I was thinking about your question, and realized that the answer depends on what problem you're running into and what look you're trying to achieve. With that in mind, there are several possible answers / techniques for you to consider:
If you're looking for something more subtle or natural, a good pencil will give you the control near the lashline and can be gently smudged/blended to blur any imperfections in the line itself (use a small soft, short-bristled brush).
If you're looking for a lower waterline application and you're issue is smudging or uneven application, consider a waterproof pencil suitable for waterlines, or even a cream liner applied with a flat liner brush (but really, if this is your issue, you may want to research options a little further as I also don't have much luck with waterline applications)
If you're looking for a dramatic, defined look with a bolder line, you may want to stick with cream / gel liners and brushes. These take a little longer to set, so you get that extra time to perfect your line (as noted below by Titan06). Start with a thin line close to the lashes and slowly build it. I prefer to build each eye a little at a time to ensure it's even.
If you are using bolder lines and it's smudging to your upper lids, use a lid primer and let it set before applying your liner. Lightly powder your upper lid immediately after you apply your liner (if you're not wearing eye shadow already) just enough to set the liner and guard against transfer.
If you're trying to achieve a cat eye or winged liner, and you're having trouble getting the wings even, a cream liner and brush provide the most control (in my opinion). I've had mixed luck with the pens as the tips often dry up and sometimes this happens in the middle of an application. I've also found that many pens don't let you "build", which is why I prefer the flexibility of a cream/gel with brush.
If your "wing" is getting lost in your crease, check out tutorials for winged liner on hooded eyes, as a different angle and technique is required.
My vote is still for the cream liner with brush, for overall control, a good variety of looks, and staying power. However some people find the brush harder to control and prefer a pencil or pen. If you do decide to work with a brush, I've found I like the shorter handled ones for the best control, with either flat bristles or a pointed tip. I haven't had much success with the angled bristle brushes (though many people swear by them). You'll have to experiment a bit to see what you like best, and then just practice
Hi, Roses4everyone! I have crepey (wrinkled) eyelids and my eye lining skills are at the novice level. Here's what works best for me:
The best eyeliner I have found for ease of use and staying on is UD 24/7. Instead of trying to draw one continuous line on, I use the dash style of application--apply eyeliner in little dashes. I also usually smudge the liner afterwards.
Cream eye liner is my second choice. Sephora and Smashbox both make good liners. I use an angled brush (not angled bristles, the actual brush is bent). I find cream liner is less hash looking than liquid liner, plus there's some play time in case you make a mistake.
The liquid liner I find easiest to use is MUFE. The tip of the wand is a sponge, which makes it easy to apply. However, as someone else said, liquid liner leaves a bold (thin or thick) line and there is little time if any to correct a mistake.
Re: Eyeliner[ Edited ]
If you use pencil eyeliner, Urban Decay is one of the best in terms of texture--it's soft enough to apply without tugging at the eye. (Many pencils are so hard to use that they hurt when I apply them or they're so hard to apply that they're not worth the trouble.) I usually sharpen my UD pencil right before applying so I get a thinner line. UD pencil sets in about a minute, so I'm quick to smudge out my line a bit. Use a good smudge brush like Billy B brush #9--there are others that are cheaper in price but I found them a bit scratchy.
Regarding liquid liner, this is personal preference, but I find it less user friendly in applying it. Maybe it's because it's liquid and so permanent right away (if that makes sense) whereas a pencil is softer and more forgiving, especially in those first vital seconds. I find liquid liners are more prominent and defined in how they look too, so that if not doing a cat eye or some effect like that, the liquid liner seems to call too much attention to itself. I'm probably not explaining this well at all. Years ago, I used to use Cliniques cake eyeliner in the brown color (you have to add water to your brush) and it worked well for me for years. What I liked about it was that by controlling how wet my brush was, this enabled me to control how thick and dark the liner applied to my lid. There's no control like this with your standard liquid liner. I think Clinique may still sell this cake liner.
Some people apply the liner by starting at the outer line and going inward to about the middle and then applying at the inner line and meeting where you already applied it in the middle. I find starting at inner corner usually works fine for me because that's when my pencil is the most sharpest (having just sharpened it) but if I'm using a more intimidating darker color, I usually start at the outer corner and go towards the middle or sometimes I even start in the middle. I'm not an expert on eyeliner so maybe someone else will describe a better technique. Just don't be afraid. Keep handy a Q-tip moistened with a weak eye makeup remover (a non-oily type that is not for removing longwear type eye makeup), and a good smudging pencil and between the two items, you're covered if you make a mistake.
I agree with nataliebreen that liquid liners are easiest to start with because they are quick to apply and easy to correct. I am no expert to makeup and I find it hard to apply pencil and rigid tip pen kind of eye liners.I like clinique cream eyeliner but for me it needs some concentration and is a little messy to correct a mistake. On the days when I want a quick fix, I use Loreal waterproof liquid eyeliner.It is easiest to apply and correct but staying power is not good.For technique I don't pull the eyelid on any side but raise my brows and chin to get a good angle for application.
So definite;y first thing you want is to determine what type of liner you find easy to apply. There are many knowledgeable and helpful people here. I believe some of them will chime in to give you better tips.
Everyone has a different technique and style of applying eyeliner, as well as a type of eyeliner that they prefer.
If you are just beginning with a liquid or gel liner, I would suggest pulling the outter corner of your eye taut while applying the liner in order to create a straight and crisp line. Once you are comfortable with a shape and look that you like, it will become easier to create the look quickly and without pulling your eye to the side.
I find that for starting out, a liquid liner with a felt tip should be easiest for you to use. I think that Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner is very simple to use, and it has a convenient pen-like packaging.
It is all about trying different types and techniques!