How to rock graphic eyeliner all night without smudging

The world of makeup is both an exciting and dicey one. Navigating waters can be fairly arduous if you don’t know your cut-crease from your contour. But one way or another, MUAs find a way to make sense of the overwhelming possibilities and consistently deliver awesome results that we can’t help but want to emulate.

Keyanna Banks is a perfect example: Keyanna is an editorial MUA making her way in the industry, having worked with players like Playboy Carti, The Clermont Twins and A$AP Ferg. She knows makeup like the back of her hand and is willing to share her expertise regarding how to achieve the perfect graphic eyeliner look without it getting smudged or effed all night (yes, it can be done). Below she outlines the exact products you’ll need in doing so, as well as how to elevate makeup from entertainment to an art form.

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What are your favorite go-to eyeliners?

My everyday go-to liner would be Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, which is a liquid eyeliner. It’s on the go, very quick and accessible to use . Next is Inglot’s AMC eyeliner, which is a gel liner in a pot. I use Inglot’s when doing models makeup during shoots because it requires more time and craft. Though this gel liner is very opaque yet matte, it’s consider art to me because it allows me to draw and create the intricate lines I desire. Lastly, since I’m more art than makeup, I use Ben Nye’s crème colors to make colored eyeliners.

“Go Go“ Kill Bill Volume No. 1 ⛓

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Why a graphic liner over regular?

I personally feel graphic eyeliner gives freedom for self expression. I like graphic eyeliner whether it’s messy, clean, or super sharp because I can always get creative with it. And I don’t limit myself to pigments. I’ve used sequins, diamonds, stars and even glitter. I mostly use color: I’m not so much interested in using black on my eyes because it ends up working against my eye shape. I personally feel darks make your eyes appear smaller and colors open them up.

I wore white thin wing eyeliner on myself, which gave me a clean yet simplistic look. It was loud, but innocent. That’s totally me as a person and it allows my work to speak for itself. I’ve also used electric blue, orange, and yellow. I’m more into editorial looks when it comes to doing makeup on others, so Makeup Forever’s holographic glitter has been a go to when it came to doing a graphic eye. Using this glitter I created winged liner, and even a full bold glitter graphic eye look.

What do you say to those of us afraid to rock a colored liner?

Of course those who are afraid to rock a colored liner are those who have never done it. I recently used Ben Nye’s creme color CL-19 BLUE to create a liner. For the first day of Adidas’ 3 day event for All Star Weekend, I put blue eyeliner on DJ/Producer Kitty Cash. Cash is very into the “no makeup” makeup look. She loves nudes and soft tones that go with her skin so I was very understanding because I am like that as well.

However, when I saw the tracksuit she was wearing I was like “We have to use blue! I’ll do a very thin eyeliner just along the lash line and not wing it out.”

So we did a soft look with “Youth Brows,”  where her eyebrows were left untouched so the blue eyeliner can pop. In addition to the  liner, I used light to clear nudish brown lipgloss on the lips to complete this innocent look. For those who are afraid and do not want a loud look, literally take away from your look by clear gloss or light brows.

If you want to do a bold red lip, keep your eyes natural and nude. In a way it makes a statement, because you put the focus on what you want to show. I basically wanted her eyes to have the attention that night so we kept her brows natural and her lips soft.

What’s the most common mistake people make when applying a graphic liner?

I would not consider creative expression a mistake, however some can fail at not showing the true color of the graphic eyeliner if the product isn’t fully pigmented. When doing graphic eyeliner, it requires high maintenance. You would have to constantly check to make sure it is not faded, running, or if it’s still set. Therefore taking the proper procedures to set and prep the skin before application.

In the end, many should take into account of their eye shape and what look is the best fit for them. I simply avoid wing liner because I want my eyes to appear more open. Whenever I have a wing liner, my eyes appear smaller. My look is simply lining my eye with a bold color to make it pop and open. A smudge eyeliner look is awesome, but I have limited eyelid space which can make my look appear like a smokey eye.

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How can smudging be prevented?

Smudging can be the enemy, but it can also create a look. However if you do not want a smudging look, it’s best to set your graphic liner so that it stays in place. If you have oily skin (skin where the oil just floods your makeup into a dewy look), powder settings are the best.

A liquid setter/primer I would suggest is NARS pore and shine control primer, however you have to be very light on the product because it can make you look ashy due to its matte look.

What are your favorite setting and priming products for this look?

My favorite setting and primers are NARS pore and shine control to of course control the shine throughout the night. The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid primer, because it feels like silk and it gives a matte look without making you look dry or ashy.

It also allows product to spread on your face and set in with no troubles when you use a small amount for those with oily skin. I wouldn’t suggest this for those with normal or dry skin to avoid a matte or dry look.

Lastly, I would recommend Laura Mercier Translucent powders. I use this to set the creme color liners so they don’t move, but remember to dust off the powder. Then I use setting sprays like Caudalie Beauty Elixir and Mario Badescu facial spray to set the skin as a finale.

Which colors do you suggest going for first? Does it depend on skin tone?

My go-to color for a regular eyeliner is Ben Nye’s creme color CL-19 BLUE. I like this color because it’s an electric blue and it stands out on my skin without clashing. In a way it compliments it. I personally feel people aren’t limited to colors depending on the look because we have primers to make colors show.

Sometimes pigments aren’t always opaque, and we need to line it with white first and then the desired color in order to make it show more. This problem isn’t only for certain ethnic groups. People of lighter skin tone may need to line with white first and then apply the color so the color appears more bold versus transparent. It sets the foundation.

I say white eyeliner is definitely in especially for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2018. White liner with tan glowy skin to give off an innocent yet striking look. I’d also love to see a yellow liner because the colors are so bold yet harmless. I like reds, pinks, and oranges but those colors are close to my skin tone since I’m of caramel to peachish tone. Colors like reds, orange, pink and yellow wouldn’t be considered alarming and graphic on me.

What are your favorite brushes for applying graphic eyeliner?

My favorite would be Morphe’s M250-0 Detail liner brush, because it lives up to its name. This brush is very light and fine. The detail liner brush slows your movements allowing you to make an extremely thin or thick line. It truly puts you in control.

My second favorite brush is very sharp to craft.  I adore Anastasia Beverly Hills duo brush #14. I mainly use this brush to sculpt my brows because it’s very fine and allows you to create detail as well as providing the angle for a sharper liner.

Let’s settle this: liquid or gel?

Honestly, I prefer gel eyeliners over anything because of the consistency, formula, and overall product. Liquid eyeliners are good, however they dry with a shiny look, which leads your liner to crease and crack over time. Gel liners are more matte which stays dry throughout the night even when your skin builds up oil. Gel is great if you have oily skin.

If I had to choose a liquid liner, it would be Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, but hands down Inglot AMC eyeliner is forever my go-to whether it’s simple black or a bold color.

READ ALSO: Transitioning away from the matte Instagram lip? Try this Marc Jacobs Beauty collection


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