I think the type of liner your using could easily help or hurt your efforts. Gel and cream liners can be the most challenging. Pencil, although easier, is not really precise and the type you buy really does matter.
For dark rich color and precision, Felt tip liquid liners are the best way to go but do require some practice. It's like drawing with a sharpie! Take some time to perfect this before wearing out to an important event!! The best I've tried are:
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner - They come some fantasic colors and really do stay all day. My favorite color is Alloy (charcoal steel color).
New NARS Eyeliner Stylo
A second option I really like which is pretty much the easiest way to apply liner close to the eye and can be fixed pretty simply is using a damp angle brush and a heavily pigmented shadow or tightliner. My favorites for this:
Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner - You dampen the flat top brush and just wiggle the brush into your lashline. It's more like connect the dots then trying to get a precise line which can be challenging.
Too Faced Matte Palette - The far right column of shadows are so rich and chaulky they are absolutely perfect for lining your eyes. I love to use a pencil brush to create a soft line just where I want it first, then I use an angled liner brush dampened to the shadow then press into the lashline for intensity. The best part of this is you have six other shades perfect for highlight or base shadows to play with. I also love using some of the mid shades as my lower lash line shadow. This is a great method if you have oily lids. A little Urban Decay Alnighter Spray and this stays all day.
It takes A LOT of practice, and like someone else mentioned it really depends on the kind of liner you are using.
Gel liners, pencils are pretty difficult at first.
I love using fine felt tip eye liners they are super easy, and if you mess up its super easy to clean up and doesnt smudge. They also create the perfect fine line, and it's super easy to get close to your lash line without messing up and getting onto the middle of your lid.
I was probably staring @ your question for a few minutes trying to figure out how to describe it... funny coz I do it all the time yet I can't explain it... so after a few minutes of thinking here's my solution... youtube it (LOL!). I searched youtube just to make sure and they have some good tutorials from pros showing proper eyeliner application close to lashlines. Hope that's helpful.
Answered[ Edited ]
I agree with Elea that if you are having trouble with pencilnornliquid/gel liners that eyeshadows are the easiest to apply if you want a thin and precise line. A flat liner brush or an angled brow brush works great and you will be able to createVenice line super close to your lash line. You can get the Mae effect with the other types of liners too, they take a lot more practice! :-)
I second the YouTube suggestion, or have a MUA at Sephora or a counter try to show you how to do it. A flat brush (with gel liner) is the best technique in terms of precision, but they can be really difficult to use. You can also try to tightline with a pencil -- and watching videos will be more helpful than a description, because there are specific ways to tilt the pencil / hold your eyelid.