It seems unnatural: Put a pencil in your eye. Now draw. But that's pretty much what lining the waterline, or inside rim of your lower eyelid, entails. And many of us ladies do it because it makes our eyes pop in a glamorous way. But the question remains—is it safe?
That's where there's some debate. Women have been lining their eyes for decades and, just as with any type of cosmetics, some find they have reactions to certain products and some don't. It depends on several factors, like how sensitive your skin is, how careful you are in applying products and how vigilant you are at removing them.
Many dermatologists frown on putting any sort of makeup close to your eye. In lining your waterline, particles of the eyeliner can break away from the skin and enter the eye, potentially causing irritation or an infection. You definitely want to stay away from lining the inner rim of your eye with liquid liner, as it can easily smear into your eye.
But Kat Connelly, celebrity makeup artist for E!, says she's always lined the waterline (using an eyeliner pencil) and, "Personally, I've never met one person that's had a problem with doing it."
How It's Done
Connelly says to put a finger on the opposite side of the eye where you start to line and push down just slightly. Don't pull, or it can wrinkle the eyeliner.
Also, make sure to sharpen your pencil every time you line your waterline for the best results. Try L'Oréal Pencil Perfect Self-Advancing Eyeliner. It's ophthalmologist-tested and good for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Plus, it's smudge-proof, so there's less chance of smearing.
Lining Up Top
To line your upper eyelid, Connelly says, "People are tempted to grab the corner of the eye, but that's not a good idea." Stretching out your eyelid can cause wrinkles in the eyeliner. Instead, suggests Connelly, "Hold a mirror and look down at it. Try not to do one solid line, but rather teeny dots that'll connect into one line, almost like you're drawing onto your eyelash. This won't cause wrinkles."
Beforehand, however, prime your eyelid so that liner and eyeshadow stay put for the whole day/night/party. "I've come to use primers as a staple," says Connelly. Try ULTA Extreme Wear Eyeshadow Primer or Urban Decay Cosmetics Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Follow your primer with a quality eyeliner that will make your eyes stand out like the superstars they are. For maximum selection, pick up the LORAC Eye Candy Eye Pencil Collection. This dazzling array of colors includes four eye pencils in coal, plum, licorice and cocoa.