PMU Eyeliner Mapping Guide: Tips & Tricks

By Deana D.| Last updated on March 25, 2024
eyeliner mapping
⏱️ 6 min read

PMU eyeliner is a permanent solution for beautifully defined eyes without the need for everyday makeup application. Applying permanent eyeliner demands the utmost precision to ensure symmetrical results which look the most flattering on the client’s eyes.

But to achieve this symmetry, the main thing to do is master the art of eyeliner mapping first. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of PMU eyeliner mapping, different techniques to achieve it, and the tools required for perfect application.

Why Is Correct Eyeliner Mapping Important?

When first starting out as a permanent makeup artist offering this service, eyeliner mapping may seem like a long, meticulous process that requires much practice to get right.

And since every client’s eye shape is different, it requires much more care and attention before the actual tattooing process begins.

With all that in mind, PMU eyeliner mapping serves several very important purposes:

1. Achieving Symmetry

One of the biggest challenges in applying permanent eyeliner, especially winged or shaded styles, is achieving symmetry. Since our faces are not perfectly symmetrical, our eyes can be slightly different in shape and size.

Eyeliner mapping helps ensure both eyes are even and balanced in design.

2. Creating a Customized Look

Eyeliner mapping allows for customization based on the client’s preferences and eye shape.

Whether they desire a subtle look like a lash enhancement or a bold, dramatic look, mapping can help create a permanent eyeliner style that meets their specific expectations.

3. Increasing Precision

PMU eyeliner is a form of cosmetic tattoo, and once it’s applied, it can be challenging to correct or modify until our bodies naturally dissolve the cosmetic pigments used during the procedure.

Mapping helps ensure precise placement and avoids mistakes during the application process.

PMU Eyeliner Mapping Techniques: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we explained the importance of PMU eyeliner mapping, let’s explore how to do it using two different techniques: with pre-inked mapping string and freehand drawing with a mapping pencil.

Freehand Pre-Draw

When it comes to subtle eyeliner styles like classic eyeliner and lash line enhancement, many artists opt for freehand pre-drawing.

While mapping with a pre-inked mapping string is more convenient for bolder looks, some PMU artists prefer the art of freehand drawing for its ease of customization.

Before you begin mapping, the most important thing to do is to grab a good-quality mapping pencil and ensure you’re working on a clean, prepped canvas. Make sure your pencil is sharpened and doesn’t smudge as being precise is imperative for applying permanent eyeliner.

We highly recommend trying out the Biotek Kit of Peel Off Brow Pencils which comes in multiple shades suitable for eyeliner and brow mapping and a convenient blade and duckbill shape sharpener.

Starting from the outer corner of the eye, use your mapping pencil to draw a fine line along the upper lash line.

Follow the eyelid’s curvature, ensuring a smooth and even line. For winged eyeliner, start by creating the wing shape following the lower waterline, and work your way toward the inner corner of the eye.

Have the client briefly open their eyes to verify that both pre-drawn sides are symmetrical. Make any necessary adjustments with your mapping pencil, and add additional markers or correct your shape if necessary with a white mapping pencil, or mapping paste and angled brush.

String PMU Eyeliner Mapping

String mapping involves using a thin piece of inked mapping string to mark the desired eyeliner shape and achieve symmetry. In order to do this, you will need a box of mapping string that is preferably pre-inked to make the whole mapping process more time efficient.

Take a look at our product recommendations:

To begin the string mapping process, you first need to measure the distance between the inner and outer corners of the eyes.

Place a piece of string from the inner corner towards the head of the eyebrow at a 90-degree angle. Mark the center part of the eyelid and the outer corner in the same fashion.

Starting from the inner corner, gently press the string along the upper lash line, following the curvature of the eyelid, connecting the inner and outer corners.

For winged eyeliner, carefully extend the string outward from the outer corner of the eye to create the wing’s shape. You can experiment with different wing styles based on your client’s preferences and even create a shaded or ombre eyeliner effect.

pmu eyeliner mapping procedureImage source: Instagram

PMU Eyeliner Mapping Tips & Tricks

Regardless of whether you choose pre-inked mapping string or freehand mapping, here are some additional tips to ensure a seamless PMU eyeliner mapping process:

  • Try to control the length of the wing and keep it very thin and sharp. When drawing on the shape, work in small strokes and build your way up – that way it will be much easier to correct any mistakes you make along the way.
  • Check your pre-draw first while your client is lying down, then ask your client to sit up. Use a measuring tool like a caliper or compass to ensure that both eyes are symmetrical.
  • Stay within the natural eye crease for the best long-term results. As your client ages, the areas around their eye will naturally begin to sag, so if the wing is outside of that crease, over time it will be dragged down.
  • When working on clients with aging eyes, a shaded eyeliner look is your best option since it can camouflage the fine lines along the eyelids. Make sure to map out a short, angled wing to create a lifting effect.

woman getting eyeliner mappingImage source: Instagram @bellamiacademie

What Is PMU Eyeliner Mapping?

PMU eyeliner mapping is the process of creating or drawing on a precise outline of the desired eyeliner shape before applying permanent makeup. Also known as pre-draw, eyeliner mapping is the most important step before permanent makeup application begins.

Permanent eyeliner mapping should always be done in a way that complements the client’s eye shape and facial features, enhancing their overall appearance.

Correct mapping can also help minimize the risk of any mistakes during the eyeliner application or tattooing process.

eyeliner mapping shading exampleImage source: Instagram @nataliya_yeremenko_academy

In Conclusion

Eyeliner mapping is one of the most important steps in the PMU eyeliner application process, so make sure you put in enough time and practice to perfect it. It ensures symmetry, precision, and helps in designing a customized shape for each client.

Whether you choose to use a pre-inked mapping string for convenience or opt for freehand drawing with a mapping pencil, practice, patience, and open communication with your clients are key to achieving the perfect PMU eyeliner look.

Cover image source: Freepik



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