Does Eyeliner Go on Before Eyeshadow? (Simple Answer)

Like the age-old question — what came first: The chicken or egg? You probably wonder what to apply first: Your eye shadow or eyeliner. Well, the entire point of applying makeup is expressing your creativity, so this isn’t that big of a question to be concerned with.

People make their own rules when applying makeup. Just like in a skincare routine, you spritz your face with a soothing liquid or apply moisturizer in the end, and it’s really up to you whether you want to color your eyes first or swipe your eyelid with eyeliner.


Quick Answer

We advise applying eye shadow before the eyeliner. You always go in hard and heavy with the eye shadow, smudging the eyeliner and making it hard to achieve a smooth and flawless eye makeup look.

Now that you know why you should apply eyeliner first, let’s take a look at how to apply eyeliner and its different techniques:

Everything You Need to Know About Eyeliners

Eyeliner defines your eyes by highlighting the surrounding area. It allows you to shape your eyes in various ways according to the occasion. For example, if you are going on a date and want your eyes to look sultry and inviting, adding a small wing on end will help you achieve said look. The thickness of the eyeliner can also make your eyes appear smaller, bigger, narrower, or wider.

Eyeliner is available in three forms: pencil, liquid pen, and gel pot. The latter requires a brush for application. Eyeliner is generally available in black color, but you can also find it in brown, turquoise, white, blue, and other colors. Lastly, you can buy eyeliner from supermarkets, local drugstores, and cosmetic stores.

Pencil Eyeliner: This is the most common type of eyeliner, similar to kajal. It is easy to use and is very beginner-friendly. The formula of this eyeliner is creamy, which is why it glides effortlessly on the lash line. Pencil eyeliner is available in two forms: One is like an ordinary pencil that you have to sharpen, and the other is like a lead pencil that you twist to get the eyeliner out.

Liquid Eyeliner: This eyeliner allows you to create a dramatic and bold look. It also gives you precision and well-defined lines with its thin brush. Most women prefer liquid eyeliner because it allows them to create various looks, such as cat eyes, winged, graphic, Egyptian, etc. It can be difficult to master liquid eyeliner because it dries quickly. Even a minute slip can cause the shape to change completely. The good news is that liquid eyeliner is also available in a waterproof formula. You can also smudge to create a smoky look.

Gel Pot Eyeliner: This eyeliner is available in a cute little pot and comes with an angled brush. One of the best things about this eyeliner is that it can also be used as an eye shadow. Gel eyeliners contain wax and are budge-proof and waterproof. The application of this eyeliner is not as precise as liquid eyeliner, but it gives you a safe room to play. Like liquid liners, you need a steady hand to apply this one as well.

Eyeliner Looks

There are dozens of different eyeliner looks according to occasions. Let’s take a look at some of the common ones:

  • Standard Liner: A little smudgy and subtle, giving a flattering look, you can never go wrong with a simple line, minus the drama.
  • Long Line Liner: Elegant, a little dramatic, and like professional calligraphy, the long line always gives your eyes a sexy and subtle look.
  • Winged Liner: The chic look is defined by a wing! Bring on the drama with a thin wing and dive into the 60s with a thick wing.
  • All-Around Liner: This liner style gives you a dangerous edge and makes the boys wonder what love crimes you have committed.
  • Fish-Tail Liner: Part futuristic and part Egyptian, you can easily pull off this design with heavy statement jewelry.
  • Reverse Winged Liner: Simply start from the other corner if you want an exotic look.

Applying Eyeliner

Did you know there’s a correct order to apply makeup? Here are the steps in order:

  1. Primer
  2. Color Corrector
  3. Foundation
  4. Concealer
  5. Blush, Bronzer, and Highlighter
  6. Eye Shadow
  7. Eyeliner and Mascara
  8. Eyebrow Pencil
  9. Lipstick
  10. Lip Gloss
  11. Setting Spray

Before applying any makeup, the first thing you need to do is apply primer. This will allow the eye shadow and eyeliner to last for longer. Once you have primed your eyes and applied foundation, as well as a concealer and eye shadow, you can apply the eyeliner.

Applying eyeliner is just like drawing. Place your pencil or brush above the lash line. Using small strokes, glide it following the curve of your eyelid. When applying on the other eye, try to follow the same movement to give both eyes an identical look. Add wings by simply extending the line and finishing the look.

Which Eyeliner Is Easier to Apply?

If you don’t have steady hands, pencil eyeliner is the best option for you. Moreover, its smudge-proof formula allows you to easily correct your mistakes with a cotton bud, which prevents the eyes from blackening.

Can I Use White Eyeliner?

Yes! If you want to make your eyes appear bigger, brighter, and luminous, the best way to do it is by applying white eyeliner on the waterline. Do not use liquid liner on the waterline as it can irritate. A pencil liner with a creamy and smudge-proof formula will work best here.

Can I Apply Liner on the Bottom Lid?

Where white eyeliner makes your eyes appear bigger, black eyeliner makes you appear older. If the top and bottom lids are lined with black, your eyes will look smaller. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot apply the all-around liner style. Just make sure that the bottom liner line is smaller than the one on top, and you have applied white eyeliner on the waterline.

Should I Choose Eyeliner Color According to the Color of My Eyes?

Yes, the right eyeliner color can help you enhance your eyes. Moreover, some colors complement each other better. For example, if you have brown eyes, they will pop more with gold and amber shades. If you have green eyes, you should go for dark purple colors.


We have settled the debate — The eyeliner comes first, followed by the eye shadow since the eye shadow can conceal your eyeliner and make it appear less sharp.

Remember: If you are new to makeup, start with pencil eyeliner. Prime your eyes, apply foundation and concealer, color your eyes, and finally give your eyes a dramatic look with eyeliner.

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