How To Put Eyeliner On Top Lid In 4 Easy Steps

Not everyone prefers to put eyeliner on their top lid. But if you are new to wearing eyeliner, you may be wondering what the best top lid method is for applying eyeliner. Well, you've come to the right place. We've researched the easiest and fastest way to apply eyeliner to your top lid-and without having to do a lot of touch-ups.

Here are the steps to put eyeliner on your top lid:

  1. Sharpen the eyeliner
  2. Warm up the pencil if needed
  3. Apply liner to the outer corner of your eyelid
  4. Apply liner to the inner corner of your eyelid

It may take you a few tries before you can become an eyeliner pro, but once you've done it a handful of times, you'll be good to go. It's best to start with a gel or pencil before moving to liquid eyeliners, as they are more forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Continue reading to learn more about how to apply your eyeliner to your top lid neatly and quickly.

A beautiful model applying eyeliner on top lid, How To Put Eyeliner On Top Lid In 4 Easy Steps

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Steps To Put Eyeliner On Top Lid

Beautiful model applying eyeliner closeup on eye

1. Sharpen the eyeliner

If you are using a pencil liner, make sure that it is sharp before applying it to your eyelids. You can buy a pencil sharpener online for less than $10. Remember that your eyeliner's sharpness will significantly affect how well it goes on and the definition of the line you'll create. If you are looking to create a thin, precise line, you want the pencil to be fairly sharp.

However, if you are going for a more dramatic look, you'll want the tip to be more rounded. If your pencil is too sharp for the look you are going for, dull it by rubbing it briefly on a piece of tissue.

Take a look at this pencil sharpener on Amazon.

2. Warm up the pencil if needed

You may need to warm it up to help it go on smoother if you're using a wax pencil. The less tugging and pulling that you do on your eyelids, the better. You don't want to have to apply a lot of pressure. There are a few ways that you can warm up the pencil. Try rubbing it between your fingers for 10 to 15 seconds.

You can also hold it in front of a hairdryer for a few seconds to soften it up so that it has a gel-like consistency. To avoid burns, be sure to test the eyeliner on the palm of your hand before applying it to your eyelid. And if you need to cool it down in a rush, play it in the freezer for about 30 seconds.

Learn more about this hairdryer on Amazon.

3. Apply liner to the outer corner of your eyelid

Now that your eyeliner is ready to go, start by holding your eyelid with your fingers, making sure that it is taut. Place your index and middle finger on the outer edge of your eyelid and raise your eyebrows so that you're able to apply the liner to any creases in your eyelid. This will help you to create a smooth straight line on your top lid. Take the eyeliner and run it across the outer corner of your eye and work your way across.

Make sure to place the liner directly on the skin above your lashes, staying as close to the lashes as possible. If you are wearing false lashes, be sure that they are completely dry and set before applying the liner to the top of them.

Take a look at this eyelash set on Amazon.

4. Apply liner to the inner corner of your eyelid

While still holding your eyelid, start at the inner corner of your eye apply the eyeliner across your lid. As you work your way across the lead, go over any spaces where the eyeliner did not stick. Remember, the thicker the line, the smaller your eyes will appear.

So if you're looking to make your eyes appear bigger and wider, you'll want to be as precise as possible when creating the line. If you are looking for a more natural look, only apply the eyeliner to the eye's outer edges and taper it off as you get closer to the inner corner of the eye.

If you're looking for visual instruction on how to apply eyeliner, check out this video:

Can You Wear Eyeliner Only On The Top?

Yes. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to wearing eyeliner on the top and bottom lid. Whether you wear liner on the top and bottom will depend on the type of look you are going for. If you're looking for a soft and flattering look, it's helpful to add a light liner on the bottom lid in addition to eyeliner on the top lid.

Many women prefer to wear bottom liner at night time for a more dramatic and smokey look. That being said, under-eye liner is timeless and can be great for incorporating a lot of colors into your look. You can also use eyeliner on your lower lid if you want to make your eyes appear more alert or wider. This is especially true when you apply white or light-colored liners to your waterline.

What Are The Best Types Of Eyeliner For The Top Lid?

There are so many different ways to highlight your eyes, and every eyeliner will have its own strengths and weaknesses. The best eyeliner types to use on your top lid include pencil, gel, cream, and liquid liners. Let's discuss each of these liners.


Pencil liners are the simplest to use. They work great for casual and subtle looks and can provide your top lid with a natural look that is easy on the eyes. Modern pencil liners can be creamy, dry, or even retractable, making them easy to apply without blank spots. You'll also find that most pencil eyeliners are waterproof, which means that you don't have to worry about your line smudging are fading if you have oily skin or eyelids with larger folds.

Take a look at this pencil liner on Amazon.


Gel liners have a particularly high amount of wax in their formula compared to other liners. This makes them great for top lid application, as they tend to stay put for a long time. Most gel liners are also waterproof and go on fairly smoothly without much tugging on the eyelid. Gel liners are great for applying fine and precise lines for eye-widening techniques and thicker lines for more formal looks.

Read more about this gel liner on Amazon.


Cream liners are an excellent option for top lids, as they're perfect for creating the ever-coveted smokey eye look. This is because they are specifically designed for smudging and behave in a similar way to many other types of cream-based makeup. However, when looking for a cream liner for your top lid, make sure that it's waterproof so that you don't have to worry about it running during the day.

Take a look at this cream liner on Amazon.


While liquid eyeliners are the most challenging liner type to master, they can do wonders for top lids. Liquid liners can give you intense cat-eye effects as well as exaggerated high-drama looks. Though it may take a bit of a delicate touch, applying liquid liner to your top lid can provide you with several different options to consider, especially if you are going for a nighttime look. If you aim to have your top lid become the focal point of your look, a liquid liner can make that happen.

How Do You Make Your Eyeliner Look Natural?

If you are looking for a daily casual look, making your eyeliner appear more natural is the way to go. Here are the steps to do it:

Choose the right formula

When attempting a natural eyeliner look, it's best to go with pencil or gel liners, as they tend to go on lighter. You'll also want to avoid jet black liners, as they can be too heavy for a natural look. Opt for dark brown or beige-colored liners instead.

Find out more about this beige liner on Amazon.

Apply the eyeliner to your top lid using short strokes

Use short quicks trokes to apply the liner to your outer top lid. Be sure not to drag the pencil across your eyelid but instead apply the eyeliner as if you're trying to connect it using short dashes. As you run the liner across your lid, decrease the pressure as you move toward the inner corner of your eye.

Use a Q-tip to thin out your eyeliner

Next, grab a Q-tip and gently dab the eyeliner to thin it out. Sometimes, even when you apply eyeliner lightly, it may go on thicker than intended. You may need to lightly dip the edge of the Q-tip in makeup remover or a moisturizer to help take off some of the eyeliner. You can also use a cotton swab as well.

Find Q-tips on Amazon.

Lightly touch up any blank spots

Lastly, go over any blank spots that you may have missed previously with the eyeliner. When you take a close-up look at your liner, there shouldn't be any white spots where your skin is visible between the eyeliner line.

Does Eyeliner Or Mascara Go First?

Beautiful eyes in retro style make-up

Many makeup experts will tell you that it's more beneficial to put on eyeliner before applying mascara. The reason is that mascara can be more challenging to put on, and it's great at covering up blank spots on your top and bottom lines. Also, you might find that it's harder to put on your eyeliner because your extended and volumized eyelashes can get in the way.

What Can You Use If You Don't Have Eyeliner?

The simplest and quickest way to substitute eyeliner is to use an eyeshadow that's the same color as the liner. You can apply it using an angled eyeshadow brush for the best precision.

Have a look at this angled brush on Amazon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has answered all of your questions regarding applying eyeliner to your top lid. Remember, always consider the look you are aiming for when determining how thick your top eyeliner should be.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

What Color Eyeshadow With A Red Dress? [5 Suggestions With Pictures]

What’s The Best Eyeshadow For Brown Eyes And Fair Skin

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