Eyeliner was big on the autumn/winter catwalks this year — please try not to be terrified by that fact.
Of course, at the various fashion weeks, they lined in the extreme, with amazing wings that would have put Amy Winehouse in the halfpenny place and big gaps between the liner and the upper and lower lash lines, lending an extra-terrestrial look. No one is asking you to copy these effects unless you want to, but the catwalk’s influence has trickled down to the day-to-day. This season, eyeliner is being worn with a bit more drama, thicker lines and seriously full-on flicks. And, for the flicks, we believe that pencil liners just don’t cut it.
The new trend for felt-tip-like applicators is going from strength to strength and whether you favour a flexible or rigid nib is a matter of taste. The former gives better flicks, but the latter tends to be the favourite of those with shaky skills.
Tips for top flicks include starting the flick at your very outer lash and flicking in the direction of the top of your ear. But not all the way to your ear — leave that to the catwalk.
Estee Lauder Pure Color Quick-Thick Eyeliner, €27.50, Estee Lauder counters nationwide
A stubby, marker-like pen, this eyeliner has a thick, firm nib that tapers to a very fine point, so you can go thick with your line or keep it discreet. It’s only available in Punker, an intense, almost shiny black — which stays that way, without flaking or fading. “This is really foolproof,” said one panellist. “The thick nib is quite forgiving and does a really steady, strong line, partly because the stubbiness feels really secure in your hand — it’s like a marker you’d give to a cack-handed kid.”
Blank Canvas Cosmetics E30 Double-Ended Brush, €7, see www.blankcanvascosmetics.com
This brush, which is synthetic and so is great for gliding cream liners on, works wonderfully for thin or thick lines. The spoolie (mascara-wand-like) end is good for grooming brows. “I used this for my eyeliner above and below my eyes and it worked equally well for both,” said a panellist. “A good price, too.”
BEST LASTING LINER
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, €16.42, selected Boots and Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
To test the waterproof claims of this liner, which is available in five colours, a panellist used it on her hands as well as on her eyes. It stayed the day, through a shower and multiple hand washings. The felt-tip nib is long and narrow and gives slightly as you use it, so the more artful can do serious drama at the outer eye edges. “I found this great for a fine line very close to the lashes,” a panellist said, “and the nib gave a very delicate flick.”
BEST NICELY KNACKY
Revlon Colorstay Creme Gel Eye Liner, €10.50, available nationwide
A waterproof product that’s easy to apply and has great staying power, but its real charm is the fact that it combines the liner and a liner brush in one. The liner brush fits into the lid of the product and the pot of gel liner is below. The angled brush is a good shape and gel glides on easily and sets swiftly. It’s available in four colours. “Very smooth use and the pigment is very good,” said one panellist.
BEST SOFTER STRIPE
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, €22, Bobbi Brown, Brown Thomas; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts
This firm-favourite pot of liner — a cross between a cream and a gel — is characteristic of Bobbi Brown, a brand that strives to strike a balance between strength and softness. The product creates a strong line, but can be quickly smudged to subtle effect and has a soft, velvety finish. Available in an impressive 14 shades. “This is great stuff,” said a panellist. “It’s fairly difficult to mess up and, even though it’s less severe-looking than an inky product, it doesn’t slip off or bleed like a pencil might.”