Thursday, July 14, 2011


I'm not really sure why various colors are sold for eyeshadow and eyeliner. In the end, the only color (in terms of the prism, I suppose it's technically lack of color) should be black. The deepest, darkest, richest black. 

If the ancient Egyptians felt no need to use anything other than kohl, one can't quibble. Cruel overlords yes, but really quite stylish. 
The many following cultures didn't modify the hue of eyeliner, and I think it still stands as the most flattering.

I've noticed that many girls (BY or otherwise) are now using liquid eyeliner. The annoying thing about liquid eyeliner is that one has to be really good at putting it on, or else it looks amateurish. Unless one has the steadiest hands in the West (was that Wyatt Erp?) the recommended way to apply it is to stretch the eyelid to the side and hold it down, providing a neat line to paint.
Ladies, don't do it! Think of your future!

For a while I was sitting on the train with a middle-aged woman with sagging eyelids. Droopy, bag-like eyelids.

My method of choice? One that has been touted as "idiot-proof."

Not exactly flattering, but I'll take what I can.

First, what's needed is an eyeliner brush. I like the Ecotools Eyeliner Brush, which is flat and slanted, but one doesn't have to be particular about the brand. 

It can be flat, slanted or unslanted, or thin with a pointy tip. There is a lot of wiggle room with "idiot-proof."

Next, powder eyeliner. I am currently using the Illamasqua Eye Liner Cake in Mislead, a pressed powder.
I would also recommend Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Liner Shadow in Onyx, which is made from loose pigments.
Thirdly, slightly moisten the brush. It took me a while to find the right ratio of color to water. I run it under the water then dab it once, lightly, on a tissue. Work the tip of the bristles into the liner,  making sure the color and water have blended sufficiently and . . . well, line.

I basically focus on my lower lash line, as if one is not a pro at applying it the upper lid, the eyes can end up looking smaller and oddly shaped—I've tried, unsuccessfully, although I can probably improve with practice (too lazy at the moment). 

A tip I picked up from Michelle Phan is to go underneath the upper lashes and press the liner into there, giving an effect of fuller lashes. For those of us gals who wear contacts (the frantic blinking reflex has been suppressed), it shouldn't be too difficult.

Some would recommend applying the liner to the waterline (the inner rim of the eye which tends to be damp) but I find that makes the eye look smaller. 

There is no need to hold onto the eyelid when applying powder eyeliner. If there are any boo-boos, a dampened q-tip can easily fix them.  

Powder eyeliner does not run the way other eyeliners do; before I tried this, I looked like an extra in a zombie movie before noon. This stuff stays put providing you don't bawl. And if one really needs it to stay on, I've got tips for that, too. That's a Shabbos Face post, comin' soon. 


Anonymous said...

I prefer my eyeliner to have a nice, sharp line, and I LOVE tarte amazonian clay. it is the blackest black you will ever find. its fairly idiot proof, (you do need a steady hand, but im not the fairest jusge since i can put eyeliner on neatly in a moving car...) once its sets, its is not going ANYWHERE. ive put it on friday afternoon, and motzei shabbos still had two perfectly done up eyes (after sleeping friday night and napping shabbos day.) until it sets though, you can fix smudges with a damp q tip.
also - lining your inner eye WILL make it look smaller. its not sexy, its stupid looking. i prefer top liner - gives a nice, innocent but sexy doris day look.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you on the black. First off, I look way better in either gray or purple eyeliner, it compliments my eyes tremendously.

Also I find many people who have light blue eyes and pale skin, when wearing black liner become eyes. Meaning you look at their faces and all you see is bug out freaky blue eyes and the rest of the face fades to the background and all there is is floating eyes.

Little tip, any eyeshadow can perform double duty and serve as a liner, just get the right angled brush.

I also like to use a light goldish, or yellow on the inner rims close to my nose, it really opens up the eyes, and gives a shimmer that you can't quite trace, and overall very pretty effect.

Princess Lea said...

Anonymous: Do you mean the pencil? Ah, I must take a look. I'm always happy to try something by Tarte. I have my Shabbos post scheduled for next week on how it stays on for-eva.

Sporadic: I find that when that happens with very pale skin types, the starkness would be taken away with eyeshadow. My mother, for instance, is very pale-skinned and blue-eyed, but she puts on tons of gray eyeshadow so there is no jarring differentiation.

Anonymous said...

What if I want a day look?

I'm not wearing a full, dark face when it's bright and sunny?

Anonymous said...

not the pencil, its a little pot and comes with a great two sided brush - one side is a thin brush for making hte nice line, and the other side is wider, shorter and rounded, for a more blended or shadow look.
on the color debate - I happen to look really good in emerald green eyeliner. a lot of brnds have nice ones, including drugstore brands, but if you in sephora and looking for a nice green, try the urban decay one. sometimes i line my eyes and then use black mascara, or if im looking for a little more drama, i do a thicker green line on top, and then right by the upper lash line, a thinner black line I blend in. really makes my eyes pop. (bottom lashes a very light hind of green).
for a regular day its realy just the black liner though because of time constraints in the AM.

Princess Lea said...

Sporadic: You have obviously never seen my mother on weekdays. :) Full face, dramatic face, every day. Personal preference.

Anonymous: I line my lower lash line, but I've noticed when I fully line my eye then they look huge. Suddenly, they pop. I worked out a schedule in the mornings to do my eyes - sometimes I have to skimp on the lips. But the eyes always get the attention first.

Anonymous said...

interesting. I find i look beady when i lower my bottom lashes (unless im goinf for a smoking look)
and as i said in my first response - i like the Doris Day look. thick liner and heavy mascara on top, and keep the rest feminine and pretty. think hint of blush on the cheeks, pink full lips.....
thats how i usually like my makeup, unless im going full glam.

Princess Lea said...

I love the Doris Day look! I would love to be able to line my upper lid in a cat's eye, but my attempts have looked rather embarrassing. I have to practice more.

Of course different looks will suit everyone differently. If you are going heavy on the upper, then opting out of the bottom balances it out.

Pink lips, pink blush, that is the way to go! I just bought a hot pink Pure Matte Nars lipstick called Carthage.

corti said...

Wow, some of these options sound pricey. I'm still using pencil (usually the kind you need to sharpen, if I'm lucky it's a roll-up) by Avon. I have brown eyes and dark brown hair, so I use black, midnight blue, or green depending on what I'm wearing. Sometime purple but I don't like how it brings out the pink undertones in my cheeks.

People who I know spend a fortune on makeup compliment my eyeliner all the time, until then I never realized how difficult it could be to make it look neat. B"H I don't have a problem lining the top/doing cat-eye. I don't like the severe look of black on the lower lid that many BY classmates of mine sport. Who taught them that it's nice? Waterline is good.

PS I loved your post about the ties lol. And looking forward to the shabbos makeup tips :-)

Princess Lea said...

You use pencil to do a cat's eye, or liquid liner?

Anonymous said...

Well, you read my post on my make-up complex...besides, even without my complex,I like a natural, clean look, still not going for your eyeliner protocol.

btw, did you know that kevyn aucoin never used eyeliner on the bottom rims?

Also, little tip, if you want to make your eyes look bigger (you commented about eyes looking smaller when lining the inner rim with kohl), use a white liner on your inner rims, and your eyes will appear larger.

corti said...

Pencil. Though I don't extend the eye too much because I prefer a natural look.

PremonitionsofAnAfterthought said...

I have a medium olive skin tone (yellow and olive undertones) When I first started wearing makeup, my mother took me to a makeup artist (so as not to appear clown-like-overdone-etc) she started me off with olive green shadow (still wear that color today!) and a forest green liner. I've since graduated to black. I occasionally wear purple but i've found nothing lines like black. My makeup artist also recommended lining the upper lid from end to tip and creating a tiny wing at the outer corner- and lining the bottom water line only halfway- lining it all the way will create a full ring around your eye- creating an optical illusion that makes your eyes look SMALLER! but a circle around anything and it will look smaller. I use a pencil and then sometimes I use a wet liner brush and black shadow on top of the pencil (as per Princess Lea's recommendation) It really seals the liner well (lasts all day!) and gives the professional appearance of liquid but is SO much easier to apply. A true true pet peeve of mine: liquid liner- applied only to the top lid- leaving about an eighth of an inch between the lashline and the liner. So its like: lashes-space-liner. Your liner should NOT look like you used a permanent marker on your lids! Get suuper close to those lashes ladies!! (this rant has been brought to you by PremonitionsofAnAfterthought- oy! hard to stop once i get started!)

Princess Lea said...

I have a whole post written up about green shadow - it's a great color.

It's funny - I never line my waterline, only the lower lash line - and when I fully lined my eyes, going all the way around, I was amazed how large my eyes looked. Makeup has very few absolutes.

PremonitionsofAnAfterthought said...

hmmmm maybe YOUR eyes looked big LOL....ok fine i have one makeup absolute: BLEND BLEND BLEND! your face should have no seams. agreed?

Sefardi Gal said...

Thank G-d for eyeliner!
Black is also my favorite. I have different colors (brown, blue, purple) -- but I don't use them often. Especially not on my bottom lids.
Definitely also a fan of liquid eyeliner, but like you said -- one needs to draw neat lines, otherwise, chuck the liquid and stick to pencil.

Princess Lea said...

PAA: DEFINITELY blending! That is very necessary, and I am often too lazy to do it properly, then I have Raggedy Anne patches of blush on my cheeks.

SG: Are you able to use liquid liner without stretching your lid? Can it be done?

iTripped said...

I don't agree about the black- yes, it is the safest, most dramatic look, but so many people overdo it and wind up looking like raccoons.

For everyday I like to experiment with different colors- silver, gold, green, blue, gray. I use an eyeliner brush to apply the same shade of eyeshadow under my lashline, and sometimes a cream/kohl pencil on my waterline. The only person who hasn't complimented my makeup is my mother, and that's because she's worn the same purple eyeshadow/black liner for years.
(I have brown eyes and supposedly that means I can wear any color! Or so I've been told…)

Also, I find that lining the inner corners with white pencil opens your eyes and makes you look more awake.

Sefardi Gal said...

Princess Lea - I slightly stretch the top lid. I've never seen it done otherwise

Princess Lea said...

AAAAAAH! Stretching!

corti said...

Ah, I'll agree with premonitions on the wingtip- I was calling it a small cat's eye lol.

What's wrong with stretching? Droopy skin in the future?

Princess Lea said...

YES! That's what I was saying!

corti said...

Oh gosh, sorry it seems like I totally overlooked those lines. Is that a clinically proven thing with eyeliner users or just a possibility that scares you...? (Also in that case what's your opinion on tweezing/waxing eyebrows? That's really where I heard the risk of droopy skin exists)

Princess Lea said...

Waxing and tweezing isn't done on a regular basis - and my eyebrow threader doesn't pull my skin at all.

I have heard enough makeup people say not to pull the eyelid (including Michelle Phan). Stretching the eyelid to the side every day for eyelining - no no no.