The Waterline.

Following on from yesterday’s Get Even More Gorgeous With Beauty Marked! post about tightlining, I thought I’d mention another super sultry eyeliner technique of lining the waterline. The area of the eye called the waterline is also known in some makeup circles as the inner membrane. The waterline is the small 2 to 2.5 mm strip of skin that extends from where the eyelashes sprout forward from the eyelid towards the eye itself. This area of skin holds the same colour pigmentation as your face. There is a definite line at the inner most edge of this area which lies directly against the eye and is part of the lubricated area of your lid, which is not considered a line-able area and should not be lined. There is a waterline on both the top and the bottom eyelids, although, the bottom lid is the easiest to see and to access. Enough of the anatomy lesson, hey.

To be honest, when the waterline is not lined, your well applied makeup will still be gorgeous, but waterlined eyes seems to give an amazing airbrushed look to your overall eye makeup, which is just magic. You can line the waterline with your stock standard eyeliner colours, but do know that the waterline can take a pop of colour and rock it like the best of them. Feel free to line the waterline with super soft eyeliners that are completely glitter free and, equally importantly, eye safe. It’s generally the done thing to avoid lining the waterline with shimmery, glittery, and polymer based liners or shadows as they are not eye safe. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are using an eye safe pigment or powdered shadow to line the waterline, alcohol based mixing mediums and eyeliner sealant should be avoided. Visine is the only other prepared medium that can be used to mix with the powdered product to line the waterline. Failing that, plain, clean water will do. It will do quite nicely in fact.

I generally apply the eyeliner with a short handled, small filbert or paddle shaped brush, if not using a pencil, but experiment with what feels best for you. To line the bottom lids at the waterline, gently pull down on the under eye area with your pinky finger, just enough to pull the lid away from your eye a few millimeters to apply. Then gently pat the liner and or lightly sweep the liner across the waterline from the outer eye area towards the inner area of the eye where the lids meet. The same technique is done to line the top waterline, obviously pulling the lid gently upwards towards your brow though. Do be warned, that lining the waterline can feel a bit freaky. It’s sort of tickly and slightly sensitive at the same time. Most folks get used to it eventually. My favourite tip is to continue to hold your lid away from your eye for several seconds after waterlining. This allows the eyeliner to set and any tearing of your eye to settle. This gives your liner half a chance by cutting down the odds, somewhat, of your liner instantly washing away.

Do give lining the waterline a try. Lining the waterline is yet another makeup technique that can nicely finish off your eye of the day. After all, who could pass up an opportunity to get even more gorgeous?

April 29, 2007. makeup tips, beauty glossary. 2 Comments.


  1. gina replied:

    this is the only way i line my eyes anymore! lining the top waterline assures that i will always have a very thin and perfectly straight line. it looks much better than lining the actually lid in my opinion.

    October 29th, 2008 at 3:00 am. Permalink.

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    February 3rd, 2013 at 1:41 pm. Permalink.

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