Home Makeup Tips How to Tightline Sensitive Eyes
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How to Tightline Sensitive Eyes

by Sandy Taylor

People with sensitive eyes know how difficult it is to tightline their eyes.  Minor irritations in the eyes area could lead to watery eyes and the tears may ruin the makeup that you have already applied.

However, with the right application techniques and products, you can tightline sensitive eyes and make your eyes look sharp.

To provide you with the best tips on this topic, I connected with professional makeup artists and asked them to provide for me their best tips and tricks.


Here’s How To Tightline Sensitive Eyes

Choose a Soft Eyeliner (or Rounded Out Pencil)

Lauren Vena is a Celebrity Makeup Artist of over 20 years. She specializes in bridal, special occasions, and editorial makeup. Her clients include Nicole Miller, Vanessa Williams, Sara Gore, & more.

Lauren is someone who has sensitive eyes. Based on her personal and professional experiences, she recommends using an eyeliner that’s soft. This is because if you’re dragging the a hard eyeliner on the inner part of your eye, the eyeliner is going to be pulling on your eye even more, creating discomfort. The softer the eyeliner, like Khol based products, the easier and quicker the product will go on. Just make sure it’s waterproof so it won’t run in a couple of hours.

If you’re using a pencil, make sure the point is sharpened, but also rounded out. This means the wood from the pencil should not be touching your skin, but also not be a full point that is stabbing into your skin.

Choose Hypoallergenic Eyeliners

Nash Lochan is a Makeup Artist in Orlando, Fl. She is a graduate of Paul Mitchell the School Orlando and been an active Makeup Artist in the area for the past 3 years.

Nash comments that the most important thing to ensure little to no irritation is the product you choose. The product should be labelled hypoallergenic which means it has the lowest chance to cause irritations. However please beware that not all products labeled as such are truly hypoallergenic and it’s a good idea to test it before you buy.

She suggests trying the Creamy Long Last Liner from the company 100% Pure. This is a non-toxic eyeliner that works great on sensitive eyes. It’s formulated with 100% pure natural ingredients including:

  1. Sunglower Seed Oil – Has emollient properties that help the skin retain its moisture
  2. Vitamin E – Strong anti-oxidant that the body from free radicals damage.
  3. Marula Oil –  Helps nourish skin with fatty acids.
  4. Shea Butter – Helps to moisturize and reinforces skin.
  5. Jojoba Oil – Helps to moisturize and heal skin.

This eyeliner works with all skin types. The key ingredients above allow the product to be applied smoothly and flake-free. All 100% Pure products are chemicals-free, naturally pigmented and cruelty-free.

Steps to Tightline Sensitive Eyes

According to Nash, follow these steps to tightline sensitive eyes:

  1. Hold the eyeliner pencil towards the end of the stick, this puts less pressure on the tip when applying.
  2. Using your other hand, place your index finger on the middle of your eyelid and gently pull upwards. This is easiest if you place your hand above your head with the wrist supported by your forehead.
  3. Gently glide the tip of the eyeliner across your tightline in very small back and forth motions. This will ensure the deepest application of color and prevent you from accidentally poking your eye out.

Tip from Lauren: You can blink if it makes you feel more comfortable. If you don’t blink you might start tearing. You don’t have to line the inner part of the eye. Just try to get as close to the lash line as possible.

Complete the Look With Your Waterline

To make your eyes really pop, you should waterline your eyes as well.

For clarity, Lauren explains that there are two prime locations for eyeliner use on the inside of the eye, Tightline and Waterline. Tightlining means to apply eyeliner on the top lash line. Waterlining means to apply liner on the bottom line of skin, between the eyelashes and the eye.

Here’s How to Waterline Sensitive Eyes:

  1. Place your opposite finger under the eye on the socket to hold water line out. This prevents you from pulling on the eye. This also allows you to apply your liner on bottom line smoothly, so you’re not yanking on your eye, which will certainly increase sensitivity.
  2. Apply your eyeliner on your waterline by gently gliding the tip of the liner on the waterline. You can go as close to the inner eye as you want, but be sure to stay away from the tear duct, because your eye will tear more if they are very sensitive.

How To Remove Tightline Eyeliner

The easiest way to remove tightline eyeliner is to remove it with Vaseline. Coconut and baby oil also works well.


  1. Dip a cotton-swab in Vaseline
  2. Using the Vaseline end, swipe the cotton-swab from the base of your lashes to the tip of your lashes.
  3. Repeat step 2 on your lash line. Use a wiggle motion to rub the Vaseline in as much as possible.
  4. Using the clean end of the cotton-swab, swipe the swab from the base of your lashes to the tip of your lashes. Try to pick up as much Vaseline and eyeliner as possible. Use another cotton-swab if needed.
  5. Repeat step 4 using another clean cotton-swab.

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