Everyone gets to experience oily lids every now and then. Many factors can contribute to this, but most of the time that’s just how we are made. You can lessen them to some degree (which you’ll find out later), but without the best eyeliner for tightlining oily lids, it could still ruin the night (or day) for you.
You may have a gorgeous dress, the right hairstyle, or hip accessories, but they can all get blurry to those who look at you if you end up having a gruesome eye makeup. Even if you know how to use your eyeliner for tightlining, if you’ve got oily lids, applying it can get frustrating.
The popular best hack to trample this issue is with an eye primer. This will help your eyeliner stay in place better. This almost applies to tightlining. I said ‘almost’ because it’s not always that easy or safe to put your primer that close to the edge of your eyelids.
You’ll learn a more effective and specific hack in this article. In the next section, I also present you with a list of the best eyeliner for oily lids. We have different types of eyeliners to cater to our eye makeup needs, and liquid is the best option for me, with pencil running at a close second. However, it differs when it comes to tightlining.
Best Eyeliner for Tightlining Oily Lids
Sisley Paris Phyto-Khol Perfect Eyeliner Pencil – Best Luxury Eyeliner for Tightlining
This luxurious kohl pencil liner is for you if you want to enhance your eyes without irritating them. It’s safe to be used by those with sensitive eyes, even for those who wear contact lenses.
Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll feel right at home with this eyeliner because it just glides on smoothly and comfortably. Depending on your preference, you can intensify your eye look with iridescent, matte or metallic finishes. There are also several colors to choose from, so you can use whichever you’re in the mood for. Most importantly, it stays on all day but surprisingly comes off easily with a good eye makeup remover.
Not all luxury brands are really that good, but when it comes to the best eyeliner for tightlining oily lids, Sisley Paris Phyto-Khol Perfect Eyeliner Pencil is my overall top choice. Highly recommended!
CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner – Best K-Beauty Tightlining Eyeliner
CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner is one of my go-to eyeliners for tightlining. I had to include a K-Beauty pencil eyeliner on my list since I find Korean brands to be easy on my sensitive skin. Pencil-type eyeliners such as this one are a big part of my technique in tightlining that I’ve revealed below.
CLIO has a 2mm pencil which is very friendly for beginners. Even if your hands are shaky, you need not worry about messing up since this eyeliner is very forgiving. It’s very long-lasting and can effectively blot the natural oils from your eyelids.
Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eyeliner Pencil – Best High-End for Tightlining Greasy Eyelids
When it comes to high-end products, I really love Chanel. An old favorite Chanel product of mine is the Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-lasting Eyeliner. But that was before I’ve tried other liners like this one from Trish McEvoy.
Using the Chanel liner, I would still need to warm it up with my fingers for it to glide easily on my eyelids. I know it just takes a few seconds to do so, but still. With Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Pencil Eyeliner, there is no need to warm the tip and application is effortless.
I have been using this brand for quite a while now, but I still couldn’t believe that it’s a gel eyeliner! Because it’s not your typical gel liner that comes in a jar, it can easily fool you into thinking that it’s a pencil. However, once you use it, you’ll really feel the difference.
My favorite shade is Arabian Nights, which goes well with my brown eyes. I sometimes use it on my lower lashline too, and smudge it for soft and sultry smoky eyes. To give you value for your money, they already included a built-in sponge and a sharpener, as well. Hooray for that!
To further define your eyes, you can use Lancome Artliner Precision Point Liquid Eyeliner to wing it. This is also one of the best for your oily eyelids. It’s available in 4 colors, with the green-metallic being the perfect color if you want dramatic eyes. While most experts prefer this, newbies will find this easy to use as well.
It’s heavily-pigmented, so lining your eyes is easy for everyday makeup and it equally works well for glamorous makeup looks. However, if you’re into lighter shades, you’ll find my next suggestion a better choice.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil – Best Mid-range Eyeliner for Oily Lids
You’d better be quick if you’re going to use this super popular, award-winning eye pencil. In just 30 seconds after application, it would dry down and you won’t be able to smudge it anymore. For tightlining, that is exactly what we want. But if you’re going to use it as a regular liner or simply want to smudge it, it will stay creamy and blendable for just 30 seconds, so you have to be fast enough when blending.
The waterproof formula stays put on my oily lids for hours on end but is easily removed with a good eye makeup remover. You can also use these pencils from Urban Decay on your waterline. My personal favorite that I use on the waterline is the shade Yeyo, and Zero for the lashline.
They have a huge range of shades, so choose the ones you think are best for your eyes. If you have green eyes, try the purple shade Psychedelic Sister. Or just try all of them! I know I would!
The liquid counterpart of Urban Decay Glide-On pencil that I like is Stila Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. It stands out with its marker felt tip, making it easy to use even for beginners. It glides easily and lasts for a long time. Even if you have oily lids, you need not worry about any runs or smudges as it stays in place for up to 8 hours.
Its marker-like tip allows you to use it both for classic and for bolder cat-eye looks. The only caveat is that it can take a while to take off because of its long-lasting formula. I don’t see myself complaining about this part, though.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Pencil Eyeliner – Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining
If you’re really longing to buy Sisley Paris Phyto-Khol Perfect Eyeliner Pencil but don’t have the budget for it yet, then this is the cheapest alternative you can buy. It comes in a mechanical pencil form similar to Chanel Stylo Yeux, and also has a mini sharpener you can use for the pencil tip.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Pencil Eyeliner is what you should get if you’re looking for precision. While there are a lot of drugstore eyeliners available today, this is the best when it comes to precise application. It gives you the ability to apply your eyeliner very thinly for perfect definition.
Never Fail has a rich and creamy formula that glides on smoothly and dries to a smudge-resistant and long-lasting tightline. It can last all day long unless you end up crying hard or rub your eyes over and over. Since this is a creamy eyeliner, it doesn’t dry as fast, so you still have time to correct any mistakes before it settles.
Techniques in Choosing The Right Eyeliner
Choosing the right type of eyeliner for tightlining is very important if you have oily lids. Between gel, liquid, and pencil type of eyeliner, it’s always best to prioritize the pencil-type over the rest.
Pencil-types have a powdery formula. Their blotting power is the reason why it’s essential in tightlining, but not necessarily the only one you can use.
Gel-based eyeliners are known to dry up very quickly. If you’re blessed with eyelids that are almost oil-free, then this is the way to go. Its quick-drying formula prevents smudges, however, this falls apart if your lids are oily. The top part may dry up quickly, but the bottom part directly touching the oily lids will just end up smudging. There is one gel-type (that doesn’t look like one) which I’ve mentioned above, and it is the only gel eyeliner that I recommend.
Liquid eyeliners are long-lasting and are highly-pigmented. You have to be careful in choosing the right type of liquid eyeliner, though. Plus, when it comes to tightlining, I mostly stay away from the liquid type.
I had an unfortunate incident in the past when I used a liquid eyeliner on my waterline. It was kind of watery and didn’t dry quickly. What happened was the liquid got in my eyes, irritated it and gave me red eyes for a few hours. I had to go to my eye doctor (I forgot the eye drop he prescribed for me) to have it fixed.
The bottomline is, opt for a pencil or even a good gel-type, eyeliner when tightlining. Then, use a liquid type for defined or bold cat-eye look.
Tightlining your oily lids is tough enough, and doing it over and over again with the wrong type of eyeliner, especially not a good one, is torture. A combination of pencil and liquid helps you to achieve that perfect eye makeup look.
What Causes Oily Eyelids?
There’s no single factor that contributes to the oiliness of your eyelids. It’s actually a combination of body composition, eating habits, skincare routines, and lifestyle.
Some of us are blessed with a body that doesn’t produce too much oil on the skin, some are not. There’s nothing we can do about that since it’s our body composition since birth. Most of us tend to aggravate the condition by consistently eating fatty foods, using the wrong products for our skincare routine, or even using oil-based makeup.
Hormones also play a big part. Women who are experiencing menopause end up having less oil because of the hormonal changes. However, we certainly don’t want you to wait until you reach this positively, electrifying change before lessening your oil production.
Recent studies also suggest that stress can greatly stimulate our oil-producing glands. Dr. Freeman from Mamamia says that as your stress levels rise, your male hormones increase too. These changes in your testosterone levels cause acne and oily eyelids.
There are so many possible causes of oily eyelids that you’ll end up stressing out trying to resolve them one by one. What you’ll need is a simple routine that you can add to your lifestyle to lessen the grease.
How To Prevent Oily Eyelids
Here are some routines you can incorporate with your daily life to help prevent oily eyelids. Results will definitely vary depending on your physiological makeup, but one thing’s for sure: it will help lessen the condition and will help you easily use your best eyeliner for tightlining your oily lids.
Oil-Free Makeup Regimen
Clean and Fresh Diet
Less Stress Means Less Oil
Learn the Hidden Technique
When it comes to your makeup routine, the most obvious way to prevent oily lids is to skip oil-based products altogether. Whether it be your foundation, concealer, or even your makeup remover, heavily oil-based cosmetics will just aggravate the greasiness.
However, it would be extremely hard to avoid oil components in makeup and skincare products. An important part of your makeup routine is to make sure you remove your makeup before going to sleep. Oil is an essential ingredient in almost every cosmetic product, so leaving it on your face overnight is like soaking your eyelids in oil for that long.
First and foremost, make sure you’re always properly hydrated. Eating lots of fruits and veggies can help greatly lessen your oil production. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C such as lemons and oranges are great detoxifiers. Green leafy veggies don’t have any oil content from the start and are rich in fiber, clearing out oil from your skin.
If you want to make this even simpler, you can make your own green juice and take it every morning. Drinking green juice a day will certainly help to keep the grease away.
As mentioned earlier, stress can play a major part in stimulating oil production. It only stands to reason that lessening stress help to reduce oil. Yoga is not only good for your bones and posture but also calms the mind, and best of all soothe the oil glands.
Daily meditation of up to just 15 minutes goes a long way in terms of mind-body benefits. A calm and peaceful mind will make your aura shine, which is a lot better than the shine that oil gives.
If you’re looking for immediate results, there’s a technique to literally patch up your skin. All you need to do is apply an eye primer like URBAN DECAY Eyeshadow Primer Potion on your lids. It will cover the oil and prevent it from ruining your eye makeup. It acts as a barrier preventing your eyeliner from sliding about.
Of course, you can’t really apply a primer right down to where you’re actually going to tightline. This is where my proven technique comes in the next section.
Tightlining Tips for Oily Eyelids
The edges of your eyelids, where your eyelashes grow, are lined up with oil-producing glands that help lubricate your eyes. These glands provide an oily component necessary in the tear film of your eyes. The levels of oil produced is not the same for everyone, and there’s no way of eliminating this completely.
While you can’t apply your primer directly on this part of your lids, it can still help on the upper/outer parts to prevent excess oil from smudging your eyeshadow and other parts of your eyeliner.
Since you can’t apply the primer on the edges of your eyelids, you can use this eyeliner technique instead. But do not use just about any type of eyeliner. You need one that easily smudges (choose one from my list of recommendations above). Yes, that’s the technique — you deliberately smudge it.
What you need to do is apply the pencil, smudge, and reapply. You can smudge it again at this point if you want a softer and smoky look. You can also apply liquid eyeliner above the lashline for a more defined look. The smudged pencil will act as your primer, becoming the barrier between your oily lids and your next layer of eyeliner.
Wrapping It Up
Keep in mind that while tightlining has become quite standard in eye makeup since 2016 (although I’ve been doing it for years before that), you need to be very careful when applying this especially if you have sensitive eyes. Never apply it on the waterline; just apply it above the edge where your eyelashes grow.
There are different types of eyeliners and a lot of brands that make them. However, only a select few are worth including on my list of the best eyeliner for tightlining oily lids.
If you’re really oil-challenged, make sure to use the smudging technique I’ve shared earlier. The combination of CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner and Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Liner Pen is the way to go. You’ll no longer fret about your eye makeup again.
Alyssa Melanie is a certified MUA – a Makeup Addict. While her favorite high-end brands are Chanel and Dior, she just can’t resist falling in love with a lot of drugstore brands too, like Revlon and NYX. Her motto: “When I feel good about myself, I feel beautiful. Putting on makeup and taking care of my skin, makes me feel oh-so-good.“