Category Archives: Eyeliner Reviews

Jordan Dunn

Right Now: Electric Blue

Of late I’ve been cruising on YouTube for obscure 80’s hits – one hit wonders and bad Australian songs have been featuring prominently. So today when I came across a CLASSIC Australian pop song (prompted by hearing a delivery man playing it in his truck yesterday – you know it’s fabulous music when that’s where you hear it!) the epic “Electric Blue” by Icehouse, I just knew I had to introduce it to all my MM readers. Or re-introduce it for those lucky enough to remember it first time around (c 1987).

Obviously the first thing you notice about the video is the lead singer’s hair, or mullet. I can tell you right now from all the YouTube-ing I’ve been doing that mullets were a key part of 80’s Aussie music. Uncanny X Men, Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo Echo – all the (supposedly) hot boys at the time had a delicious, bouffant and flowing back section and preferably a neat groomed (and highlighted, if you really wanted to impress the ladies) fore section. Forget business at the front, party at the back – it was party at the front, a nightclub at the back and a full on  rave all over.  Looking at the men in these videos it’s a wonder Aussies managed to reproduce at all and all the women didn’t run away screaming overseas. ANYWAY…

I digress. The reason I’m introducing you to this classic piece of vintage Australiana is the return of 80’s blue shadow and liner, except it’s being worn with a 90’s grunge sensibility. Since the whole natural grunge makeup seam has been pretty much mined to exhaustion over the last few seasons, during this season’s shows makeup artists are bringing back flashes of block colour and liner that were also a mainstay of 90’s makeup.

Pat McGrath put a sky blue on a few of the girls at Prada this week in Milan and Lucia Pieroni did a gorgeous electric blue liner at Giles in London. Which harked back to the 80’s. So it’s a post-modern, modern look if you will, that looks totally fresh. Here’s my picks for the best blue liners and shadows to give you a bit of colour-blocked 80’s/90’s/now goodness. Mullet optional, but not recommended.

 Best Blue Eyeliners

  • NARS Kitty pencil – a gorgeous electric blue
  • MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil – used on the Giles show by Lucia Pieroni last week, this is pretty much the perfect blue
  • Bourjois  Regard Paillete in Bleu Etincelant – Sparkling eyeliner basically, but it sounds so much nicer in French! This is a gorgeous metallic bright blue liner. New to my kit this week. I love this and can’t wait to give it a workout.
  • Essence 2 in 1 Kajal pencil in Destination Sunshine -  the colour is a slightly off electric blue. It’s a bit of a weird colour which is why I like it. Essence are a German brand and Europe’s biggest selling range apparently, but new to me. At a bargain price point, I have to say I’m impressed with the colour pay off.
  • Barry M SuperSoft Eye Crayon in Matte Blue - Barry M. Always. Another bargain too.
  • Illamasqua Eye Pencil in Debonair – delicious bright blue with great pigmentation
  • TopShop Makeup  – If liquid liner is more your thing, TopShop do a deep blue liner called Yonder which looks quite delish.

Best Blue Shadows

  • NARS Outremer – amazing cobalt blue. Incredible
  • Illamasqua Victim  - is a full-pigment intense azure blue, and one of my favourites
  • Illamasqua Sadist – matte cobalt (cause you can never have too much colour blocked cobalt)
  • MAC Electric Eel - a total classic
  • MAC Freshwater  - if you don’t want your electric blue without a bit of sheen. I’ve had it in my kit forever, but right now I’m channeling a matte finish.
  • MAC Deep Truth  - a beautiful dark navy. Because sometimes you need to take the electric down a level, to well, normal.

 

PS: What’s with the clothes in 80’s videos?  Sweatshirts, singlets, a jumper that their nan knitted them – really it’s like most of them rolled out of bed that day and just pulled on whatever was in their washing pile. In the dark. The 80’s, truly the decade that style forgot.

Bin It: Cover Girl Line Exact Liquid Eyeliner

I love the design of this eyeliner – like a Sharpie pen for eyes, it has a nice sharp nib (not too floppy!) that when it works, does make lining eyes a cinch. Sadly however, whether it works or not appears to be optional.

The fantastic design is courtesy of the guru makeup artist, Pat McGrath, as she is the resident makeup artist at Procter & Gamble (who own Cover Girl.) And it is cheap (about $7 USD). But the after my experiences with it, the only way this dude is going near my kit is if Chanel, MAC and NARS cease and desist from production of liquid liner forever.

Friends of mine recommended it to me, and the first couple of times I tried it, I thought fab! This is ace! I gotta get me one of those! And off I went, forked out my seven dollars, and got it home (or back to my friend’s house actually). And you know what? Maybe for some it’s amazing and cat-lined Cleopatra kitty eyes in one easy stroke are all yours – instant transformation into Angelina Jolie – grrrr – or, like what happened in my case, I was Angelina Jolie for two days thinking wow, I have to post about this on my blog – and miraculously one week later it became thin, watery, anemic and grey, and not worthy of lining my cat’s dirty litter tray. As was the spare one Cover Girl thoughtfully provided for me. (I managed to get my hands on a double pack – two for the bin then, instead of one).

But my friends who recommended the product to me have had theirs for about two years and it’s still going strong, and reading reviews on the internet (like the ever useful MakeupAlley), I am not alone. So it turns out that it’s really luck of the draw. I know it’s only $7, which in the grand scheme of things is not that much, but I’d rather have given it to a homeless person or to save the moon bears than basically literally putting it in the bin.

And this is why I have a blog – because I think it happens a lot – women buy products that are crap, or crap for them, and then feel bad when they don’t look like Jennifer Aniston or Cheryl Cole. And they pay for the privilege. And it’s not good enough! We want products that work, and we’re happy to pay for them. But please help us buy the right ones that make us feel pretty, and not like a sucker, an idiot, or even worse, less gorgeous than when we came to you.

Quite frankly, that’s just not good enough, Cover Girl. Why do some of these eyeliners work, and others, not so much? And let me tell you, I have had far pricier brands’ liquid eyeliners do the same thing. Please don’t manufacture products that die after two uses. It’s just not on. It makes me furious because we as consumers are being taken for a ride, and to my mind, if you can’t make pretty much every product perfect, don’t bother manufacturing it. ‘Nuff said.

BIN IT!

And by the way , if you’re curious about why I talked about moon bears, I found out about this amazing charity the other day – it’s a charity that is restoring the sight of moon bears rescued from Chinese bile farms, where they are kept in captivity and milked for their bile (prized in some Chinese medicines). It’s as hideous as it sounds, but these veterinarians restore their sight. All together now – awww! If you’re interested in finding out more about the moon bears, the website is www.sightforsoreeyes.org.uk. I know where my next liquid eyeliner purchase money is going – and it’s to someone a lot cuter and fluffier than Cover Girl.

Eyeliners that Rock My World

This was an excellent question asked after my last post on smoky eyes, and I thought I’d do a whole post on it, as eyeliner is a key and very misunderstood product.

Eyeliner applied correctly can make your eyes look bigger, your gaze more smoldering and generally more like the all-out diva you want to be. Eyeliner applied incorrectly will make you look like Uncle Fester back from an all night rave – possibly not the look you’re going for. So to begin:

Eyeliner comes in three forms – pencil, gel eyeliner (in a pot), and liquid, usually in a pen or inkwell type arrangement. And in intensity, that is also the order – pencil is softest, gel is next in terms of strength and depth of color, followed by liquid, which is the mack daddy of all liners but should be used with caution – it’s also the hardest to apply (although with practice it can look amazing).

Pencil

Chanel Eye Pencils

My favourites are Chanel and MAC. MAC Smolder is the best soft black for a rock n’ roll smoky eye, and MAC Coffee is a beautiful brown. If you’re feeling creative you can mix the black and the brown for a gorgeous color which frames every eye color beautifully. MAC also has pretty much every color under the rainbow, so if you’re feeling like getting experimental with a fluoro orange eyeliner one morning, MAC is the place to go. Chanel I like for the more discreet range of colors like navy and bronze, plus a top range of browns, and when you may not want so much smudgability (‘cause you know, some days are just like that).

Gel eyeliner

bobbibrowngeleyelinerThis is a favourite of mine and a fairly newfangled addition to the eyeliner pantheon. My favourite by a long shot is Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, and believe me, I’ve tried them all. It’s a really true, rich black and it glides on (with a brush and a steady hand!), but then it doesn’t budge. Or flake. Or smudge. All day. Love it.macliquideyeliner

It also comes in lots of other colours which manage to be both ladylike and arresting. I particularly like Bronze Shimmer Ink and Sepia Ink, but there are about 15 gorgeous colors to try in all.

Liquid liner

And last (but by no means least), is liquid eyeliner. This is the strongest type of eyeliner and so requires a bit of practice, but nothing beats it for instant drama. I am currently using MAC Bootblack liquid eyeliner, although I usually use a proper brush, not the little pen applicator thing it comes with which I don’t find precise enough. A tip if you’ve done a smoky eye but it’s not making your eyes pop – add a thin line of liquid liner just above your lashes. This will frame your eyes to give you the Bambi-like gaze (the doe, not the stripper, if you’ve done it correctly) you’ve been looking for.