Makeup 101- Tightlining

Tightlining is the easiest way to improve your makeup game. It’s the step I see skipped most often, especially among my blonde and light-brown eyelashed comrades. It’s simple, easy to master, and makes a big impact.

Need proof? Here is a close up of my eyes with no makeup whatsoever.


In the picture below, I’ve tightlined one side and not the other.


If I was doing a minimal makeup look, I’d tightline, curl lashes, add mascara and be done. Natural but polished. You can see the difference. My right eye, even without mascara, looks more defined and the lashes look fuller. If you wanted something even more natural looking, brown gel liner would be great with some brown mascara.

You may be asking “wait, what is tightlining and how do I do it?” Well, here’s a visual (albeit blurry):


Tightlining is lining the inner waterline with eyeliner. My tightliner of choice is Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner in black. Gel liner is my preferred medium, because I can really get it in between the lashes and once it dries, it sets and doesn’t transfer. I’m still on the lookout for an eye pencil that does the same, but after numerous trials, I cannot find one that matches the effectiveness of gel liner. I use the brush that comes with the liner, as I find it works easier than a softer liner brush.

Once I add eyeliner to both sides, you can really see the difference tightlining makes.


My eyelashes are long, but somewhat sparse. There is a lot of exposed skin in between my lashes, so tightlining ensures there won’t be a gap once I apply mascara.


Mascara closes the gaps a bit, but I really really really really work my mascara into the base of my lashes. You can still see skin and the roots of my lashes. (also, note to self, don’t use a brand new tube of mascara when taking photos. Makes lashes look weird)

Here’s a shot of me tightlining the other side…


Normally, I tightline near this stage anyway. Unless I know I’m not wearing eyeliner that day, I always tightline last, right before mascara. That way I know the gaps I need to fill.


I wear my makeup like this most days- black liquid liner, mascara and a bit of shadow for definition. Tightlining is the #1 trick to making this look work. If you do not tightline, get on the train. You won’t be sorry.

Here are the products I use for my eyes:


Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner in Black (with included brush)

Maybelline ‘The Falsies” Volume Express Mascara in Very Black (waterproof, always waterproof for me)

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in ‘Trooper’

In case you are curious, here is a shot of what I used on the rest of my face:


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