How to Tell if You Should Do Top or Bottom Eyeliner

There are so many different looks out there when it comes to eyeliner, but most of them boil down to four options: top, bottom, neither, or both.

If you’re doing bottom liner, you have to worry about getting the right one that won’t run down your face and have you looking like a raccoon. And if you’re going with top liner, it can be a real struggle to do it with neat precision.

And then there’s the fact that top and bottom eyeliner leave you with drastically different looks — so how do you choose which one to go for? We polled some of our fave babes for this handy guide.

Top Eyeliner

Bite back with Vice Lipstick in Venom. 👄 // 📸: @tina_yong #LipstickIsMyVice #Regram #UrbanDecay

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Top liner will give you a more wide-eyed effect that opens and brightens the eyes.

I personally think it can be more suitable for day, but it also depends on the wing and eye shadow choice. Light shadows (like Urban Decay 24/7 Rich Brown Matte) can be great for day; a dark hue (like Urban Decay 24/7 in Perversion) gives a smoky-eyed effect that’s amazing for night.

Some girls might equate a top liner look with nighttime, Ashley Ward from New York pointed out. “[A coworker of mine] does both at night; she uses kohl for a more smoky look,” she said. “[Bottom] makes me look more awake — no top unless it’s a night out!”

Yrvane Pagot from New York had a different idea that might resonate with oily-skinned girls.

“Always top for me!” she said. “When I do bottom eyeliner, it always runs.”

Top eyeliner is always the more timeless choice, too — it basically never goes out of style.

READ ALSO: How to Wear Glitter Makeup in the Daytime

Bottom Eyeliner

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Bottom liner can make some eyes appear smaller, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Black liner on the bottom can be very sultry.

“It’s easy,” Gabrielle Cadet says. Which is true — there’s way more room for error when it comes to top liner.

It’s also very fashun. A super lined under-eye look is trendy and the complete opposite of timeless. You can also incorporate colors, like purple to bring out green eyes or gold to bring out blue.

READ ALSO: 11 Things I Learned at BeautyCon

Then there’s the waterline, or the very inside part of your bottom eyelid. Putting white or light beige eyeliner there can make your eyes pop. A little birdy told us that a swipe of the lighter side of this Urban Decay pencil will make you look way less hungover, too.

For a gothy look, put the darkest black you can find underneath your eyes. And try a less intense black, brown or gray underneath the waterline to widen the eyes.

And then there’s the option of doing ornate bottom liner. Don’t try this at home unless you’ve got the perfect YouTube tutorial queued up!

Both top and bottom

Doing bottom and top liner can be the secret to eyes that pop. Just make sure there’s a difference in either color or thickness between the top and bottom. The top should either be darker or have a thicker line. If they are equal, it may be too drastic, not to mention raccoon-like.

Top photo via Urban Decay

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