Make your eyes pop this summer with an unexpected touch of bright-white eyeliner

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez wear white eyeliner in two very different ways, while heavy winged liner made its mark on the runway

Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez wear white eyeliner in two very different ways, while heavy winged liner made its mark on the runway

Whether you trace your waterline or line your lids with a statement-making cat eye, white is the perfect liner to accent any look this summer. The surprisingly versatile color can go from sophisticated to bold, depending on where you use it. “White eyeliner is a great trend that gives the eyes a larger look,” says Jennifer Evans, artist and educator for Make Up For Ever, who says it can be worn anywhere—from the office to the beach—and for any occasion. “The intensity of the look lies in the application, which makes it flexible. Incorporating white liner can also create a refreshed and more awake appearance.”

The red carpet has been a hotbed for celebs including Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga (who, according to Evans, isn’t afraid to be creative and channel ‘60s Twiggy) and Jennifer Lopez to wear the subtly chic look of white liner in the waterline just above their bottom lashes. Evans feel this look is “timeless and enhances the eyes.” Additionally, the “runway is also a popular home for this trend. Designers including Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Givenchy, Elie Saab, Armani Privé and Phillip Lim embraced the trend [for] Spring/Summer 2012.”

Evans suggests using a kohl pencil, like Make Up For Ever’s Kohl Pencil #2K, in the waterline, and blending it with the brand’s #15S brush, accentuating the highlight with a dark shadow or liner lightly blended under the lash line. Also try Lancôme’s Le Stylo LongLasting Eyeliner in Blanc or NARS’s Larger Than Life Long-Wear Liner in Santa Monica Blvd. For a more dramatic and mod look, try a gel or waterproof formula (Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners last all day or Stila’s new Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Snow is another good option) in precise winged liner on your top lid.

But it’s not a total no-brainer. Evans cautions: “Those with prominent eyes may wish to modify the look from white to a neutral tone as white liner enhances and opens the eyes. Second, those with wide-set eyes may want to avoid pulling the white liner to the inner corner of the eyes, [because] adding light to the inner corner opens up that space and may exaggerate the width between the eyes.” But don’t be afraid to play up other features, especially if the white liner is concentrated in the waterline. “The mod look is more dramatic,” says Evans, “allowing for less intensity to be desired on the lips. Neutral pinks or nude colors are my favorite to pair with this look.” She also says white liner goes well with bronzed or natural-colored skin, and this highly versatile color can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. “Various effects can be achieved depending on the look and application. Wearing white eyeliner in a subtle way communicates classy, timeless beauty. A more dramatic application evokes creativity and confidence.”