That Eyeliner Issue

I have to admit, there are days when how my eyeliner turns out determines how well my day proceeds. Creating that perfect wing really does fill me with a sense of accomplishment.  And why shouldn’t it? People have been rocking eyeliner for centuries! From the beautiful Geisha’s of Japan all the way back to 10,000 BC when the ancient Egyptians wore dark lines of kohl around their eyes to protect them from evil spirits.

     Although these days we have less evil spirits to worry about, eyeliner is still no laughing matter. Before you’ve even picked up your liner, you need to decide what kind of line you are going to create. Are you going to keep it simple with a classic Hepburn wing? Or go bold with a dramatic cat eye? Will you tight line your upper lash line, what about your water line? Then comes the point where you pick your weapon of choice.
      Of course, there is no wrong way to apply eyeliner, do it any way that works for you. However, after years of trial and error, here are my tips for working with different eyeliners.

Gel Liner.
When working with gel liners, scoop a little bit out and either use a palette or the back of your hand. This avoids contaminating the whole pot of gel with the bacteria transferring from your face.
Always use a clean angled brush for a sharp finish.
To make the product a little easier to work with, dip your brush into the water before putting it in the product.

Pencil Liner
Although not my favourite eyeliner to use, it is one of the cheapest. Always be sure not to sharpen the pencil to sharply, otherwise you could end up hurting the sensitive skin of your eyes.
Although tempting, don’t tug at the outer corner of your eyes. I’ve seen girls do this to make lining easier, but tugging will only produce premature wrinkles.

Kohl Liners
Kohl is my favourite liner to work with. It is very similar to the pencil liner but the product is a lot softer and its melts onto the skin. Before applying to your eyes, scribble on the back of your hand for a few seconds to heat the product, making it easier to use.

This type of liner is perfect for lining your eyes for a smokey eye. The product glides onto the skin with ease with lots of pigment. When tight lining your eyes, look away from the pencil as you are applying, this will stop you squinting and blinking.
Kohl is really blendable, just be careful with how smudge you make it. It is a fine line between runway ready and looking very panda-like.

panda-649938_640Liquid Liner
For the unpractised hand, liquid liner is a dangerous game. I avoided it for years, terrified to bring it anywhere near my face let alone my clients. But I finally faced my fear and I now love liquid liner for a bold liner.
My main tip sounds silly but it is very true. Be the Boss! Remind yourself that you are in control of the brush, don’t be timid, be assertive with what you are doing and your brush will follow you. Would I lie to you?
The other thing I have found with liquid liner is that it congeals in the bottle and clumps on the brush. So replace every few months to get the best results.
Felt Tip Liners
Now, whether these are new or I was living under a rock, I don’t know. All I know if I discovered these liners a few years ago and my life was changed forever (well my work anyway.) Similar to the liquid liner, but SO much easier to use. I often recommend these to my younger clients to try out before moving onto the liquid.
These liners are pretty straight forward but the like the liquid liners, the tip becomes contaminated and dry after a few months, so replace often.
Also, be warned, the formula for some of these pens is very drying. I, personally, am yet to find one that I am no allergic too. So be sure to patch test before using.
Eye Shadow Liner
For my sins, most days I stare into my mirror at 7:15 am and decide eyeliner is just too daunting a task before coffee. This is when I whip out my flat eyeliner brush and my Urban Decay black eyeshadow and quickly pat on a small wing.
When using eyeshadow you want to make sure you use decent quality, otherwise you are not going to have the consistency you need to optimum results.
Pat the product on rather than swiping it. This will make the product as dark as possible and will also reduce fall outs. (Because who wants to deal with fall outs at 7:15 in the morning!)
General Tips
If you struggle to create the perfect wing, place a piece of sticky tape next to your eye where you want the liner to lie. Then draw your liner on next to the tape (make sure it is touching the tape, doesn’t matter if you paint the tape!) When you remove the tape, you will be left with a crisp wing!
To make your liner matt, pat black eyeshadow over the top.
Don’t just stick to black! There are so many colours out there, experiment!
Have some fun; practise makes perfect. Sit yourself down and try out different techniques and looks, find what works for you. Remember you can always wipe it away and start again, so don’t take it too seriously.
What’s your favourite eyeliner? Let me know in the comments below of on Twitter. Just click on the Bird below!
Ay x

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