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Floating Eyeliner: How To Get The Look (Plus 5 Ideas)

The floating eyeliner look is making a comeback and here’s how you can cop this look.

RELATED: 12 Game-Changing Eyeliner Tutorials You’ll Be Thankful For

6 Easy Steps to Perfect the Classic Floating Eyeliner

Step 1: Prime Your Eyelids

make-up artist applying cream base eyeshadow primer to model eye | Floating Eyeliner: How To Get The Look (Plus Ideas) | floating eyeliner | floating crease eyeliner
Use your favorite eyeshadow primer to prepare your lids for makeup. It’s important to prime your lids because it removes excess oils so that your make up can stay on longer.

It allows for a smoother application so you can draw your floating eyeliner more evenly and prevent creasing. Here are a few tips on applying eyeshadow primer on your lids:

  • Use micellar water or a gentle cleanser on your lids before the primer.
  • Add a small dot of primer on an eyeshadow brush.
  • To apply the primer, gently tap the brush on your skin. Avoid tugging on your skin.
  • If you want to wear under eye makeup, add primer there too.

This may seem like an unnecessary step, but trust us and don’t skip it! Just like any artwork, it’s important to start with a good canvas.

Step 2: Decide on Your Lid Base

set of cosmetic eyeshadows of different shades | Floating Eyeliner: How To Get The Look (Plus Ideas) | floating eyeliner | eyeliner make up
There are different floating eyeliner looks (more on this later). Some looks require eyeshadow base, while others work on a bare eye.

If you want a look that features eyeshadow, you need to make sure that’s in place before you use your eyeliner. For first-timers, it’s easier to start with neutral shadow so that your floating eyeliner really pops.

Choose a light, neutral shade and sweep it across your entire lid extending it a little above your crease. If you want to make your eyes look bigger, you can also dab a lighter eyeshadow shade in the middle of your lid on top of the first shade.

Step 3: Choose Your Eyeliner Makeup

There are different eyeliners you can use to complete this look. Here are a few of your options:

  • Regular pencil eyeliner
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • Felt-tip eyeliners
  • Mechanical eyeliners
  • Gel eyeliner

The precision of your strokes will depend on the type of eyeliner you choose. If you want to achieve a clean and precise look, try using liquid eyeliners that come with a skinny brush.

Even though it’s called a floating eyeliner, you don’t technically need to use eyeliner. Some women use eyeshadow crayons or even just regular eyeshadow palettes with a thin brush.

Eyeshadow comes in an infinite number of colors, so it’s easier to achieve bolder looks. On the other hand, it’s easier to achieve the more classic floating eyeliner look with an eyeliner’s controlled strokes.

Step 4: Find Your Crease and Draw Your Line


Close your one eye at a time and figure out where your crease is. Use your eyeliner or eye shadow of choice and draw an arc just above your highest crease.

Start from the inner corner of your eye and draw the arc outwards. Try to do this in one motion to create a crisp line instead of a jagged one.

Tip: If you’re using eyeliner, you can gently swipe the arc with a brush to create a more subdued effect.

Step 5: Add a Little Drama to Your Under Eye

woman getting ready applying brown eyeliner eye pencil on eyes | Floating Eyeliner: How To Get The Look (Plus Ideas) | floating eyeliner | eyeliner makeup ideas
You can also try to match your floating liner with your under-eye makeup. Use the same eyeliner or eyeshadow on your lower lash line.

Tip: Use a brush to blend the product on your lower lash line for a more subdued look.

Step 6: Complete Your Look with Mascara

young woman applied mascara to her lashes | Floating Eyeliner: How To Get The Look (Plus Ideas) | floating eyeliner | eyeliner makeup ideas
Finish your eyes up by curling your lashes and dabbing on some mascara. You can keep it simple and stick to classic black mascara, or you can experiment with other colors that may compliment your floating eyeliner (like blues and purples).

Tip: You can put some on your lower lashes too!

RELATED: The Perfect Eyebrow Shapes To Fit Every Face

Get Inspired with These 5 Floating Eyeliner Looks

1. Vintage with a Dash of Drama

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We love @giselle_makeup’s twist on the classic floating eyeliner look. It reminds us of Twiggy’s iconic look, but with a modern touch.

Don’t you just love the electric blue eyeshadow on the lower lid? This look reminds us that it’s just as important to pay attention to your under-eye makeup.

2. Floating Eyeshadow

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Simple doesn’t have to mean boring and Celine Bernaerts proves it to us with this amazing look! In this look, Celine holds off on the eyeliner and plays with a refreshing shade of eyeshadow instead.

Her floating eyeshadow looks natural in between her mascara and well-groomed brows. She caps off her look perfectly with lightly tinted lips.

3. Bright and Happy

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Emma shares another simple look that you can easily try on your own. She chooses a bright yellow eyeliner and we adore it!

She achieves a simple, yet cohesive look by dabbing some eyeshadow in a similar shade on her inner eye. Emma teaches us that we don’t always have to overextend the arc—a short but bold arc can work really well too!

4. Two for One

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Nadine Gomez teaches us to have fun with the unique structure of our eyelids. Some women have multiple creases, so they actually have more than one floating liner on each lid.

That’s exactly what Nadine showcases in this look. She starts off with a shimmery eyeshadow base and then draws on the first arc close to her upper lash line.

She starts from the middle of her eyes and draws it outwards towards her ear. She then adds a second floating liner on top of the first one, except she draws it outwards towards the bridge of her nose.

Tip: If you want to rock bold colors for your floating liners during the day, keep the rest of your makeup relatively neutral.

5. Metallic Goddess

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If you don’t have many eye creases to work with, don’t worry! Makeup artists @laparasian shows us that you can still pull off this look.

She uses a liquid eyeshadow with a metallic finish in her look and we can’t get enough of it! We love how she didn’t leave out her eyes in this look—she lined them and used mascara on both her upper and lower lashes.

Learn how to do this cute floating/negative space liner trend from Beauty Banter:

Don’t you just love it when you can incorporate new makeup trends into your everyday look? Some people may think the floating eyeliner look is too avant-garde, but these Instagram inspirations prove otherwise!

So go ahead and try out the floating eyeliner look. You can go as subtle or as bold as you want to!

How would you create your own floating crease eyeliner look? Do you have any other eyeliner makeup ideas? Share them with us in the comment section below!

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