How to apply your eyeliner
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Face coverings mean that women are paying more attention to their eye make-up. Here’s how to apply the perfect flick of eyeliner, says celebrity make-up artist Armand Beasley
For millennia men and women have used make-up to adorn and emphasise the eyes. Around 5000 years ago the Ancient Egyptians ground the ores malachite, to create a green paint-like ‘shadow’, and galena, to produce black kohl eye liner. This was typically applied generously around the eyes with the iconic Cleopatra-style exaggerated line at the outer edge, so populat again today. Liquid liner really made an elegant statement in the 50s with stars like Marilyn Monroe, while the 60s used liner to be even bolder for icons like Twiggy. Alice Cooper and David Bowie took the liner back for the boys in the 70s, and who can forget actress Morgan Fairchild’s blue pencil liner in the 80s. These days technology has helped create deeper and more varied pigments, along with innovations like 24hr gel pencil liners and waterproof precision liner pens.
Face coverings have been in use for the best part of the year, so women have been moving away from lipstick and more towards decorating the eyes, as they have been relied on increasingly as a way to express themselves, especially with a statement liner in pencil, liquid or gel. Yet this is an area where some people can struggle in getting a balanced look. With a pencil liner you tend to have more control and you can dot the liner across the eyes if you don’t have a steady hand. If you want to try the gel pot liners then investing in a good brush is so important. I like MyKitCo 1.10 My Sharp Angle Brush, £13, selfridges.com, as the tightly packed synthetic bristles allow precision and control.
If you want create a classic ‘flick’ try holding a thin makeup brush handle or pencil from your nostril to the outer edge of your eye. This gives you a guide for the angle of your liner as well as showing you where to end the flick on your top lid. Whilst you’re holding it in place, grab your liner of choice with the other hand and pop a little line from the edge of the upper eyelid along the handle. This will be the length of the flick, so bear that in mind when you’re doing the line. It should be easier then to use your liner to draw a line from the tip back towards the lashes so that you’ve created a kind of triangle. Use the liner to fill in and then apply along the rest of the eye as close to the lashes as possible, using your little finger on your cheek to help steady you. An eco-friendly paper cottonbud and some Micellar water will help you correct any smudges. But remember, to nail that classic feline cat eye, practice makes purrrfect.
Discover Armand’s top tips on how to apply your foundation
Here are three of my favourites:
Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner - lookfantastic.com, £21: a beautiful water-resistant gel formula that is long lasting and doesn’t transfer. It also doesn’t dry up as easily as other gel liner pots I’ve used. Available in three shades with my favourite being the classic black shade called Infinity. Use a fine angled brush to apply your killer flick.
Pat McGrath PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil - selfridges.com, £23: great control and fantastic staying power from the queen of makeup artists. The creamy formula feels very soft on the lid and the shade Xtreme Black is a good solid dense black. Even lasts well in the waterline, so if you love a smoky eye, this is the one for you.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner - boots.com, £16: this is a great pen that’s got a firm tapered tip so you can be delicate with it and also, as the tip is not too long, you have more control. The waterproof formula comes in three shades with the black shade staying black and not looking grey like some other brands. It also doesn’t crack and flake.
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