Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Tutorial: How to tightline your eyes

Before we start, I want to explain what tightlining really is. I expect most of you will know, but if you don't then don't feel bad. I only learned about it 6 months ago but since then I've been using this technique a lot.

Tightlining is basically applying eyeliner in a way that is nearly invisible, but makes your lashes look a lot fuller and gives a lot more definition to your eyes!

This is a great technique for if you want to do a 'no make-up' look since it's virtually indetectable when done right, but it's also wonderful for people who don't have a lot of visible eyelid to work with or hooded eyes and want to have the extra definition, but don't want to lose all of their eyelid space to a thick line of eyeliner.

It's also great for people that tend to have a gap of skin showing when they do a winged liner. By tightlining you make sure that there's no gap, which allows for a much better looking dramatic liner.

Above has nothing on the eyes, the below picture is just after curling my lashes and tightlining. Even after curling, my lashes stubbornly point down. Lazy little blighters.

Big difference isn't it? And yet, I've only done my eyebrows and tightlined my eyes. I didn't apply mascara or anything. As you can see, there's still just as much eyelid space left as before!

So, how do I do this thing of magic?

It's not difficult, but you do have to know what to do. You can either take a brown or black gel eyeliner with your preferred brush or a pencil version. Please don't do liquid liner because it will sting like a thousand needles covered in acid. 

 Take your liner of choice and go through the roots of your lashes. I don't mean the upper waterlinebut really where the roots of your lashes are! Although getting a bit in the waterline is pretty much inevitable, so don't worry if a bit goes in there. I say this because a lot of people seem to think that tightlining your lashes is filling in your upper waterline, but all that does is transfer the colour to your under waterline! We don't want that, so let's carefully apply the liner between the roots of the lashes instead.

Slowly go through the roots of your lashes, if it's tricky to see you can lift your eyelid up with your finger so you have better access from below, or you can look straight in the mirror and go between them like that. Whatever works best for you.

As you can see, the result is quite a dramatic change! I got some on the waterline as well, but that's okay, just make sure that most of it is between the roots of the lashes.

Now you can add eyeshadow and mascara! Although it looked quite dramatic at first, when you add mascara the eyeliner will be virtually invisible. Do you see how much eyelid space there is left when I close my eyes? This is why this technique is ideal for people with not much space on their lids or with hooded lids! 

Hopefully this tutorial gave you a good idea about how to tightline your eyes, if you haven't given it a try yet, do! It's made a big change in my make-up routine, so it might do the same for you too. 


  1. Veel bloggers lijken te denken dat eyeliner aanbrengen op de bovenste waterlijn tightlinen is, dus denk dat veel meiden wat aan deze tutorial hebben om te zien hoe het nu eigenlijk "moet". Good job :)

  2. Dankjewel zeg! Toen ik voor het eerst probeerde te tightlinen dacht ik dus inderdaad ook de hele tijd "WTF dit werkt voor geen meter!" Maar toen leerde ik dat dus anders moest, een heel verschil!

  3. Ah, damn, ik doe het al tijdenlang verkeerd, haha! Maar even kijken of het me lukt op de "roots" aan te brengen. Heb zelf ook deep set + hooded eyes, dus niet veel ruimte jammer genoeg!

  4. I use the Milani Infinite liquid line in the color Unlimited (a matte dark brown) with a flat push brush ti tightline. It doesn't sting & wears like IRON. No flaking or waterline transfer as it dries quickly

  5. Haha ik deed het eerst ook altijd gewoon op de waterlijn en ik snapte maar nooit wat iedereen zo geweldig vond aan dat tightlinen aangezien het er bij mij alleen voor zorgde dat ook mijn onderste waterlijn helemaal zwart werd. Hopelijk lukt het! Het is even friemelen maar met een beetje oefenen lukt het zo.

  6. Oh thanks for that recommendation! We don't have Milani where I am, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for it. :D

  7. If you'd like a US trade buddy for brands you can't get in the UK, let me know!

  8. I use the fruit pigmented creamy eye liner from 100 % pure, it's a liquid, but it's made of natural ingredients, so it doesn't sting or irritate my eyes and it lasts surprisingly well, no transfer at all. I wouldn't have bought it, but it was part of a set and now I'm really happy I have it, especially since I was always uncomfortable with the thought of putting the chemicals of gel liner so close to my eye (paranoid, I know) when tightlining.

  9. Wow that's very kind, thank you!

  10. I always thought tightlining was in the waterline... no wonder it never worked for me!

  11. Genius! It looks so good! :D I don't have a gel liner yet, but I really want to try this. Would a powder shadow that's a little wet suffice?

  12. Hm it could work, but the eye shadow could get in your eye and I doubt that would feel very nice haha. You could use a kohl liner instead though, and you can always try it with wet eyeshadow. I know that some people do it without any problem but I have sensitive eyes which will itch horribly when eyeshadow ends up inside it.

  13. Lauren Ankudinoff5 October 2013 at 07:59

    I just wanted to say that this tutorial has helped me a lot :) I've been lining my eyes the old fashioned way with liquids and gels for a while now but I always find it difficult to get it looking right in the morning before work. I never once really looked into tight lining but almost daily, since I've read this tutorial, I crack out my MAC gel liner and tight line my eyes every day and it looks great! It's always much more even and offers great definition without too easily going over the top and having panda-eyes!

    Anywhoo, life story aside, thank you very much for posting this, it's literally changed my daily routine when I didn't think there was really much that could be changed so drastically!

  14. Wow, that's amazing to read, thank you! I'm so happy that such a little thing changed your whole routine for the better.

  15. Hi! Just wondering how you go about removing the eyeliner afterwards? I've always wanted to tightline on a regular basis but haven't figured out how to remove the eyeliner afterwards without accidentally washing it into my eye :'D

  16. Hi there! Removing it can be a bit tricky but with me it usually goes away by the time I remove my mascara with eye make-up remover. If you want to make sure that all of the eyeliner is really gone you could take a cotton bud, soak it in eye make-up remover and run it along the lashline. This should get rid of it all!

  17. Ooh okay, thanks so much for the tip - I'll try this out soon ^^! Have a lovely day~

  18. Nice editorial, thanks!

    Applied a tightline yesterday and people started asking me whether I was wearing fake lashes. The only problem is that my eyelids are very sensitive so I keep having tears in my eyes, which makes it a lot harder to apply the eyeliner... Hope that will go away soon!

  19. did you use a brush or pencil to apply it in this picture? Ive tightlined a lot but ive never had it look as good as yours

  20. I honestly don't remember, but I've used both gel liner and pencil liner for tightlining! I like gel liner a bit more I think, it's less prone to smudging and you can be a bit more precise. It helps if you try to take your time, I've noticed that when I hurry it doesn't turn out as well as when I just take a deep breath and take my time gently applying the eyeliner between the lashes. Hope that helps!

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