Whether pencil or felt tip, eyeliners can be very difficult to apply. They smudge, slip, poke our eyes, and generally wreak havoc. Join us today for a few tips from professional makeup artist, Ariane Poole, who is here to show us the best ways to apply eyeliner.

How to Apply Eyeliner Over 50

One of the most common issues that women face when applying eyeliner is dealing with a shaky hand. Ariane can relate to this struggle, so fear not!

As a celebrity makeup artist, Ariane has some fail-proof techniques to help you apply your eyeliner in a smooth and even line. By following these steps, you won’t ever deal with accordion-looking eyeliner again!

Types of Eyeliners and How to Apply

Of course, it matters what type of eyeliner you will use. Depending on your choice, here are some application tips that you may find helpful.

Eye Pencil Eyeliner Application

When lining top lashes, look straight ahead in the mirror with your chin tilted up, as if you were looking up your nostrils. This is the most important part!

Hold the eye pencil horizontally and move across the eyelid from the inside of your eye outwards.

Stop just before getting to the ends of your lashes.

When lining lower lashes, hold the pencil vertically and rub it into the lower lash line.

Felt-tip Eyeliner Application

Because a felt-tip pen gives you a different depth of color, you need to alter the application process a little.

Tilt your head back and look either down your nose or up your nostril – ultimately you want to be looking slightly downwards rather than straight ahead.

Press the pen into the base of the lashes little by little. This allows you to not worry about any slipping and create the illusion of a fuller lash.

With these simple tips from Ariane, you’ll be sporting perfectly lined eyes in no time! No more accordion looking lines or shaky hands – just beautifully enhanced eyes!

Editor’s Note: For the full transcript of the video interview with Ariane, please keep reading. As always, we hope the information we share is helpful and easy to follow.

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Ariane Poole, who is a celebrity makeup artist and a good friend of Sixty and Me. It’s great to have you here, Ariane.

Ariane Poole:

It’s great to be here, Margaret, as always.


I love talking to you and you always give great ideas. Today I have a specific question for you, and I think you could probably help. I wear glasses, and one of the things I have a lot of difficulty with is putting eyeliner on. I used to wear it all the time, and I like my eyes when they’ve got a little bit of color on the top. So I got myself a nice grey eyeliner.


Yes. I like the color.


My hand wiggles all the time, though, so is there a technique you can share with me to help?


Yes, there is. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to apply an eyeliner so you don’t have a wiggly line. Most people would get in front of a mirror, and they’ll start stretching this side of the face and then the other side. It’s like a game of Twister, and it looks ridiculous.


It truly does.


Once you let go of the eye though, the end result is a puckering kind of an accordion pleat thing on your eye, and you think, “Ah, that looks so awful!”


The other thing, Ariane, has to do with age. As you get older, your eyes get a little bit more loose at the top, right? For that reason, I sometimes apply the liner in a dot to dot fashion. By the time I’m done though, my eyelid is a little bit wrinkly, and the line is gone with the wrinkle.


I’m going to show you different ways: one with a pencil, and one with a liquid, felt-tip eyeliner. The techniques are very similar, though. I’m also going to show you something that I do all the time. I never realized I did it until a client of mine asked me about it. Then I suddenly realized what it was, and I was able to explain it.

When you’re doing your top lashes, which is the top line, you want to look straight ahead in your mirror, with your chin tilted up. It’s the same position you would take when looking up your nostrils. It allows you to have your eyes looking down so they’re focusing on looking up the nostrils.

Then, hold your pencil horizontally, rather than pointing it at you. By pointing it at you, you will instinctively back away. Then go across the eyelid, from the inside of the eye outwards, with the pencil staying in horizontal position. You should stop just before you get to the end of your lashes.

Try it for yourself. Just remember to look up your nostrils, with your chin back, while looking into the mirror.


This method is much easier. I think I’ve got it, and the technique works.


Yes! It’s important to tilt your chin up so you’re actually looking at yourself in the mirror. That way you have your eye partially closed.


Wow, Ariane, that actually is a lot easier. I’ve been doing this all wrong, pointing the pencil at me and the dot to dot technique, but this is much easier.


Yes, it’s much easier doing it this way.

Next, if you want to apply the pencil underneath, instead of pointing it at your eye, hold it vertically, rather than horizontally, and just rub it at the lower lid.


I don’t do this very often so I’m not going to do it very dark.


Wow, very good! What do you think?


I like it! That is a super technique. I think I’m just really conscious on camera, putting my neck up and down and around, but I think that really works.


Yes. You’re looking down your nose or up your nostrils. The effect of this is that you’re looking down into the mirror and you’ve got a nice angle.

If you wanted to use a felt tip pen, the application method is slightly different. These pens give you a different kind of depth of color to the base of the lashes, so you should use them for that kind of effect. Tilt your head back, look down your nose or up your nostrils, so that your eyes are slightly looking down. Then press the pen to the lid, little by little, until you cover the area.


Pens are dangerous because they really leave an intense mark, don’t they?


Yeah. So, I’m pressing the pen into the base of my lashes. Do you see?


Yeah, I see.


By pressing the tip, you don’t have to worry about the pen slipping or anything like that. When you do it this way, you create the illusion of fuller looking lashes, which is a big plus.


That helps with the volume mascara that we’re going to talk about in another video. That is really helpful! Thank you for your tips, Ariane. That actually was a very cool technique. It shows that even if you have all the products in the world, knowing how to use them makes all the difference.

I know we have lots of questions about liners, so I hope this was helpful. Thanks, Ariane! As usual, you were great.


You’re welcome.

Want more tips and tricks on how to apply eyeliner? Check out this great article that will show you everything you need to know about eyeliners for mature women. Still can’t seem to get it right? Read this article that dives deeper into eyeliners and covers some of the common difficulties older women face when applying eyeliner.

What is your favorite eyeliner? Which type of eyeliner do you find the most difficult to apply? What did you think of Ariane’s makeup for older women tips? Please join the conversation.

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