My mum’s been wearing the same makeup for as long as I could remember.
When I was a little girl I sat watching her intently every morning while she applied those two jet black lines on her eyeballs. This always followed by mascara, naturally. Which always followed by de-clumping with a needle. A fucking needle! Mind you, back in the day, in what was the Soviet Union, the mascara she used came with a brush so big that would be better maneuvered around a shoe; the pot of mascara wasn’t far off either.
Anyway, she was so quick and proficient with these liner flicks that it looked easy enough for anyone to do. Years later, now residents of the US, I got my little hands on mum’s American liquid liner and decided to give it a go while she was away at work.
Determined to make it happen, I would spend hours of class time in high school, particularly my Biology class with Mr. Beeftink (such a great name) painting mine and anyone else’s face. Practicing. Perfecting.
There was a moment I thought I was Gwen Stefani, wore track pants and crop tops and thought white liner peeking right above black liner was the shit. I swear I’ve seen people try to do this in the past year and it makes me pee my pants.
Now, I can’t imagine life without eye liner…
There are so many textures and ways you can manipulate them. Under shadow or above it. Fat. Skinny. Long. Geometric. Metallic. Gel. Cream. Top. Bottom. Whatever position you like, my dear. The list goes on and on.
Without further adieu, here are my faves:
Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner – gel liner that was recently reworked. This stuff is just plain fucking awesome. Though it stays on through tears and sweat, you can always manipulate from a sleek line to buffing a smokey texture. My recent fave is the Dark Brown which is amazing on hazel and blue eyeballs. $22
Merle Norman Pro Pen Eyeliner – is just like using a marker/pen. It glides on super smooth and leaves the perfect line. Having something so easily maneuverable is perfect for anyone looking for liner practice. It only comes in Sharp Black and it really is just that, sharp. $15
Milani Liquid Eye – can be found at your local Walgreens/CVS/Target. Brownie point numero uno. Fits into every budget – 2 points. Their blues are electric and glide on beautifully – 3 points. Won’t smudge – 4 points. Paraben-free – gold star. $6.99
L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner – is what my mum wears every day. It’s what I used to wear when eyeliner came on my teenage angst-y radar. A drugstore staple. Great for sensitive eyes and lasts up to 8 hours. $9.79
Kevyn Aucoin The Eye Pencil Primatif – my all time favourite pencil liner. I’m obsessed with the way this bad boy glides on and stays. My leaky water line has never created crease goop in the corner of my eye after wearing it for hours like some others. Dark like a kohl and available in 7 colours. $26
If you don’t wear eyeliner because you are afraid to look like an earthquake hit when you were applying, here are some tips:
- don’t try to create a long line, shorter staccato strokes will do the trick
- if your eyes naturally slant downward on the outer corners you probably shouldn’t wear liner on the water line because it will accentuate the droopyness, but you’ll definitely benefit from a cat eye
- white liner on the water line widens smaller eyes
- take a q-tip to your liner [not liquid] and smudge for a softer look
- when applying, keep your eyes open if you can so that you can balance both sides of the face
- have fun, you won’t learn any other way