Eyeliner is perhaps the most difficult type of makeup to apply correctly. It requires a very steady hand, partially because it is so close to a very delicate organ. Poking oneself in the eye with a pencil is not fun. Eyeliner is also difficult because it's usually a bold, thin line that looks noticeably funny if it is crooked or applied wrong. With a little practice, using eyeliner can make one's eyes appear larger and give them an attractive, dramatic look.
People have different preferences about the order in which they like to apply their makeup. Many like to put eyeliner on before any other type of eye makeup, and this is especially helpful for someone who has a hard time getting eyeliner right. This way, if it doesn't turn out right, it can be washed off without having to remove the eye shadow and mascara as well. The upper lid is usually done before the lower. With a little more experience, the eyeliner can be applied on top of eye shadow if desired, for a different look.
Preparing to apply eyeliner is just as important as actually drawing the lines. This is why some people seem to scrunch their faces up and hold their hands in strange positions when they put makeup on. It helps to steady the drawing hand by resting it on something such as the face, or other hand, or by resting the elbow on a counter or table top. It's difficult to get a smooth line when your hand is just free in their air, because it will shake more. Finding the right position can feel awkward at first, but it gets easier with practice. Most people gently pull on the skin at the outside of their eye to create a smoother surface for applying eyeliner.
Eyeliner is usually done in a single line from the inner part of the eyelid to the outer. Some people like to start in the middle and work outward, then go back to the middle and finish the line drawing inward. For a typical daily look, apply eyeliner right at the lash line where the eyelashes meet the eyelid. Apply it in a thin line. The point is to make the eyes and lashes look fuller, not to have a noticeable, thick solid line across the eyelid. Too much eyeliner can easily make someone appear overdone. A smoky look is better for nighttime or when one wants a more dramatic appearance. This is achieved by applying eyeliner very slightly above the lashes and creating a thicker line. A lot of different techniques can be used to alter the appearance of eyeliner, like smudging.
Using quality makeup and equipment will make it much easier to apply eyeliner correctly. The cheapest brands of makeup are often clumpy and difficult to put on. It isn't necessary to buy most high-end brand at the department store, but spending a few extra dollars can save a lot of frustration. Makeup applicators that are purchased separately also work much better than those that actually come with the makeup. Eyeliner comes in liquid and pencil forms. Liquid gives a darker, more solid and dramatic line. Try both types to discover if one feels easier to apply.