It may sound bizarre, but in truth I discovered makeup relatively late in life: I was probably in high school, towards the end of it, and I would sort of use some of my mum’s stuff but very casually and not very skillfully either. It was a couple of years later, when I left for my Erasmus, that my mum and I went to a local beauty shop and got a “travel kit” for the special occasion. I was going to go away for months on end and she thought I could bring some serious makeup of my own (it was surprisingly enough, Dior).
I cannot honestly remember the turning point of my makeup life, to be honest. And I’m sad about it, because for me it has totally been a journey. Far from being a pro, I can say I’ve perfected my own style and I now know what works on me and how to achieve it (most days).
My signature look is a liquid black cat eye. In vogue since Cleopatra was ruling Egypt, this look is almost good on everyone – the elongation of the lid, the stark contrast, the long-lasting effect, the elegant sexiness… who hasn’t tried it out?
So, how did I end up with the perfect line?
Disclaimer: despite about a 15-year stint of practice and many liners after, I still have days when it’s honestly a lost cause. When drawing a cat eye, there is not only the pencil or the firm hand… tiredness has an influence on how the line slides, the wrong foundation can make the texture go wrong, and also, last but not least, just being tired can leave with a cat eye that makes you look more like a member of the band Kiss (or Amy Winehouse).
First things first:
Choose the right eyeliner. Easier said than done. The look I go for these days is a liquid pencil: it looks like a biro and has a soft, brush-like tip that slides easily on the skin. While you always run the risk of bathing in black ink, the pencil guarantees a flowy black supply (I hate those dry pens that create too much friction and rub too strong on the lid). The only cautionary tip with this type of liner is that you need to be very precise as the tip is normally soaked up with ink and tends to bleed. At the moment I’m using Chanel’s black eyeliner and I love it.
Choose the flick. This is not a drill. Identify the type of eye shape and lid you have and go from there: a cat eye can make you look amazing but the wrong line or thickness can turn dainty into droopy in a heartbeat. I normally try to make the flick go upwards, and I don’t want it too thick or too thin, so that my eye looks wide open and more naturally almond-shaped.
Practice makes perfect. I understand that this is the main question: how can I get good at this? Well, it takes practice just like any other task – yes, it helps to have a firm hand and a very bright light to see the creases and perfect the shape of the line from close up.
I can only try to teach you in my video, coming next week!