Saturday 1 October 2016

The beauty panel: Line it up - sutbtle eyeliner effects

If you're done with hibernating, says our expert, then eyeliner is an easy way to get made up again this January

Sarah Caden

Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, YSL Couture Kajal in 01; Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Mood; Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Velvet Black; Lancome Liner Plume in 00; Estee Lauder Little Black Liner in Onyx. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, YSL Couture Kajal in 01; Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Mood; Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Velvet Black; Lancome Liner Plume in 00; Estee Lauder Little Black Liner in Onyx. Photo: Kip Carroll

Are you ready for make-up again? A new-year lull in the socialising and face-painting is all well and good, but there comes a time when you're ready to resume normal service. It could be that you've realised some of your get-fit and get-healthy resolutions, and want to dress up their effects. Or it could be that you've done nothing but finish off the remaining holiday-season treats and want to distract from those effects. Either way, one of the easiest ways to make yourself up is by applying a little eyeliner.

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We rarely invoke the catwalks on this page, but eyeliner was big on the runways for spring/summer 2016. Literally big, in many cases. And fairly bonkers, for the most part. What one takes away from those trends - the under-eye only, the lines floating halfway between the brow and lash line, the big wedges of black all around the eyes - is that eyeliner alone can make a massive impact. So we look beyond the bonkers looks to the more subtle eyeliner effects - cute double flicks and loads of variety in line thickness. All this is good news for those who really can't get into the effort of eyeshadow at this time of year. And this will gently return you to the land of a little make-up.

Best Overall

YSL Couture Kajal in 01, €32.50,

YSL counters nationwide

Think of this as a crayon. It's wide and thick and its texture is a bit waxy, too. This falls halfway between a pencil and a crayon, and while it isn't great if you have oily eyelids and are prone to eyeliner drifting up your lids, it makes a terrific dense, dark liner for everyone else. The classic black is an obvious favourite, but this also comes in a blue, a navy, and a peacock green, for the more daring liners among you. "I like a smoky eye, therefore I love this," said one panellist. "It blends seamlessly into eyeshadow, but you can do a thinner, soft line, and wear it solo, subtly, too."

Best Inner Eye

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Mood, €15.50, Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

"At last!" the smoky-eye fans scream with delight. "A pencil that is born to be used on the inner rim of the bottom lid." The usual germ considerations apply, and you should pare the pencil clean after every use, but, that aside, this is an eyeliner revolution. With no potentially eye-irritating ingredients, it is also so waterproof that it won't budge all day. Magic. "I'm going to try all the colours. Adore it," said a panellist. "It's also the most budge-proof eyeliner ever on the upper lid, though it drags a bit there."

Best Marker Magic

Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Velvet Black, €10.99, available nationwide

This is a liquid eyeliner with a nib that is very much like a felt-tip pen, which means it's not as slippy and soft as a brush, but less hard than a pen-like nib. Further, you can use the nib - according to how you angle it - to create either thick or thin lines. Both are excellent attributes, and, no matter what way you use it, you get impressively definite but also not-too-harsh eyeliner looks. "Deeply black and definitely very easy to angle and apply," said a panellist.

Best Snow Queen

Lancome Liner Plume in 00, €29, Lancome counters nationwide

Yes, it's white. You won't be wearing it on its own, but you can make it work. Try making a very thin line of black liquid liner along your upper-lash line and then put the white line thinly along the top of it. Then also use the white for your flick. Finally, what you need is some strong black mascara. Really, it does look good. But make sure your eyebrows are in terrific nick. Otherwise you could look "eccentric". "I had some fun with this; it won't be everyday, but it's a change," said a panellist.

Best Double Agent

Estee Lauder Little Black Liner in Onyx, €28.50, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

Marker-like nibs are clearly all the go this season, as both this liner and the Max Factor product featured earlier go that route. This liner is double-ended, however, with a thin, very precise nib at one end, for subtle lines or neat flicks. At the other end, it has a snubbed, squared-off nib, which can make medium-to-thick lines and works well with eyeshadow looks, or if you just like a bold eyeliner effect. "What sets this eyeliner apart is the variety of lines you can make," one panellist said, "and also the depth of the black. It's really, properly pitch-black and you get great impact from it."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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