Although it is a must-have in anyone’s makeup bag, different types of eyeliner are better suited to different people. When it comes to a beginner, there are only a few types to choose from so there is no need to fret. Although they offer different benefits, they are easy to get on with, even if some are more suitable for new users than others. To help you get to grips with these products that help you add a subtle or thick line in what can be a sensitive area, we take a look at your options and all things eyeliner.

Different Types of Eyeliner

Everyone starts at the same place – as a newbie. Here are some of the easiest types of eyeliner to get started with.

Pencil eyeliner

Easily the most forgiving type of eyeliner for beginners. Look for a thin pencil end that can allow you to play around with different thicknesses to perfect your style. Wooden eyeliner pencils feel sturdy and allow you to get close to the eyelid without the risk of any liquid spilling into the eye.

They can be smudged or layered to tailor the darkness you are looking for although other types are better for those super dark black tones around the eyes. Pencil eyeliner is also one of the more affordable options making them ideal for anyone trying to add to their makeup bag in bulk.

Liquid Eyeliner

When you find a waterproof liquid eyeliner that has a thick lip made for precision, there is more room for trial and error. These types can be tricky to smooth around your eyes at first but once you get used to them, they can be controlled without there being a high risk of getting the contents in your eye.

The best products are ones with consistent liquid release rather than something that can be tricky and cause blotches. A thin lip can be harder to move and could mean you have to get used to applying multiple layers in on go.

As long as it dries quickly, you should be able to avoid smudges and imperfections.

Gel Eyeliners

Another common type and one that creates thick, solid layers so you can get the look you are after with fewer strokes. These types of eyeliner are also versatile and can be used to create everything from smokey eyes to a winged look.

Typically known as easy to use, gel eyeliners are better suited to beginners than a liquid eyeliner and are versatile so they can be used with many different techniques including blending.

So, Which Is The Easiest To Use?

A beginner can learn a lot from a pencil eyeliner and although it can be tempting to move onto the likes of gel or liquid products, it is always good to keep one around in case there is the need for a simple look.

What A Beginner Should Look For In An Eyeliner

Easy Application

Above all else, eyeliner should be easy to apply where you want it to go. If you are following a tutorial then you need to be able to keep up to get similar results and part of this is down to the type of eyeliner. A pencil is easy to apply around the eyes without getting too close for comfort whereas a liquid product is less forgiving.

Fast Drying

Although everyone can benefit from a fast-drying eyeliner, beginners, in particular, should buy products that have this trait. A liquid or gel eyeliner shouldn’t take long to dry so you can move onto the next part of your routine without the risk of smudging those carefully sculpted lines.


You never know what is going to cause your eyes to water, sometimes a strong breeze can be cause for concern if your eyeliner is not waterproof. This is a common feature in most eyeliners, just check the product you are considering offers it too.

Wide Color Range

No one wants to find the right brand and type of eyeliner to get started with, only to find the color selection is limited. The right color is among the most important attributes for an eyeliner but you will find that the reputable brands have plenty to choose from.

Easy To Remove

Any waterproof eyeliner is going to need a little encouragement when it comes to removal but this can be made easy with the right product and technique. Use an oil-based remover unless you have sensitive skin. If this is the case then a dab of petroleum jelly on the end of a Q-tip will do the trick. Leave it on the eyeliner for a minute or two before using the dry end to remove it.


There is no need to spend over your budget at this stage as it is likely that a lot of the eyeliner will be used experimenting and trying new techniques as you become more comfortable. Because of this, it is better to buy a mid-range product that is easy to use yet doesn’t break the bank before moving onto something a bit more versatile and expensive.


Not every brand will advertise this when selling their product which can be a sign that they are not a cruelty-free brand. However, this isn’t always the case so be sure to do a little research before you consider other products.

Easy To Hold

The easier the eyeliner is to hold, the more control you will have. Anything too intricate might be tricky to move and sometimes, the smooth pencil types can be a little frustrating as you constantly need to readjust with sweaty fingers.

Hypoallergenic Eyeliner

This is important for anyone with sensitive skin but it can also be a good trait for anyone to look for. As long as the product is free from some of the regular nasties like parabens then it is on the right track but anyone who has sensitive skin shouldn’t risk trying a regular product before they have checked what goes into the product first.

The Right Style

What you want to get from the eyeliner should determine the type of product you purchase. Smokey eyes will need a thicker application that comes from a liquid eyeliner. For everyday use and a subtle look, a pencil should suffice.