Michelle Phan’s ‘Easy Ways to Use Liquid Liner’

michelle phan

A few weeks ago, the lovely Kate Young stopped by to teach us the "KY Style" eye, and while many of you loved the video, we found that some of you were still curious about how to achieve the look. If that's the case, look no further than Michelle Phan, the YouTube "how-to" sensation, for a play-by-play on mastering liquid eyeliner. She has the most subscribed-to YouTube beauty channel, with almost 3.7 million followers (outnumbering the NBA, Katy Perry, and Adele, but falling just short of Justin Bieber...hey, you can't win 'em all) and over 700 million views (DAMN, GURL!). She may not be for everyone—much more 'your friend from school' than the über-connected Lisa Eldridge—but there's no denying her technical wizardry. And while the three liner variations she teaches us are not exactly pushing the envelope editorially, Phan gives us a great lesson on the basics of liquid application. We are big fans of the cat eye in any incarnation, but figure it can't hurt to brush up on the basics before you evolve the style to fit your personality.

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  • Shara

    I used to be so jealous of my friends who can just do a casual, thin line with their eyeliner and look naturally made up, because it does make a difference without being obvious so most people can't tell they're wearing makeup. With my Asian eyes I have to apply sooo much for it to show so little!

    I have now given up on eyeliners (because of this, and not being able to find an eyeliner that wouldn't smudge or transfer to my lower lash line), focus more on my brows, and am very happy.

    The video itself is actually great! I can see a lot of people finding it helpful.

    • Hannah

      Milani infinite liquid eyeliner - i had the same problem and this is amazing (and cheap too!) :)

  • Kristien

    Great tips! I may have to try one of these looks out for my alumni gala this weekend. Can you tell us what products she's using?

  • Jane S

    This was great. I'm always baffled as to where to put the wing. Definitely going to grab my Physician's Formula pen (and Bioderma and cotton pads!) and try out her techniques!

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    Very good tips! I've gotten much better with the cat eye after a TON of practice, but these methods would probably be a lot faster on days when I don't have a ton of time to use my pot of black liner and a brush to paint them on!

  • Guest

    IMO, the Holy Grail of cat-eye how tos:


    Never fails. Ever.

    • thesixthbeatle

      That is genius.

    • Sabah A

      thanks for sharing. That was great!

    • Erin Wilkins

      That's brilliant! So simple and I did it absolutely perfect the first time.

  • Valeria Alvarez

    She is great!! An such an inspiration!!!! always amazing tips!!

    <3 Val

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    Black winged liquid liner is one of my go-to daily looks. Always fun to watch the various techniques of a pro! I agree that felt-tipped applicators are the easiest to use!



  • Caroline

    Awesome tutorial!

  • Ideal Cheese

    Sigh. I have hooded eyelids which means when my eyes are open, the lids are completely hidden. I tried these awesome techniques and they really do work, but the results are only visible on me when I'm looking downward. And it's nigh impossible to keep the liner from transferring to my upper lids.

  • kat

    That's not an isosceles triangle. HAHAHA sorry I had to. I love her!!!

  • heyhey

    jealousy of all her subbies

  • murt

    Sometimes - and I'm not saying that this blog post did this - I think there's too much made by people calling themselves 'professionals' on the internet - like Lisa Eldridge - to create distinctions between themselves and more 'amateur' makeup people. I don't get the distinction at all - maybe the 'professionals' are feeling threatened or something - something about that reads like insecurity to me... And they're all making money off of putting makeup on the internet, after all. Usually I prefer the 'amateur' stuff actually!

  • Paulo Jorge

    produtos estetica - Can you tell us what products she's using?

  • Irena

    The video itself is actually great! Always fun to watch the various techniques of a pro!

  • interplaycouture

    She's a great guru to take beauty tips from. Flawless.

  • http://dbakeca.com Dbakeca Italia

    This is so awesome! i can't wait to try it.

  • GoDsLuVd1two .

    Wow Michelle, you can absolutely get away with being Angelina's twin sister. Very good makeup strategy.