Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beauty Basics: How to Sharpen a Retractable Liner

If you were to tell me that I’d have to choose between typical liner pencils and retractable liners to use only one for the rest of my life, I would probably choose the retractable ones. Why? In my experience, they are much more likely to be soft and, therefore, go on opaquely without having to pull and tug at the lid (a big no-no!).

In case you aren’t familiar with the product I’m referring to, a retractable liner is one where you do not have to sharpen it to reveal more product, but rather you just twist it up. Very convenient.


I’ve heard many other people say they enjoy them for the same reason, but then my heart sinks when I hear them say the only thing they don’t like about these liners is that, while they’re gorgeous to use when you first get them with their finely shaped tips, once the tip wears down, you can’t get it back and are stuck working with the entire thickness of the liner. I get mildly frustrated whenever I hear this because it’s simply not true. There is a simple tool that will remedy the issue and, if you’ve gone through a few different liners in your time, you may have had this tool right in front of you and not even realized it.

So where is this magic tool? If there was one provided, then it’s in the pencil!

If you look at retractable liners, you’ll notice that some of them have a seam on the end opposite the pencil tip like these:


What you may not have realized is that seam shows the beginning of a separate piece that pulls away from the rest of the pencil to show a sort of sharpener:

These sharpeners work similarly to typical ones; but instead of having a blade, they are just very stiff plastic that will scrape off product from the pencil to create a fine point.

Not all liners will come with one of these, but good news: once you find one, hold onto it, even after its pencil is gone, and it won’t matter if you always get a new one.

I hope this has helped someone; and if I ever see any of my readers saying that they hate how you can’t get a fresh point on a retractable liner, you’ll get no sympathy from me. No excuses now!

: P Thanks for reading!

**The two liners that I have shown that did come with sharpeners are an Almay liner (though it is old, so I can’t swear they still have them) and a Revlon ColorStay liner (I am almost positive these still currently come with a sharpener).


  1. I prefer retractable liners for the same reasons :)

  2. I learned something new! Thanks for this, what a great tip. I only have one retractable eyeliner and it's Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof. Not being able to sharpen it was my only complaint about it but now I know. ;)

  3. EverDay Makeup: I knew I wasn't the only one :)

  4. Reductionista: Fantastic! That means the time it took for me to write this was well spent!

  5. WOW! When i tried to pull the cap off the smudge end, i accidentally pulled out the sharpener and thought "what a crappy design, they should have glued this down" lol!

    Thanks for this article!

  6. hahaha that's pretty funny. I'm glad it turned out not to be a shoddy design :P

  7. Wow, I can't believe I didn't know that! Maybe I'm dense but this is big news to me. I checked and there it is! Thank you. :)

  8. I never expected such a fantastic response to this query. Your solution is far superior to mine--just what I was looking for.

    Best Eyeliners

  9. Thank you, thank you! I'll be looking those up! You're awesome! :)


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