The Monolid Trilogy. Part 3: Eyeliner & Mascara


In the last installment of our monolid trilogy, we are going to focus on eyeliner. I am not ashamed to admit I am an eyeliner addict. I think it adds a lot to my eyes, and I hope what I have figured out along the way will be helpful to you, too!

In the second part, we went over eyeshadow placement and stopped here:

step 6 highlight

Again, personal preferences play an important role here. I would say gel liners are good bets, as you can use them both on your upper and lower lash line. I don’t tend to use pencil liners on my upper lash line, and not all liquid eyeliners stay put on me. Nowadays many drugstore brands carry good, reliable black gel liners. Why not try one?

I know the general consensus about eyeliner is “slowly building the line up.” While I did my fair share of this, I have also come to realize it might not always be the best way to go. I would say before you figure out how you want to wear your eyeliner, you should experiment. However, once you have an idea, I find it easier to go right ahead. A useful tip? Make sure your brush is properly coated with the product. If there isn’t enough, chances are your line is not going to turn out crisp and clean (and you risk making more mistakes trying to even it out).

eyeliner brushes

Here’s what I do: I coat my Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush with gel liner, and I lay it down horizontally. I have a “crease,” or something that resembles a crease, and I know that’s roughly where I want the line to be. I begin by wedging the tip of the brush into my innermost corners before drawing a line straight across my “crease”:

step 1 draw a line straight across

This is probably the scariest part, but all you need is the courage of your conviction. Once it’s done, the rest is easy as pie! You only have to fill in the gaps on your waterline, between your lashes, and the part between your lash line and this line. Once you’re done, it will look like this:

step 2 fill in the blanks

You can line your lower lash line with a pencil liner if you want, but here I dotted a line with my brush when there isn’t a lot of product on it. If you want to line your lower lash line with a gel or liquid liner, remember to dot instead of really drawing a line. That will most probably turn out looking quite harsh. Do note how I left the part that has been highlighted alone as well (I basically stop where there is no eyelashes). If you line all the way in, you risk closing your eyes instead!

Many have commented on how the line disappears when they open their eyes. Don’t worry, it’s normal! Even though you don’t see the line with your eyes open, you will definitely still notice how much more defined your eyes look with your waterline and lash line filled in. With my eyes, I’ll practically have to cover half of my lid with the liner for it to show with my eyes open! While it’s definitely possible if you’re aiming at more drama, I am not sure how practical it is for everyday life.

step 3 smudge out lower lash line

Take your pencil brush back out, dip it in a darker shadow, and run it along your lower lash line. You can leave everything as it is (this is how my eyes look when I don’t wing my liner out), add some mascara and call it a day! See, it’s not that hard! I would love to show you how I work with my lower waterline as well, but unfortunately I have yet to find an eyeliner that will a) stay more than 20 minutes and b) not irritate my eyes, so we might have to skip that part.

Now, how about a little wing?

You might already know the wing follows the same angle as your lower lash line. This is also why I advise you to get your lower lash line done (lined and smudged) before you begin drawing the wing. It is much easier to see where it should go that way!

step 4 mark the angle

Again, let’s get the scariest part done first! Take your eyeliner brush and draw a line on the edge of your outer corners following the angle of your lower lash line. You can basically do a happy dance after it’s done, because this is the hardest part!

step 5 connect the upper part

Proceed to connecting the upper edge of the line to the mark you just made.

step 5 fill in the blanksFill in the blanks and you’re DONE (this is how my eyes look with winged-out eyeliner)! I know it’s easier said than done, and you will have to spend quite some time practicing. If it’s any consolation, in the beginning I must have spent 20 minutes each time doing my eyeliner! I am pretty clumsy, and I still make mistakes, but there will come a day when winging your eyeliner out ceases to be a humongous task, I promise!

A useful trick for beginners: remember that pencil brush you have? If your line doesn’t turn out as crisp or straight as you want, dip it in some really dark eyeshadow (doesn’t have to be a black. A very dark brown/gray will do) and run it over the eyeliner. It will help mask the imperfection!

step 6 mascara and done

Now give your eyelashes a good curl, put on a couple of coats of mascara (and really, try an eyelash primer. You will be amazed), and you’re done! Most of the time I curl my eyelashes and put the eyelash primer on before I even prime my lids, because I don’t like to get eyeshadow/eyeliner all over my curler (I talked about this here). Just in case you are also a neat freak, give this a try!

This is the end of the monolid trilogy. I hope you have picked up some ideas, and that you have found it helpful! Again, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment/write me an email/tweet me if you have more questions!

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx


  • TracyBeautyReflections

    Great tips Sunny!! You make everything look so easy! :)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Tracy! You really just need a bit of courage of your conviction! I make more mistakes nowadays if I want to slowly build things up with an eyeliner brush that is not properly saturated with the gel liner.

  • Kate Driveller

    This has been such a great series! I’m sometimes asked to do makeup on monolidded girlfriends and struggle to know which products won’t smudge (since I freakishly almost never have that issue!) or where to ‘stop’ the colours.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Kate! I think everyone has to go through some trial and error before they figure out what looks best on them 😉

  • Diana

    Looks great on you! It’s definitely true – I also have to cover half my lids if I want the eyeliner to be visible when I open my eyes, lol. Ugh, sometimes I really dislike my eyes.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Diana! It doesn’t have to be visible when your eyes are opened though. As long as your lash line is filled your eyes will look more defined!

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Again, super interesting! Your pictures and your explanation are really clear.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Melissa! I’m glad you like it!

  • Sofia

    Wonderful! I love how you ended with the winged liner, it looks great. Winged liner is something I still don’t know how to do without making a mess and looking absurd..

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Sofia! It takes quite some practice, but you’ll get there!

  • Lily

    Aww, great tutorial, Sunny :-) I have a friend whose lids are folded right at the lashline. She has to draw a line as thick as 1cm to make any difference and everything smudges on her. So she gave up trying.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Lily, I do think there are still ways of bringing out this type of eye shape though! Maybe if she uses a dark shadow instead of an eyeliner (on top of a primer)?

  • Caise

    such a great tutorial! your eyes look so pretty with winged eyeliner!:)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Daria! I usually wing my eyeliner out, but when I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard I don’t LOL

  • Ruby Chua

    Sunny, this post is great! I totally agree with you on how our monolid eyes look more defined with eyeliner despite the line being not visible. i dont think we want to draw such think black lines to look like a character from Addams family when we blink or close our eyes. haha

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Ruby, I’m glad to hear you enjoy it! We can definitely do a thicker line, but it doesn’t have to be visible with our eyes open to do something!

  • petra

    This is so handy!! Thanks for sharing!! And this colors are so perfect for you!!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      I’m glad you enjoy it, Petra!

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Awesome, Sunny! Really loved this! You make it all look so effortless and gorgeous! 😀

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Becca! Honestly I’m convinced everyone just needs a bit courage of their conviction 😉

  • MyLuciteDreams

    Beautiful work! I’m sure this took time to master but you work it perfectly :-)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Aww thanks, Taylor! It used to take forever for me to build the line up, and I’d be scared so there was not enough product on my brush. Took me a while to realize it’s much easier to get a clean line with a saturated brush!

  • Jacqueline Ma

    Thanks for that lovely eye liner tutorial my dear. It is very intimidating when I started out wearing eye liner but now I find that I can’t live without it.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Jacqueline, same here! I have never looked back because it makes such a difference though!

  • Elisa

    this is actually my everyday technique for my monolids xD

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Yaay I’m glad to hear I’m not doing something totally weird haha

  • ValleyDoll

    The liner looks great on you ! Must be difficult when you have monolids, though I must say I can be pretty clumsy with gel liners 😉

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Eva! Actually monolidders can wear their eyeliner thicker, so I guess in a sense it’s not more difficult!

  • Claire

    amazing trilogy Sunny! and a lot of work as well. Eyeliner was the worst part when I started out in doing my makeup for the first times, it took me uber long for a not so nice line, haha. Now I am way better at lining my eye and I can’t live without liner, I like deep coloured powder eyeshadows as well for that. Great posts :) xxx

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Claire! It used to take me 20 minutes (not exaggerating) to do my liner in the beginning, but now it can be done rather fast and I don’t tend to make mistakes often anymore. Thank the universe for that! If it still takes 20 minutes I’m not sure I’ll EVER line my eyes 😉

  • Rainy Days & Lattes

    Great post! I really like this series. I think eyeliner really plays up Asian people’s eyes, whatever shape they have. You have a gorgeous eye shape and your eyes looks so defined with gel liner =)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Jen! Ultimately I think eyeliner might be the thing that makes the most difference for me!

  • VickyM

    Hi Sunny, this is a very interesting post, you are great at explaining step by step how to use eyeliner. I don´t have monolids, but I am very clumsy with eyeliner since I´m a true beginner when it comes to it, I just started to attempt it about three months ago and I´m terrible, I ended up with unevenly thick lines on my upper lid, I just looked so weird in a very bad way :( . I tried with liquid eyeliner, but I think I need something easier like a pencil liner, do you have any good pencil eyeliners that would glide on without tugging that you can recommend me from a mid end or high end brand? And you know, the funny thing is that I am an expert at lining my lips, probably because I started since I was 15 and now I´m 23 lol.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      I’m glad you enjoy it, Vicky!

      Eyeliner takes a lot of practice, so don’t give up! Pencils might be easier. My favorite black pencil liners come from Tarte and bareMinerals. The only problem is they are pretty soft, so if you want the tip to be sharp, you might have to sharpen them often. Good luck with your experiment!

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