigger,put the eyeliner from the top of your upper eyelashes and from down of your bottom eyelashes,don’t put eyeliner inside your eyes,otherwise it’ll look small..but first apply silver eye-shadow on your eyes then the eyeliner and try to make it thin… it’ll look hot.

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