Estee Lauder's chief makeup artist, Joyce Lee, shares how she personally uses pencil, liquid and gel liners and how to make each work to your best advantage.

Look into any woman's makeup bag and you'll find that the one thing they all have in common is eyeliner. 

In Estee Lauder chief makeup artist, Joyce Lee's own words, "A good eyeliner is the most important eye makeup tool ever invented." 

Joyce Lee, Estee Lauder Chief Makeup Artist

Eyeliner is the ultimate multi-tasker beauty tool, with its ability to brighten and widen eyes and enhance those peepers. It can be worn on its own to define the eyes and thicken the appearance of lashes, or as a substitute for eyeshadow if your newest Anya Hindmarch handclutch hasn't enough space to store too many things. 

A good eyeliner should not smudge and leave you looking worse for wear, but just in case you're still unsure which is the best to go between the pencil, gel and liquid variety, Joyce is here to help you out. 


For a natural look - pencil eyeliners

Drawing soft lines that don't risk coming out too stark or too clean, pencil eyeliners are the way to go if you're looking for natural shading for your eyes to add a little depth and open them up. The soft texture of pencil liners also make them perfect for creating smoky eye looks because they smudge and blend well. However, Joyce warns of unwanted smearing that will highlight dark circles and draw attention to the fine lines around the eyes.

To counter that, she suggests for one to apply a little eyeshadow over the eyeliner to help set it. "Pencil eyeliners tend to have the shortest wear time unless they have a powder like finish, so applying a matching powder eyeshadow over helps eyeliner last a lot longer," she says.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil, Estee Lauder Captivating Cocoa Eye Palette (available only in Asia)


For high-octave drama -- liquid eyeliner

If bold and fearless are words people describe you with, then an equally bold and fearless eyeliner is what you need. Liquid eyeliners are perfect for creating powerful statement-making strokes so people know you're not a girl easily staggered. Applied well, liquid liners provide clean, precise lines that are unrivalled. However, they also require a lot of practise and a steady hand. 

"Look for liquid liner that comes with a thin, fine-point brush for impressive results. If you make a mistake with liquid liner, wait for it to dry, remove it with a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover, dab eyelids dry and try again," Joyce advises.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner

For rich colours and superb staying power -- gel eyeliner

If you want something more lasting than pencil liners, yet not quite as out there as the effects of liquid liners, gel eyeliners are your perfect match. Gels don't smear even in our humid tropical weather and sit tight even on the oiliest lids, all while looking natural. They allow you to build on the layers as well so you get full control over how dark it looks on you for your preferred outcome. Gel liners also happen to be Joyce's favourite. "It sets quickly and is suitable for all day wear. It is also waterproof and smudge proof and can be used to create various looks, smoky or defined."

"The main complains are that you have to wash the brush applicator after every use to prevent the gel from hardening on the brush hairs. If you don't find it to be a problem, then gel liners are an excellent way to go," offers Joyce.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Gel Eyeliner


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