I’ve never really been one for eyeliner; too fiddly for my sleepy morning fingers to master, a little stark for my everyday look and trying to match up my non-symmetical lid space usually ends up with me sporting a line about an inch thick against each lashline causing me to crack out a bottle of Bioderma and start over. Phew, it gives me an attack of the shaky hands just thinking of it. But after a YSL makeover last week where I plucked up the courage to request a feline flick and was treated to a graphic eye doodle that took 20 minutes to perfect as I juiced the Makeup Artist for his peeper scribing tips; I’ve been experimenting with the line making arsenal in my stash and through the age old process of trail and error have mustered up the following conclusions; my eyeliner do’s from one eyeliner noob to another (unless you’ve already mastered it, in which case – share your knowledge!):
Ease in. A full-on black stoke across the eyes can be a little much for first-timers, so I’ve been easing myself in with a smudge of bronze applied on the outer corners, top and bottom and blended in with my finger. A simple step that’s getting me used to inking against my lashline; Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in Bronze is a nice easy and purse-friendly option.
Start with something subtle. To get into the grove of tracing I found the more blendable options of kohl and shadow to be a good starting point. Mistakes are easier to correct in these formulas and their nature means they’re more forgiving to less than perfect lines. Plus, who doesn’t have a black shadow and a thin cut brush in their stash somewhere? Hey you at the back – there’s no excuse.
Line that line. The most convenient of all the techniques is to get drawing with your standard felt-tipped fluid filled pens. Look down into a mirror, lean your elbow on a steady surface and get signing. I actually find these to be the most tricky but there’s three that my flapping grasps can just about handle: YSL’s Eyeliner Babydoll Look* has the thinnest nib, Wild About Beauty’s Line & Define Liner Pen* is a little thicker leaning itself to a more flicked-out purpose and the 3-dot liners you can get – Bourjois do one – are fab for just adding some definition to the lashline.
Get jiggy with gel. The most feared formula of the bunch, but the one that can muster up the cleanest line with pin-pointed precision in the right hands. Surprisingly this is my favourite formula of the curve creating crew. But here’s the trick – a slightly bent eyeliner brush. The one I own is from Zoeva*, but I’ve spotted a similarly shaped one here; the angle means you can tuck the ferrell of the brush under your lower lashes and allow the gel-dipped tip to find find your natural cat flick. I’m sporting this technique in the above photos paired up with Shu Uemura’s Painting Liner*, and yes the rumours are true – the formulas pretty darn good.
Tight-lining. The 10 second step that ties it all together – tight-lining – a.k.a) a swoop of colour usually in kohl-form taken on the inner rim of your eye just under your lashes. Sounds ew, is pretty ew to carry out, but finishes it all off nicely. Something waterproof and hardy is what you’re looking for here and Chantecaille’s 24hr Waterproof Eye Liner in Ebony* fits the bill perfectly as does the aforementioned Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Kohls. I actually quite like just doing this step with lashings of mascara for an everyday hit of definition.
Try a trio of techniques. What I find works best for me is to combo the categories up; line against the lashline with a liquid, attempt a cat flick with a gel, tight-line with a kohl and if I fancy schmoozing it up for the evening, smoking it out with an eyeshadow. This may take me a full 30 minutes to execute currently, but practice makes perfect right?
Welcome your new best friends. A micellar solution or eye makeup remover will help see you through those challenging times. Bioderma Crealine H20 Solution or Clarin’s Instant Eye Makeup Remover have helped sweep away many the dodgy line for me and paired with cotton buds and pads they will become your new bessie mates when striving for cat-flicked acme.
So pick up those kohls, perfect with a liquid and hey if it all goes a little wibbly and wonky then you’re in good company. Eyeliner noobs unite.