White eyeliner has always been a daunting beauty product. I mean, hey, even black eyeliner can be intimidating sometimes. There’s a fine line between too little and too much. Different skin tones can work better with different levels of intensity. Basically, there are a lot of ‘rules’ we need to follow if we want to achieve the “perfect” eyeliner look. But, what happens when we stop believing in one version of perfection? Sometimes, it’s just too demanding (and restricting) of a standard. Instead of viewing white eyeliner as a source of intimidation, I suggest we look at it as an opportunity.
White eyeliner offers an array of options: some subtle, some less so. That’s where I come in一 to help you navigate through the options and possibilities of white eyeliner, from basic to experimental and dramatic.
Tightlining is one of the most basic ways to use white pencil liner. Essentially, tightlining is when the liner follows the waterline of the eye so as to limit the appearance of space between the waterline and where the eyeliner is typically applied. Often, tightlining is done with black eyeliner on the upper eyelid only. But the bottom waterline is important, too. Using white eyeliner to tightline here actually serves to brighten the eye, making the eye itself look more open. When your eye looks more open, you look more awake, and the many hours you may have lost to late night guilty pleasure shows (*cough cough The Bachelor*) become less noticeable.
Another approach to tightlining is to use white liner in the corner of your eye, as well. Using white pencil or crayon liner in the corner and softening it by blending it in will amplify the brightening effects of white eyeliner. (If you’re anything like me and you aren’t the best at using brushes to blend your eye products, you can always use the timeless trick of just using your finger to smear it). Using white eyeliner on both your waterline and in the inner corner of your eye works as a dynamic duo that brightens up your eyes and thus amplifies their natural beauty.
You can also apply white eyeliner the same way you would apply black eyeliner. Black liner has become the traditional shade of eyeliner. From a young age, we’re taught to use black eyeliner and to merely follow the shape of our lid as close to the lash line as possible. The wings were our source of experimentation. Now, however, the color is also a source of experimentation. Instead of grabbing your tried-and-true black liquid liner, reach for the white and play with how it looks on you. Using white liner along your lash line is a good way to step into the world of white liner without diving too deep too quickly, seeing as you can still keep to your usual routine, simply swap out the color. The new color will also work to draw attention to your eyes: it’s something fresh, something eye-catching.
White and black are naturally complementary colors一 their contrast is pleasing to the eye. Hence, it makes perfect sense to use white eyeliner and black eyeliner together. This look could be used to ease into white eyeliner, as it still gives comfort through the typical use of black liner. That being said, it is a little more technical, in that the liner would have to be applied twice (and we all know once is already a battle). Using both colors together works to give definition to the eye, while also opening it up. Sometimes, using just black can be too harsh; experimenting with white adds a layer that softens the effects and creates a fresh, creative look to go with any outfit and occasion.
Along with the more conventional ways to wear white eyeliner comes experimental ways to rock the look. White eyeliner is arguably one of the most forgiving eyeliner colors, in that it’s a softer color and compliments every skin tone and eye color, thus offering more leeway without sacrificing the final result. This is something we should all take advantage of. This type of experimentation is subjective, so I urge you to try multiple looks and see what works best for you and your own personality and style. Personally, I’m a fan of subtle experimentation as seen in the pictures above, but that shouldn’t limit you. Don’t let the idea of white eyeliner and the freedom of experimentation intimidate you; try your own hand and see what comes of it. Who knows, maybe you’re Picasso just waiting for your brush!
White eyeliner is also perfect for adding dimension to dramatic eyeshadow. Sometimes black eyeliner can blend too much into the eyeshadow and choosing a complementary color is simply too daunting. That’s where white eyeliner comes in! (You’re shocked, aren’t you?). Pairing white eyeliner with sparkly or colorful eyeshadow is a great way to add dimension to the look itself. The white liner contrasts the shadow in such a way that it actually draws more attention to the shadow, instead of letting the eyeshadow一 and your hard work一 be overlooked due to a lack of dimension. It adds an element of design and intention to the overall look, giving you an edge up in the makeup community and helping to build your confidence with both makeup and yourself.