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Are eyeliner stencil tools worth buying?

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

An eyeliner stencil with instructions

Creating the perfect flick or cat eye requires skill. It’s a makeup staple but, to pull it off correctly, requires practice. Wonky, smudged or poorly drawn, this is a technique that can end up looking real messy. That’s why eyeliner stencil tools are currently in vogue.

With sultry eye looks set to trend until at least the end of the year, anyone with a passion for eye make-up is going to want to experiment.

Whether you see yourself as an Adele lookalike or just want to create a more dramatic style, eyeliner is almost certain to feature in your look.

Because achieving symmetry and precise lines are often difficult, especially for beginners, a host of tools have recently flooded the beauty market.

They include stick-on eyeliner templates and silicone stencils.

If you have been tempted to buy one but aren’t sure if they are worth investing in, we can help.

We purchased a silicone stencil and put it to the test.

Why a silicone eyeliner stencil?

Straight up, we couldn’t find a single stick-on stencil with consistent rave reviews. After doing our research, we decided to go with a silicone one.

As well as being reusable, it looked easier to use and had attracted some positive feedback. For just £3.99, it seemed a bargain. A lifetime of perfect eyeliner flicks for under a fiver!

This product is sold on a large number of platforms, including Amazon and Temu.

Online product images suggest it has multiple uses, including being an aid to applying liner to the top lid. They also suggest using the tool is effortless.

Available in a range of colours, the stencil comes with brief instructions.

Our experience of using an eyeliner tool

First up, we have to say that the tool we purchased was soft. It was also flexible.

However, it wasn’t quite as straightforward to use as we had hoped. And it wasn’t exactly a ‘stencil’, either. In fact, when the product arrived, it was in packaging that simply described it as an 'eyeliner aid' - not a stencil, as advertised.

While there was a heart-shaped stencil in the tool, which could be useful for party or festival face makeup, the eyeliner aspect was all about drawing along the implement’s edges. That was tricky.

Positioning the tool in the exact right spot for a flick proved a problem, along with getting clean lines. The eyeliner stencil was just too flexible to provide enough support for a pen-style gel liner.

If you have wrinkles, such as crow’s feet, we don’t think you will find a silicone tool much of a help - unless you happen to have three hands. You will need one to lift the skin while using the tool and a liner!

Overall, the results we achieved with this tool were poor.

The only plus point, apart from the heart-shaped stencil, was that it can be used with eyeshadow to create a half-decent cut crease.

What we found was that using this type of stencil requires the same amount of practice as drawing flicks and lines freehand. And that defeats its purpose.

It could be that foreign manufacturers have misinterpreted what is considered a stencil in the UK. My idea of a stencil is a cut out shape. This tool doesn’t provide that. It relies on the user finding the right edge of the tool to trace. And, of course, you will still need a steady hand.

The only positive to come out of this buying experience was that it did give our tester the confidence to try creating an eyeliner flick free-style. She’s ‘almost there’, she tells us.

An eyeliner stencil with gel and khol liners and eyeshadow

Still tempted to buy a stencil?

Save your money! There are plenty of free video tutorials available to help you improve your technique. Our recommended Top 5 can be found here.

Eyeliner stencil alternatives

If you still want to experiment with a guide, there are probably things you already own that could help. For example, bog standard Sellotape or a flexible ruler.

It’s disappointing that, in 2023, there is still no failsafe tool for creating this iconic look - unless you know something different, of course.

Smudged eyeliner looks are currently in vogue, but they don’t extend to mis-shaped flicks.

An alternative to creating drama with eyeliner is to instead ‘blow out’ your eyeshadow. The easiest way to achieve this is with a graduated shade look. Start very light and go darker, using the deepest shade on the outer section of your eyelid. Finish off the look with a dab of shimmer in the centre.

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