There’s a lot most of us are willing to do in pursuit of more luxurious eyelashes. Between lash lifts, lash extensions, lash serums, false lashes, and good old-fashioned mascara, there’s clearly no shortage of options out there to help women get the longer, fuller and lashes of their dreams. But you actually don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars on semi-permanent treatments or invest in a pricey mascara to get the job done: All you really need is a steady hand and a little bit of eyeliner.
Enter “tightlining,” which involves lining the upper rim of your eye (aka the waterline beneath your top lashes) with eyeliner, and will instantly make your lashes look fuller and thicker “It makes you look like you have more lashes than you actually do,” says makeup artist Allyson Wisel. “It accentuates the eyes.”
And though it might sound intense, it’s shockingly easy to do on your own. To get the look (and fool everyone you know grab either a black or brown eye pencil—Wisel is a fan of Milani Supreme Kohl ($6) and Cargo Swimmables ($18)—and apply it “connect the dots” style. Dab on a few small strokes of liner as close to the lash as possible, then connect them to get your thickest and most efficient line. Leave your lower waterline liner-free in order to give your top lashes an added element of oomph.
While tightlining undoubtedly works wonders on its own (I tried it for myself, because, #journalism, and can confirm as much), you’ll get even better results when you try it with your usual mascara or—if you’re really feeling adventurous—some false lashes. “It brings the whole thing together, makes your eyes look awake and makes you look like you have more lash,” says Wisel.
The whole process takes less than a minute, costs as much as a single eye pencil and doesn’t require sitting in a chair at a lash studio… but will still have people asking you how you got your lashes so good. On that note, if you’re ready to ditch the products all together, check out what happened when our senior video producer Ella Dove got a lash lift:
If you are going to try tightlining with the added oomph of mascara, grab for one of our favorite lash lengthers. Plus, these drugstore lash serums will actually give you fuller lashes while you sleep.
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