Magic Eye (liner)

Written by Linda Tawil, president and creative director of Morphe LLC

A little eyeliner can go a long way. From the eye-opening impact to the numerous application techniques, there is no shortage of ways to create captivating eyeliner looks for clients. But, understandably, eyeliner can be a bit overwhelming. Where to begin? What looks best on each client’s eye shape? Here are a few guidelines.


When eyeliner is applied just right, it can help correct and complement the eye shape. For downturned eyes, line the eyes starting from the inner corner, working towards the outer corner. Begin to wing the eyeliner before reaching outer corner. The line from the inner corner to the center should be very thin, building thickness from the center to the outer corner. The direction of the winged line should point to where the outer edge of the bottom eyelash line meets the end of the eyebrow.

For close-set eyes, begin at the center, follow through working towards the outer corner. Following the natural shape, extend the eyeliner past the edge of the eye. Repeat this on the bottom, bringing the top and bottom lines together at the outer corner. Finish by adding a light, shimmering shadow to the inside corners. Remember to always apply eyeliner with clients’ eyes open. If they are closed, the shape could point downward.

If the client has wide-set eyes, start at the inner corner of their eyes following their eyelash line to the outer corner. Next, build the line thickness around the center of their eye. On the bottom, line from the inner corner, stopping just shy of the iris. Always keep color on the inner corner of the eye. Avoid bold colors above the crease on the outer corners.

Many eyeliner techniques complement the almond-shaped eye. Try lining the upper eyelash line from the inner to the outer corner. Repeat on the bottom eyelash line from the center of the eye to the outer corner. If using a pencil, smudge the eyeliner to soften and blend it into the eye and crease color. Go bold by lining the waterline with a waterproof pencil.


Eyeliners come in many forms, so which is right for each client? A pencil is softer and more forgiving, plus it is easier to smudge if the line is not perfect. Gel or liquid is easy to control and great for bold, clean lines. Go for cream-based eyeliner if the client wants buildable, creamy coverage.

Doing a quick makeover? Create small dots or dashes along the eyelash line from inner to outer corner, then connect the dots. Want to angle things up a bit? Place a piece of scotch tape at the bottom of the eyelash line, angling it up towards the eyebrow. Trace the tape with the eyeliner. Then remove the tape and perfect the shape with a few more layers.

What trends might be in the forecast for clients? For Spring 2018, don’t be surprised to see people playing with graphic liner, which is worn high on the upper eyelid. So, grab that eyeliner and show clients what works best for them.

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