Liquid Eye Liners: Flick tricks
There’s something very definite about this season’s make-up trends, and when it comes to the prevailing precise eyeliner look, the right product and a dose of practice are your friends
The final flick at the eye’s edge is crucial to this season's look, and these flicks can range from gently winged to full-on Winehouse. A flick is flattering as well as fashionable, as the upward stroke gives an optical lift to the eye area.
In our testing, the liquid eyeliners with fine, felt-tip nibs came out tops in terms of precision and texture, trouncing the rigid, pen-like applicators. When attempting to produce a precise line, a product that is too wet can get blinked all over the place. We liked the fast-drying felt-tip nibs for fine lines and then favoured those pots of gel eyeliner — applied with a brush — for bolder effects. The gel eyeliners are quite thick in texture, so the look is less inky and almost more powdery, but that allows you to go thicker with your line without looking too drag queenish. But, whether it’s demure, dramatic, or drag you’re after, just keep on flicking.
Clarins Instant Liner, €24, Clarins counters nationwide It was the colour that really made this liner so likeable. You may think black is black, but this one is really black; it’s reminiscent of a classic, powdery kohl liner, but much easier to apply. With a flexible fine tip, similar to a tapered marker nib, you can achieve a line of varying thickness, and good, controlled flicks. “Some liners look impressively black when wet, but they dry quite dull, while this one holds true,” said a panellist. “A good dramatic effect, even when you draw a very fine line.”
BEST CLEAN CONTROL
Catrice Liquid Liner, €4.29, available nationwide Offering good control for the shaky-handed, this is a long-lasting product at a good price. Available in waterproof and on-trend colours, as well as a strong, classic black. “The soft, squidgy applicator was easy to use and control,” said one panellist. “Also, it dries really quickly, so you don’t end up with eyeliner on your eyebrows. The colour is hard-wearing, which makes it a little bit of a battle to remove in the evening, but worth it nonetheless.”
BEST WINGED WONDER
Lancome Artliner, €27.50, Lancome counters nationwide This spongy, nibbed liquid liner is not dissimilar to the Clarins liner, but the crucial difference is that Lancome’s is a bit longer, which allows for more of an artistic flourish when it comes to flicking out — a good thing if you want drama, but not if you have seriously shaky hands. As one panellist put it: “When not applied properly, this resulted in a distinctly Robert Smith look. The Cure for this: practice. It even inspired my Halloween geisha-girl costume, now I’ve got the flicks licked.”
BEST POTTED PRECISION
Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, €11.99, available nationwide This product is worth recommending on price alone — it’s half the cost of similar items without a brush — but it also does the job well. A gel with good pigment and workability, it boasts 24-hour staying power, though we don’t recommend that you sleep in your eye make-up. “This comes with a great brush,” a panellist said, “and it’s very easy to apply. Others I tried tended to disappear into my eye when I did the bottom lash line — painful and ugly.”
BEST METALLIC MARKER
Estee Lauder Liquid Eyeliner, €23, Estee Lauder counters nationwide Moving away from classic black, this season, there’s a trend for metallic liners and, while some are too pale, this liner in Silver Zinc is dark enough to define, but it’s suitably metallic and glimmery, too. “The applicator is nicely firm — you don’t want too thick a line of a statement shade like this,” said one panellist. “I loved the metallic finish and felt the party season coming on already.”