At its best, eyeliner can give your eyes definition, drawing attention to one of the most alluring parts of your face. Apply it improperly, and you could end up with a look that's more unfortunate than beautiful. It doesn't have to be that way though. Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta, who tends to the faces of Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Shay Mitchell (and many more!), explains why your liner might look like a hot mess and how to make sure you always look *FlAwLeSs.*
1. You're lining your eyes with a dull liner rather than a sharp one.
The fix: Ta says to always keep an eye pencil sharpener handy in your makeup bag so you can assure the liner is going on exactly where and how you want it to. What you want with eyeliner is precision, and trying to line your eye with a flat tip won't leave you with a smooth, even application.
2. Your liner is transferring onto your eyelid. This is especially common in women with monolids.
The fix: Increase the height of your liner on your eyes so the line is still visible when you open your eyes. That way, when your skin folds as you open your eye, the liner won't transfer onto your bare skin.
3. You're lining your entire eye with colored liner, which can look harsh.
The fix: Accentuate either your upper or lower lash line with a subtle pop of color rather than a full-on, intense look.
4. Your liner is thicker on one side.
The fix: Ta suggests starting out with thin lines. If it ends up being thicker on one side, you can build the other one up to match. If both end up being too thick, take some of the liner away with a precision tip cotton swab dipped in oil-based makeup remover.
5. You're lining your lower lid with liquid liner. This is just a no-no because it's too wet and bold.
The fix: To keep your liner from dripping down your face, Ta says to only use waterproof pencil on the lower lash line. Then you won't see it traveling down your cheek midday.
6. You're curling your lashes after you've already applied your liner. This can smudge your liner.
The fix: Curl your lashes first, and then apply liner. That way, you won't disrupt the liner application and make a mess on your eyelid.
7. Your liner travels down your face a few hours after you've applied it.
The fix: Line your lower lash line with a waterproof eye pencil, and then top it with black shadow to lock it into place. Finally, apply a translucent powder under your eye to create a barrier.
8. There's a gap between your lashes and your liner.
The fix: Line your eye as close as you can to your lash line, and then slightly pull up on the lower half of your upper eyelid to reveal any bare spots next to your lashes that still need some liner love.
9. Your winged liner is uneven.
The fix: Avoid being late to brunch, work, or anywhere by using the angle of your lower lash line as a guide for your flick, and placing a dot at the outer corner of each eye before using your liquid liner to make sure the sides match up.
10. You're pulling your eyelid out to apply liner. This can contribute to wrinkles over time.
The fix: Ta has his clients look the opposite way of where he's applying their eye makeup to make their lids more taut. So, if you're lining the inner corner of your eye, look to the outer corner and vice versa.
11. You're not removing all your eye makeup properly. Which means you're not starting on a blank canvas when you next apply your makeup.
The fix: Clear away any residue from last night by using a precision tip cotton swab doused in an oil-based remover.
12. You have small eyes and you're lining your entire eye. Doing this can actually close them off and make them look even smaller.
The fix: Apply liner to the outer "V" corner only to open up your eye area (this is a good tip for those with close-set eyes too). Ta suggests using a black kohl pencil and then smudging it out with an eye shadow brush.
13. You're smudging your liner too low. This can make you look like you have a black eye.
The fix: Line your eye as close to your lash line as possible, and then use a smudger brush, which is tightly packed and skinny enough that it won't blend the liner below where it should be. Also, it should be diffused as you blend it out rather than so intense (think: smoky, not solid black), for a sultrier look.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.