What You Need to Nail Your Eye Makeup
I’ve been on a quest to nail winged eyeliner with the smallest amount of effort and skill possible. (My entire life is about attempting to do great things with not much effort or skill.) I’ll start by telling you something for nothing: unless you're a pro, do not use liquid eyeliner. 94% of women find liquid eyeliner extremely difficult to use. And 92% of those women swear profusely while trying to use it.*
But what I learned overall: there is no gold at the end of the rainbow. Also, great eye makeup simply comes down to the products you use. Find great products that work for you, your look and, most importantly, that work together. Because team work makes the dream work – even when it comes to eye makeup.
So, what products are simple to use, but deliver Jennifer Aniston worthy results? Great question – specific, but great. Read on.
*These stats are completely made up. But 99% of stats are. (That stat was also made up.)
1. Chanel Illusion D’ombre
This stuff is AMAZING. I’d marry it if I could. It comes in beautiful tones. If you get a darker colour, you can use it instead of eyeliner and it will still make your eyes pop. It's long lasting and depending on how much you apply, you can use it as a shimmer, or a deeper colour.
I have 82 Emerveille. I have green eyes, with brown and yellow specks, and it makes my eyes look all bright and sparkly. I’ve also tried the 85 Mirifique, which is a dark colour that I used instead of eyeliner. Next time, I'm thinking of going crazy and trying a colour. (I know, I live on the edge.)
But, honestly, this will be the best $50 you’ve ever spent. (Unless you’ve ever bought a wheel of Pule cheese for $50 – then THAT will be the best $50 you’ve ever spent, and this will be second.)
2. Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner
Gel eyeliner is fantastic. Particularly if eyeliner isn’t your strength area (i.e. you often rock the ‘panda’ look). This is the best one I've tried. I have it in black ink and sepia. It comes with a nifty application brush, but it also works very well with an angled eyeliner brush (see below).
My easy go-to eye makeup routine: apply Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in black ink along the top of my lids. Then brush the Chanel Illusion D’ombre eyeshadow over my eyelid, but only the width of the Chanel-provided brush. It hides the unevenness of my eyeliner, makes my eyes shimmery, but leaves an even, visible black line across the base of my lids. (It's funny / weird how drawing a black line across your eyelids makes you feel good, isn't it? But it does. It really does.)
Gel eyeliner is great for winged eyeliner too. I apply, then use a cotton wool bud to create even and smooth lines. It comes off easily onto a damp cotton wool bud. But once it's set, that bad boy ain't coming off – just what you want.
3. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil
It’s vital to have a great eye pencil on hand, even if you use gel or liquid eyeliner. And when I say eye pencil, I mean crayon-like eye pencil. It's better to go for one that has a crayon-like tip (like the Glide-On), rather than pencil-like. You want an eyeliner that's creamier, as it goes on a lot smoother and doesn't irritate your skin – or you, with it's unevenness.
I'm a big fan of having a number of coloured pencils on hand, so you can mix it up. In particular, a white or fleshy-colour. White eyeliners can be used to widen and brighten your eyes, and can also be used underneath your eye makeup to make it pop. I'm also a big fan of using an eye pencil on your inner eyelid (the bit under your lashes) when you wear any type of top lid eyeliner – Zoe Foster Blake taught me it's called 'tightlining'. It makes your eyeliner extra bold.
The 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil didn't get it's name for nothing. It goes on super smooth. But if you want to go for something cheaper, there is a stack of great eye pencils. I have a range of brands and colours. But remember: creamy and crayon-like (like the Glide-On), rather than sharp and pencil-like.
4. Angled Eyeliner Brush
Often it's the actual tool you're using that's letting you down, rather than the product. An angled eyeliner brush is great, if you're not great at eyeliner. There are lots out there, but Serphora do one that's $16 and highly recommended. I use an angled eyeliner brush with my Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner and it is *thumbs-up emoji*.
No matter what brand you go for, you want thin and angled. Kind of like your little brother when he hit puberty – thin and angled.
5. Chanel Les 4 Ombres ‒ Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow
I’ve found that quality eyeshadows are worth the investment. They stay on so much longer, don't irritate your eyes and physically last longer. The Chanel Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palette is fantastic. I have 34 Eclosion which is a great base. The Chanel Les 4 Ombres is great because the four colours on the palette are created to work together. Perfect for a smokey eye.
If you're not sure what colour to go for, getting a professional to help you with your colour can be very beneficial. But if you hate talking to people, go with a neutral palette (browns, golds, etc) like the 214 Tisse Mademoiselle. Particularly as it's high end, you want to go for colours you're going to get a lot of use out of.
Always remember to apply a primer or concealer to your eyelid before applying your eye makeup, particularly eyeshadow – it makes it last longer.
Final tip: do your eye makeup BEFORE your foundation. That way if you accidentally sprinkle eyeshadow on your face while applying, you don't have to reapply foundation to cover it up. (Which is often obvious and annoying.)