When it comes to makeup artistry, you have to master the kohl pencil. It’s been around for a very long time and for good reason. So why not learn how to use it the most effectively? Here’s how:

  • Upper Lashline: Use the side of the pencil’s tip to draw your line. You’ll get a much more consistent, foolproof width this way, ensuring that the line won’t be jagged. Simple hold the pencil almost parallel to your eye and trace it across the lashline starting at the inside corner and ending at the outside corner. I used Laura Mercier Kohl Pencil in Brown Copper above. If you’re tightlining on the other hand, use the pencil’s tip to really get up under and in between the lashes.
  • Lower Lashline: Remember my post on making smaller eyes look bigger and more awake?  To help with this illusion, we draw a thinner line along the lower lashline than the one we drew on the upper lashline. Or we can trace it just along the inner waterline. Or some of us like to only line the lower lashline and leave the top along. Regardless, the easiest way to line the bottom lashline is to use the tip of the pencil. You’ll have more control to really smudge it into the roots of the lashes and be much happier with the results.
  • Lip Perimeter: Use the tip of the lip pencil to define your lip perimeter with the most precision. Make sure to really sharpen the pencil each time so it’s especially sharp for the points of the cupid’s bow and for correcting any uneven slopes or edges. Lip Pencils tend to be waxier with less slip to them so they don’t smudge and stay put. Revisit my Lip Cheat Tutorial to subtly make smaller lips appear a little bigger. I used Bobbi Brow Lip Pencil in Pink Mauve above. Her lip pencils are my all-time favorite because they really stay put and the pencils never dry out like some (ahem) other brands!

Once you’ve mastered pencil basics, you can explore different types (kohl, kajal, longwear, self-sharpening) and different techniques (lined vs. smudged, or liner as shadow). And please don’t forget to go back and Fill in the Blanks!