Alternative Eyeliners

posted on: August 22, 2014

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

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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

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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

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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.

Summer, and Misc.

posted on: August 22, 2014

Engagement Cupcakes

So Many Apologies, dear people. I am completely aware that I have been completely absent, and I cannot tell you how ashamed I am. You know how it is, you feel guilty and then more guilty, and then it becomes embarrassing, and then you are too shame-faced to admit that you are so slack.

I have some reasons, disguised as excuses. I don’t usually say things about what I’m doing on here, because it is boring, but I feel I must update. I have been travelling, both for work and for myself. We moved offices at work, so I am now driving for ages to work every day (in Hong Kong! How weird!), and perhaps most importantly, I got engaged!

We were in Shanghai, staying in an uber-chic converted factory aka hotel, and I was in the bath when my boyfriend proposed over the side. (Apparently he just couldn’t wait for a few minutes for me to get out.) He accompanied it with cupcakes. Which I appreciated.

While I claim not to be “bridal”, my brain has been rather full of things like venues and such. I don’t think I am very bridal. I already got my dress, in the first shop I went into, because it was Not Fun getting in and out of these big dresses and I was rather hot and wanted to have lunch.

(I say this, but I have discovered Pinterest. It is like hacking at your spare time with an axe until it disappears and it is 2am and someone is snoring next to you and you wonder what has happened in the last six hours.)

So although we are very excited, I promise I will not mention any of this again, it is just too boring for everyone else, and there is nothing worse than someone blogging “Here are my Top 5 Wedding Lipglosses”.

Just thought I should explain myself. Back to more interesting things.

Review: Lierac Diopticerne Teinté

posted on: June 30, 2014

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I feel like I did you a disservice the other week. I simply casually mentioned, in my post about the best pharmacie in Paris, that the Lierac Diopticerne Teinté Dark Circle Correcting Cream Eye Contour was good. As in, a good product to buy. Which is basically like saying that the baguettes in Paris are just ok, and the Turing test is just, you know, a doddle.

This is technically, I suppose, a concealer. However, this is the tinted version of Lierac’s Diopticerne eye cream for dark circles, and as such behaves far more like an eye cream than a concealer. It has sheer to medium coverage, which is great for days when you kind of did have enough sleep, but if you use it just like that, you’re kind of missing the point.

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The point, dear people, is that the seriously creamy formula sinks into the skin almost immediately, hydrating your skin marvellously, but drying down to a completely non-greasy finish which is simply perfect for a more pigmented concealer to be applied on top. The formula holds anything that is placed on top of it, even the greasiest of concealers, for hours. Alone, it makes you look more awake and lively, and as a seriously hydrating primer, means that even the darkest of dark circles are hidden until you go to bed again.

Even better, this is most definitely not a purely cosmetic formula. The actives, rich with arnica and vitamins, start to work in only a few applications to decrease puffiness, enliven the skin, and actually diminish that pesky under-eye darkness.

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And you don’t have to go to Paris to get it. You can find Lierac in any good drugstore in the US (try the fancier ones though) and on Amazon. In the UK, you can go to Amazon, or a good chemist. And in Hong Kong, any good Watsons has Lierac.

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Serious Pre-Party Primping

posted on: June 30, 2014

There are a few rituals I like to go through before big events, for my skin and hair. Not just any old event, I’m not talking about meeting your best friend for a movie, but those ones where there are real invitations, and you might possibly have a new dress, and are carrying a real “evening” bag [...]

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Textures: Let’s Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

posted on: June 27, 2014

I have to admit, I am a pretty big geek about products. I will ooh and ah much more over a new technology or texture than the latest wrinkle-fighting, spot-busting peptide. The processes of product design, engineering, and creative chemical thinking that go into a well-executed texture are phenomenal, and yet most people have no idea that they ever took place. But believe me, inventing a new way to bind ingredients together, so that they are not only pretty but also effective on the skin, is difficult. [...]

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Tiny Tip: Wipe That Mascara

posted on: June 24, 2014

Have you ever noticed that your mascara gets a little glumpy well before its three month expiry date? By glumpy I mean dried out, overflowing its wiper, with residue all over the place, and far too much dried gunk on the actual brush. Lovely picture I’m painting, right? One tiny trick that absolutely [...]

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