There is a saying doing the rounds of the internet: “Never ask a girl with winged eyeliner why she is late.”
So so true. Getting a cat-eye right is a completely under-appreciated effort. If everyone put in the level of skill and practice that is needed for a “casual” flick to other endeavours, we could all build computers in our spare time by now.
Never mind. The creative minds behind beauty brands have realised this, and are making our lives easier. The three liners that follow are the very best of a recent crop of alternative eyeliner solutions, which are just genius.
Clarins 3-Dot Liner
OK, if I’m honest here, this is something I just wish I had invented myself. This is a little trident of felt tips, which are perfectly loaded with high pigment, ultra-black liner. You can use the three little prongs vertically, dotting in between the lashes, right at the base, leaving a natural effect that looks like you have double the number of eyelashes, or use it sideways, drawing a straight line across the top of the lash line. Or both.
This is so so easy. For those of us who like dark eyes, but not the clear graphic-ness of liquid liner, this is phenomenal. The point of the little dots is to look natural anyway, so it is fine if you mess up a little. And the liner is so pigmented, but the applicator is quite stiff, so you can actually create a smooth line easily. And it lasts.
If you also dot a little into your bottom lashes, just the outer third or so, your eyes look so much bigger, your lashes look multiplied by a million, and you haven’t even put mascara on yet.
Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner
This product is slightly difficult to understand if you look at the ads. I wasn’t sure if it would be a felt-tip, or a shaped brush. But actually it is neither. It is a shaped, very thin silicone applicator, through which the formula is fed as you click the bottom of the pen. The applicator is flexible, acting sort of like the suspension on a car, meaning that it stays completely flush to the skin as you draw it along, leaving a completely clear, non-streaky, smooth line.
Not just that, but the formula is dope, dude. It just doesn’t come off. I was practising these liners all over my knees (as you do) and this one just Does Not come off without an oil-based remover. Not even soap got it off. It lasts a little less well on the eyes, as they naturally have more oil than knees, but it still is pretty incredible.
Sephora Collection Smart Liner
This liner is for those people who shake all over the place. It takes all of the handwork out of the equation, by fitting itself perfectly into your crooked finger and palm. Just prop your elbow on the table, lean your head back but carry on looking straight ahead so your eyes slightly close, and lightly draw your hand across the top of the lashes. The applicator is so long (but still rigid enough) that you can almost just lay it across to leave a smooth line. Slightly harder to get fancy wings with this one, but for two eyes that look the same, that is a worthy sacrifice.