Perhaps some beauty maneuvers are best left to the professionals, but we’re here to tell you that tightlining is not one of them. In case you aren’t familiar, tightlining is a genius trick used to make your eyes look bigger. When done correctly, you’ll look like you didn’t use a bit of eyeliner — but oh, yes you did. The technique involves applying the product super close to your lashes, filling in the spaces between your lashes along the upper and lower waterlines. We admit the sharp-object-near-your-eyeball thing can be a little scary, but thanks to a slew of new products, it’s really easy to pull off. Here are our picks and insider beauty tips for how you can rock the trend.
1. Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Cushion Eyeliner + Serum ($12): The key to filling in the tiny crevices between your lashes is a precise point. This liner boasts an ultra-fine, flat brush that lets you get as close to your roots as possible. Jiggle it in between your lashes to lay down color and create a series of small lines that connect together, looking like one long, thin line, says Derek Selby, makeup artist and global ambassador for Cover FX.
2. Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil ($20): If the thought of applying product to your inner rim makes you freak, this safe-to-use-there formula will reassure you. It glides on smoothly, depositing the waterproof, smudge-free color with ease. And if you accidentally poke your eye? NBD — it’s irritant-free and will wash right out.
3. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea So Fine Micro Liner ($22): Infused with sea-rich minerals, this hydrating pen with an ultra-fine tip soothes your delicate lid skin. To really make your eyes pop, press the thin tip along the upper lashline, getting right in there between the roots. “It instantly makes lashes look thicker,” says Selby.
4. Cover FX Perfect Pencil ($20): The shortcut to getting tightlined eyes to look even bigger? Nude eyeliner. Try this brightening precision point pencil, available in 10 skin-matching tones. Use it directly along the waterline to give eyes a natural-looking boost. Bonus: This multi-tasking pencil goes way beyond eyes. You can use it on brows, skin and lips too.
5. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil ($8): “A gel formula is ideal, because it won’t budge all day,” says Selby. Check out this latest from Maybelline, which has the staying power to last for 16 hours and glides on super smooth. After you’ve applied the product, Selby recommends blending with a cotton swab for a more natural finish.
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