by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

How To: Tightline and Give Your Eyes More Definition

Image via @__rodee

So you’ve been watching makeup gurus on Youtube and you thought you’d give tightlining a shot — it sure seems easy enough, not to mention it would make your eyes look more wide-eyed and awake. If you’re not aware of this simple makeup trick, tightlining is lining your upper waterline (the area inside the lash line) with eyeliner, making your eyes look bigger and more defined. And not just with regular old black eyeliner, lining your eyes in white can also make your eyes appear larger. Below, our step-by-step guide to tightlining: how to keep your eyeliner from smudging and the best products to use.

Step 1: Find the right tool.

Choose a waterproof, flake-proof pencil with a finer tip, and avoid oilier-based pencils that are soft and smudgy, your tightline will just end up messy and smokey. An alternative would be felt-tip eyeliners, like Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (SGD34), a cult-favourite with its pigmented and precise micro-tip. Also remember to sharpen your pencil so that there’s less smudging. It also gets rid of any bacteria that might have been leftover on the pencil. Then press the pencil against the back of your hand to round out and slightly blunt the tip before you start applying.

Pick a shade depending on what you’re going for: for a more sensual look, choose black; for a softer one, choose brown. If you’re trying to make your eyes look more awake, choose white or nude (you can also line the bottom rim for this effect), and of course, for a totally fun and unexpected look, choose a neon. 

liquid eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, SGD34
waterline pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil, SGD33
pencil eyeliner
Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra Skinny Gel Eye Crayon, SGD34

Step 2: Prep your waterline.

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to figure out where your lashes meet your lids; you can curl your lashes so you can get a better view. It’s also important to remember that your waterline is a delicate area, so be delicate when you’re applying. After that, you can prep your waterline with a cotton bud before you line it; just roll over your waterline with the Q-tip to ‘dry’ it up and your liner won’t smudge later on.

Step 3: Line.

Holding up your lid with your fingers, use short, swift strokes to draw a line along the upper rim of your eye. If you’re looking for a deep, sensual look, you can line the entire upper waterline. Or if you’re looking to give your natural lashes an added oomph, you can carefully feather the liner in between the lashes.

If you’re using a liquid eyeliner and you’re an overzealous blinker, I would suggest letting your eyes stay open for a few seconds and fan them gently to make sure the line is completely set.

Step 4: Clean up.

Clean up any obvious smudges with a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover (we like Dear Dahlia’s Skin Conditioning Micellar Cleansing Water, SGD50, and Dior’s Hydra Life Micellar Water No Rinse Cleanser, SGD62). Another no-smudging tip for pencil liners: using the side of your finger, gently press and then lift upwards from your waterline, so that you can catch any excess product.

Dior Hydra Life Micellar Water No Rinse Cleanser, SGD62
Dear Dahlia Skin Conditioning Micellar Cleansing Water, SGD50

Step 5: Powder.

Another step to ensure your waterliner doesn’t budge the whole day is to set your liner with powder. Use a flat-tipped eyeliner brush and dab setting powder on top of your liner, sealing it in. Alternatively, you can use eyeshadow to set your liner, too— any shade that complements your liner will work.

Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder, SGD56
setting powder
Anastasia Beverly Hills Loose Setting Powder, SGD60