Beauty: Get the skinny on a fabulous feline flick
Who doesn't love the sultry effects of a perfect slick of liquid eyeliner? But if you're anything like me, you mightn't exactly enjoy (attempting to) apply it. Still, keep persevering. One trick is to use a waxy pencil to draw the line you want on your lid. This helps 'hold' the liquid applicator and makes applying it in sweeping lines so much more manageable. Here are some of the best.
Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen, €25.41 Pricey, but gives great precision thanks to a very fine tip. Definitely requires some practice but it's flexible enough to be used for dramatic cat eyes or a subtle daytime look. Available in a highly pigmented black and brown.
MAC Penultimate Eye Liner, €22
Delivers a sleek fine line that makes lashes look luxuriant, stays put and is perfectly precise thanks to its super-slim nib. Use a primer first if you have oily lids. Good for novices.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, €22
This thick gel goes on easily, is great if you like a sexy, smudged effect or want to play with shape (a feline flick or winged eye!) and, importantly, it lasts and lasts. 'Graphic Shimmer' works for a soft smoky look, while the universally flattering 'Denim Ink' offers a fresh alternative to boring old black.
Bourjois Eye Liner Pinceau in Noir, €8.99
Looking for a shot of jet black colour? Then this highly pigmented liner is the one. The brush is lovely and fine; just make sure not to overload it. And it definitely requires a steady hand but the result is a clean rich line that won't flake.
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, €19.50 (available from Debenhams and House of Fraser)
Stylish sleek packaging covers a thinly nibbed pen that produces a svelte opaque line that's surprisingly subtle and seemingly stays on forever - as long as you don't rub your eyes too much, that is. Nice glossy finish.
I'm giving my complexion an anti-oxidant boost with Dermalogica's pricey MultiVitamin Power Serum (€75) which acts to enhance cell turnover, reduce hyper-pigmentation and smooth lines.
I'm not forgetting what lies beneath either, so I'm slathering my dry skin (this is what happens when you spend the last few months hanging out beside the radiator) with Darphin's rich buttery lotion, aka Nourishing and Firming Velvet Cream (€49).
Finally, I'm coating my hands (almost) every night in L'Occitane's limited-edition (and super-summery) Frisson de Verveine (€10.50), a moisturising treat that leaves them feeling oh-so-soft the next morning.
"Always paint the very tip of the nail when applying varnish, as this is the part most susceptible to knocks. Better still, paint behind the nail too, then it is completely protected," - Jessica Vartoughian, who includes Drew Barrymore , Julia Roberts and Demi Moore among her clients.