Cigarette lighter + eyeliner pencil = most amazing eyeliner ever?

By Lynnie | February 9 2011 | 20 Comments


I didn’t even bother to read the full story about warming your eyeliner pencil with a lighter when I saw it on Bellasugar recently, because my eyes started to water when I saw the gist of it.

Thinking of “fire” and “eyes” in such close proximity will do that to a person, I guess. I could nearly smell the singed lashes.

A few days later, though, I randomly stumbled upon the same tip in a Yahoo Answer… and then came across it again last night on Make Up And Beauty Blog.

The whole thing was starting to feel a bit Truman Show; it seemed like time to investigate exactly what this mental-sounding procedure involved.

The idea, of course, is that warming any eyeliner pencil makes it more malleable and easier to use, and that a slightly softened nib won’t drag on skin but will give a smooth, intense line. Advocates of the lighter method (including Lucy Liu and make-up artist Scott Barnes, apparently) recommend rolling the nib of the pencil through the lighter flame for just two-to-three seconds and testing it on your arm to make sure it’s not too hot before using. Applying almost immediately – provided it’s cool enough – will gives the most intense, smudgeable line.

Now, I’ve heard of rubbing it between your fingertips, drawing it across the back of your hand, blasting it with a hairdryer, or leaving it on top of a radiator to do that job, but bringing a flame into the equation just seems like overkill.

I’ve got to be honest: this is one beauty tip that I just couldn’t bring myself to try it out.

Is lighting your liner something you’ve tried, or would you be tempted to give it a whirl?

Eyes, Tutorials , ,

20 Replies to "Cigarette lighter + eyeliner pencil = most amazing eyeliner ever?"

  • Amelie says:

    I always do this! It is a bit dodgy though, wouldn’t recommend for early morning or drunken make-up application. The hairdryer method works just as good, its more hassle, but there’s less chance of looking like Marty Feldman when your done

    • Sinead says:

      Hey I always do this and was wondering what Is the hairdryer method? ????

      I was also wondering does anyone know what to do if the eyeliner nib is on fire and falls on your finger what should I put on it? ????

  • jenny says:

    I actually do this for a really smokey look, it does work really well. The pencil is so soft and it gives a really gorgeous intense black look. The best pencil i found to do it on was the Lancome intense black kajal pencil (which is sadly discontinued) but it works really well on my MAC pencil too…you should so try it Lynnie, you will be so happy with the results

  • Catriona says:

    I’ve done this…..and nearly burned the house down! I held the pencil tip which was insanely hard in the flame and left it there for a few secs, tried it on my hand still too hard, back into the flame with the pencil started to burn and I dropped it into the bin full of nice flammable tissues and paper. Grr never again

  • Becky says:

    No don’t fancy this, it conjures up memories from when I once followed advice to warm up my eyelash curlers before using, after a blast of the hairdryer I applied directly to lash, and burned my eye lid…

  • Itouchedabee says:

    I do it as well, but not with a lighter, it is a candle lighter thingy mabob so it is a bit easier than a lighter. Because I can never get the eyeliner to stay on my waterline but it works with this trick.

  • Niamh says:

    I do something similar, but I ‘melt’ it by holding the nib of the pencil as close as possible to the bulb on my bedside lamp. It works!

  • Orlaith says:

    We used to do this all the time when we were younger..also with the lightbulb – there were always marks all over my bedside lamp lightbulb – the 80s were all about the eyeliner!! Had forgotten tho so thanks for the reminder x

  • Michele says:

    I always did this when I was younger (about 25 years ago … when dinosaurs roamed the earth)! The eyeliner pencils then were incredibly hard and would pull the eye out of your socket they dragged so much ;) It was a great way to soften everything up and get a great precise (water)line … oh the 80’s *sigh* … :-)

  • hel says:

    Becky……OUCH!!!!! I remember loads of girls doing this in school…plus ot was the go to excuse for havin a lighter…don’t smoke miss,it’s for me eyeliner! I was never brave enough,I just rolled it in my hands. I could be hard core…

  • the mirror says:

    Surely needing to do this this is a sign that the eyeliner is crappy or dried out and too old to use?! Though I like the idea of trying to melt a pencil in a club bathroom, and getting kicked out for doing something that looks a lot more suspicious (and downright weird!) than it is..:)

  • Shanna says:

    I used to melt mine on the radiator! It was covered in little blobs when I was a schoolgoing young wan.

  • Fuffyhead says:

    Shameful confession: I warm mine by putting in my mouth while I put on foundation, etc… I feel ok though as I don’t use my eyeliners on anyone else! And it works perfectly

  • LuLuBabe says:

    I do the mouth thing also. And I pop it in my bra sometimes when not in a rush and have a few minutes. Works a treat!

  • Princess Lisa says:

    Wow….now I’ve heard it all!!!

  • sexyspecs says:

    I’ve been doing this for years, especially with cheaper eyeliner pencils like Rimmel! It makes it so much easier to use, the effect is more intense and I swear it lasts much better! You only need to put the pencil in the flame for a couple of seconds and it cools almost instantly.
    -LuLuBabe, that’s the best idea I’ve heard in ages! So trying that tomoro morning!

  • Lieenie says:

    I read this on a blog aaages ago and the ‘Benefit’ according to them was that it killed any bacteria on the pencil.

    I never got the hang of it anyway. Managed to me still hard on the outside then gooey in the middle then bleugh all over my eye.

    OOh that description makes me want chocolate

  • LuLuBabe says:

    The bra thing is something I borrowed from medicine – certain injectible medications have to be warmed slightly before injecting, so the medics said the best way to do that is in your bra for 10 mins!

  • v says:

    learned this trick in irish college years ago. have to be careful not to leave it in the flame too long though. great excuse also for having a lighter when lighter used to be found in unchecked pockets going into the wash. :)

  • sparklicous says:

    ye this is a great trick. learnt it from the sister aka biggest goth in the village. there is a bit of a trick to it since some of the cheaper ones will melt off really quickly, but it’s not a majorly steep learning curve. tis especially good when your going for that intense smudgey look.

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