Today is my birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday to me! The "Dirty 30" it is now. Thank goodness for freckles and good skincare, because I never get carded and it feels so nice! haha! But now, on to today's topic!...
I think one of my biggest pet peeves when meeting clients and doing their makeup for the first time is when they tell me they only wear eyeliner on the bottom. Either just in the waterline or in the lashline. Regardless of where on the bottom only you put your eyeliner, I can't tell you how much this bugs the crap out of me.
Why? Even though I'm a firm believer in the whole makeup philosophy that there are no hard and fast "rules" to makeup, and that everyone has the right to their own opinions and preferences on how it should be worn on their own face, I do still wholeheartedly believe there are general guidelines on what is and is not flattering. Eyeliner on the bottom only is one of those that falls in the "not" flattering category in my mind.
Using eyeliner on your bottom lashline only can make you look tired. Dark colors make that area recede, and lining that part of your eye only will cause you to appear as if you have shadows under your eyes- especially if you are outside during daylight when the light is falling directly from above! It will draw the eye downward and age you as well. (The majority of women I see who wear their eyeliner like this are in their late 40s or older or teenage girls. And since the bulk of my makeup work in the last five years has been for weddings, these women are typically outside mid-afternoon for portraits. So yeah, really unflattering.)
It's all about BALANCE. If you're going to wear eyeliner on the bottom line, you need to wear something on the top line as well. Even if you are just tightlining the top lashline on the underside to add definition and depth to your lashes. The top lashline is thicker and darker naturally with your eyelashes, so it makes sense to emphasize this area of the eye for the most natural open look to the eye.
The top liner line should also be thicker than the bottom line. It makes your eyes appear bigger and more open. I'm a huge fan of the whole cat eye trend, as it draws emphasis on the top lashline and up and away to give the eyes a lifted look. A heavy dark line all around the eye will visually close it and make it appear deeper set into the face and smaller. This is a good trick if you have really large eyes that are set forward in the sockets to balance them with the rest of the features, but for the rest of us it's typically not a great day-to-day look.
If you do want to line your lower lashes, what should you use then? It all depends on the look you're going for. I already mentioned that darker colors will make the eyes appear recessed into the face, but if you're looking for a dramatic or a smokey look, feel free to use a black or dark brown color on your bottom lashes. The thickness of the line will determine how much emphasis you give the bottom lashes. I recommend dotting the liner between the lashes and using a smudger brush to gently blend the color in a diffused line, pulling down every so slightly in the center of the eye for a larger more rounded to the eyes. You can see the technique in this photo I did for a model a few years back. The top lashline is thinner, and more from the underside (tightlined) since she has very large eyes. We wanted a more sultry look, so I chose to soften the bottom line and make it slightly thicker in the center to give it an open look. This gives her eyes more balance while still emphasizing her bottom lashline.
I wanted to show that this technique is useful in some circumstances and not totally bashing those people who do wear their makeup like this. I just recommend you keep it more for evening and at least do SOMETHING on your top lashline to add balance. And make sure that you're always using an eyeliner that it waterproof, or you'll be wiping smudges from your undereyes all day long! I love love love the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. These super creamy pencils glide on really nicely (good name choice guys!) and set to be budgeproof. You have enough time to smudge it and smoke it out though without it looking funky.
Where do you draw your eyeliner? Do you wear it on the top only? The bottom only? Or do you wear some on both lashlines?