Eyeliner 101 – Liquid vs. Pencil vs. Fluidline

Off topic: I must address Jess’ leaving. So sad ;( We are still the BEST of friends, but Jess’ personal and work life is catching up to her.. It sucks to lose my partner in blogging, and I know we will all miss her lovely posts on random tid bits and money saving tips, but not to worry! She and I hang out so much that I’m sure you’ll see her pop up in posts left and right! Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Welcome to Part 2 of the 3 part series: Eyeliner 101! This week’s lesson: Liquid vs. Pencil vs. Fluidline! I won’t be recommending particular brands because that was covered in Part I which can be found (HERE).

1. Liquid


Where: I personally do not mess with liquid eyeliner for the bottom lash line. I think that having a line that is too clean and solid down there can make you look weird. Also, because so many liquid eyeliners tend to have a shiny finish, you end up looking a little circus-y. So I recommend using liquid eyeliner for just your eyelids.

When: Liquid eyeliners are great for when you need a strong clean line. I also trust waterproof liquids more than waterproof pencils. If you’re going swimming, this baby isn’t going ANYWHERE.

How: I personally do not care if liquid eyeliners are matte or shiny. But I hate it when they dry out too fast upon application. I need a couple seconds to fix it if I screw it up!! Also, The most common/heated debates about liquid eyeliner is about sponge vs. brush applicators. I personally love sponges because I believe it gives you a more solid, smooth application. However, you do generally have to dip those back into the product; so if you’re just starting out, a brush application may be easier for you. Many of the liquid eyeliner brushes come with the product attached to the applicator, so you can just keep going! Either way, test it out and see which YOU prefer.

(Note: I did see on Kandee Johnson’s YouTube channel that she loves Ink Liner from Makeup Forever because it has a matte finish)

2. Pencil


Where: Top, Bottom, doesn’t really matter! I prefer to use pencil eyeliner when I need to create a smoky or softer look.

When: Pencils are easy to use. You’ve been coloring and drawing since you were 2! No mess, no fuss, it’s the easiest to apply and remove.

How: I like pencil eyeliners with the consistency of a crayon. When I first started out with makeup, I was in like junior high buying nothing but drug store products. I didn’t know Sephora even existed back then. Wait, did it? Anyway, I think the first eyeliner I purchased was a black ‘wet and wild’ eyeliner. I soon learned that those eyeliners are REALLY hard. Hard in the sense that when you apply, it tugs at the skin on your eyelids. I wouldn’t recommend these for your eyes just because it will probably cause wrinkles with long term use. Again, my recommended brands from my last post are all soft crayons. If you have hard eyeliners, try to use those only on the waterline.

3. Fluidline


Where: Wherever, but try to stick to eyelid. Much like liquid eyeliner, fluidline is a tough look to pull off on the bottom. I would say that fluidline is more for the experienced makeup users, just because it requires a separate purchase of a thin brush for application. Once you have a better understanding about how it applies, you can experiment with using it on your lower lash line for a bold/dramatic look.

When: Fluidline has the staying power of liquid eyeliner with the smooth/soft application of a pencil. It usually comes in these nifty little pots that last FOREVER. I love fluidlines, but it can be a hassle. So if your makeup style is more “on-the-go”, I’d stick with the pencil. If you have the time to carefully craft your eyeliner, the fluidline will be loyal to you.

How: I swear by MAC’s fluidline. I’ve tried quite a few other fluidlines and nothing lasts as long or looks as good as MAC. I normally tell people to try it out for themselves, but with fluidline, trust me. It’s MAC or die.


Stay tuned for  the third part of Eyeliner 101: Application! All the tips & tricks of the most popular eyeliner uses and applications!


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