Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5 Options for over 40 Eyeliner: Worst to Best

There's no shortage of eyeliner types out there. Liquid brush, felt-tip pen, cake pan, powder, gel, pencil. Some work better than others for over-40 eyes. If you don't want to look like Brigitte Bardot--the current version at right, not the one that inspired Guess ad campaigns--read on.
1. Pencil Eyeliner. Skip it. Why? It skips. It tugs. It doesn't go on evenly. It smears easily. It's a glorified crayon and whether you're using a Crayola or Mary Kay's eyelining pencil at left, look what happens: it simply does not go on smoothly--and that's on a smooth surface; think of it on skin that's lost some resilience...

2. Liquid Eyeliner. This includes all forms of liquid: felt-tip pens and brush on's. Liquid eyeliners can be difficult to control. Typically there's excess liquid on the applicator that you need to wipe away before using. Additionally, unless you have super-steady hands or use a "dot" technique, they tend to go on heavily, which is an instant ager for over 40 eyes (refer to Bardot, above). Or, you get that thin, harsh line that looks completely fake. Skip it--there's better. Read on...

3. Gel Eyeliner. A step above pencils or liquid eyeliners. Gel formulas are richer in texture than liquids, but still fluid enough to glide on smoothly without tugs and skips. The problem is that they can get a bit messy and clumpy--you need to keep the applicator clean and only dab a bit of gel on it at a time to avoid a heavy line look. Again, if you're hand is not the most steady, it's easy to smudge while applying. Use a blunt, flat edge brush to apply. Bobbi Brown's line (left) is a cult fave and comes in a wide range of colors.

4. Powder Eyeliner. (aka, powder eyeshadow). Yes, your eyeshadows can be used as eyeliners. The key is to use a flat edge eyeliner brush and dot-dot-dot horizontally along the lash line--you're not attempting to "draw" here, so it's actually easier to put on than you think. Stila eyeshadows work great for this as they're rich in pigment and they go on clean (not a lot of powdery debris all over your cheek). You can also apply wet for a more dramatic evening out kind of look.

5. Cake Eyeliner. Very similar to powder/eyeshadow liner, but it's typically matte and comes with it's own applicator specifically for lining. It's also formulated to go on wet--just wet the applicator and stroke across the pan. Sounds like liquid eyeliner, but the difference is that the pigment is lighter and powder-based--so it doesn't look like you've drawn cat eyes with a Sharpie marker and you get a softer look that works better on over-40 eyes. It also will not skip or tug, and you can apply as lightly or dramatically as you want. Downside: given that it uses water to apply, it's not waterproof. One to try: Fran Wilson (at right).


  1. Nancy, Thank you so much for the nice comment about my blog. I love your blog also. Your blog is so informative. I have been thinking of using eyeliner because by 22 year old looks so good in it. You new article will help me this.

  2. eye liner are of different types they make they beauty of eye more beautiful....

  3. Thanks for your comments! Eyeliner's a great tool, but I see so many women (in my "age category") who lay it on way too thick as if they were still in their clubbing days--and worse, wearing it that way during daylight! It's amazing what a lighter touch with the right formula can do...

  4. To solve this issue is the only way I see it, I don't want a problem just the facts.