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).
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).
This 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.
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.
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.