One of the most feared applications in beauty: putting liquid eyeliner on. If you manage to get one right, it’s sadly no guarantee the other one will follow suit. I’ve been painting on my cat flicks since I was a teenager, and have dabbled with plenty of brands and products. The messy, the crumbly, the kind that just wont come off. Yes, I’ve pretty much nailed the application now with a product I swear by, but my god have I had troubles along the way.
I came across this little meme on Instagram, which perfectly sums up how the struggle is real, but fear not, if you follow a technique consistently and use some fail safe products, then practice really does make perfect.
Most tutorials will tell you to leave your mascara until last. After a ton of trial and error I’ve actually found that applying one coat of mascara actually helps keep a steadier hand, improving the overall application process. At the moment I’m using Lash Princess Volume Mascara by Essence, which can be picked up for the bargain price of £3.30 at Wilko’s. Once you’ve applied your mascara, allow it to dry properly – this is so that the stiffening of the product on your lashes will form a little shelf – of sorts – with which to guide the eyeliner along. Since discovering it around two years ago I’ve been using Sleek’s Dip-It liquid eyeliner religiously. At just £4.49, it’s another affordable product that I would happily pay double for. The thick, deep dark formula comes with a firm felt applicator brush which makes it forgiving to apply in comparison to the bristle brushes which can unexpectedly flick the liner where you don’t want it.
Using a handheld mirror I look down while I start by carefully pressing the flat side of the brush along my eye line, from inner corner, out and along. Rather than using the tip, or brush strokes it can actually be easier to get your first guide line by pressing in this manner, making thin marks along the eye each about 5mm at a time. Once you get to the outer most corner of the eye, stop. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect at this point, the most important bit is having a good starting point.
Now, rather than continuing the line out, I reverse the direction I’m painting in and start from the farthest point away, drawing a thin and careful line back to join up at the bottom most corner of the eye. I find that the brush travels more successfully across the skin without getting stuck on any uneven or wrinkled skin (eek!). The purple lines above show how I visualise around a 40 degree angle between the liner and my eye crease, this is a good guide to providing a flattering angle for your flick. You can extend the flick as long as you like, remembering that it’s easier to increase it to add length than take it away. Once you’re happy with the appearance, repeat on the other eye, then come back to tidy any top lines until smooth.
If you make any awful mistakes, use a cotton bud to tidy up and start that section again – keeping calm! If you make any minor mistakes such as the lines not appearing quite equal to each eye, rather than scrubbing off your hard work instead take a soft eye shadow brush and blend a little eye shadow under the eye, and into the flick – this can work to blur the harsh line and give the illusion of evenness. I love Real Techniques Bold Metals brush in 201 for this.
If you’ve used an amazing liquid eyeliner, or have any handy hints of your own, I’d love to hear them in the comments box below! x