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Image / Beauty

The Right Lines: How To Apply Eyeliner Like A Pro

15th Aug 2016

Make-up artist Lyndsey Cavanagh nails this season’s new eyeliner looks. The new fashion season brings an all-or-nothing approach to eyes: Go natural or – far more fun – go large. The cat-eye/winged liner is a staple that continues to evolve, and this winter, the trend is for an urban, glam vibe that is both bold and graphic in exaggerated smoky shapes. The best news? This is more about fierce than flawless.

So, what are the steps to the perfect feline flick??

Warm, waxy kohl liner juxtaposed with graphic, bold liquid liner is the ultimate modern-day cat-eye.

1 First, prep your eye area by applying a small amount of radiant under-eye concealer – no full coverage products, as they will cause dehydration lines. Build coverage by layering light, luminous products instead.

2 Using a soft brown kohl liner pencil, draw a feline shape by starting from the outside point and following the lash line to the inside corner. The width of the line should be smaller on the inside and larger on the outside.

3 Once this is complete, return to the outer corner and, starting at the root of your outermost lash, add a tapered triangle shape with the tip angled toward the end of your brow whilst following the natural angle of your lash line – as though you are extending your lash line with a tapered flick. It’s best to peep and creep – extend a little at a time until you gain confidence.

4 Perfection is not paramount, as the next step is to smudge out the edges using a small, firm smudge brush all along the liner from the outer to the?inner eye, diffusing the colour into your lid in short, upward strokes. Don’t overwork it or you will lose the impact.

5 Follow these exact steps a second time using a black gel, liquid or pen liner, the only difference being that with this product, you tight-line your eyes by keeping the liner at the roots of your lashes, all the way along and adding only a fine, tapered triangle at the outer edge.

6 To finish, lift and hold the upper lashes for five seconds whilst applying your mascara – this creates maximum impact and thoroughly lengthens by altering the angle of your lashes at the root.

Who gets it right?

I think Pen?lope Cruz nails the doe-eyed, diffused liner look as detailed above. Others I love include Alexa Chung, who enhances and elongates her almond eyes with clean, refined gel liner swept across her upper eyelid, maintaining an equal thickness all along, coupled with otherwise very minimal make-up. Adele rocks the 1960s, Biba-esque thick liner to create a more almond wide-eyed look. Sarah Jessica Parker is a great advocate of ?the finer the liner, the bigger your eyes will look? – because of her slightly deep-set/narrow eyes, this is the ideal liner look for her.

Liner for day versus liner for night?time?

Softening a strong eyeliner look for the’day is simple, just use kohl liners only and in shades of a more subtle nature. You could begin with a soft taupe kohl liner and follow with a tight line of deep mahogany, or initially, apply a gold or bronze liner and tight line with a deeper coffee colour.

Other colours/methods worth investigating?

Smoky shapes in new tones will be served up this winter; think khaki green, charcoal grey, burnt copper, deep mahogany, intense violet and even acid blue. Remember, blend, blend, blend all of these intense tones to soften to a simple hue. An ultra-nude liner applied to the inner waterline will also soften any of these colour choices and create a more wide-eyed effect.

Gel, pen or brush – what works best and why?

My preference is gel – it’s soft, malleable and glides on easily with a fine, angled brush, leaving a rich, deep line in its trail. My only issue is how quickly some gel liners tend to dry out when used frequently, but Inglot has a nifty solution in the form of a dry oil type product called Duraline. One drop added to your liner returns it to its former glory instantly.

Lyndsey’s key products

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner, €23.25


It’s soft, malleable and glides on easily with a fine, angled brush, leaving a rich, deep line in its trail.

Max Factor Liquid Effect Kohl Liner, €5.75


Ultra-soft, blendable, with superb colour pigment. These are key to create a smudgy, sexy eye.

Inglot Duraline, €12

A dry, oil-type product. Mix with your gel liner to keep it fluid and extend wear.

Erborian BB Eye Touche Parfaite 3-in-1 Complete Cream Concealer, €30

BB Eye 3 in 1 v

Korean skincare + BB skin tint + cream concealer imparts a velvety feel, adds creamy under-eye coverage and looks soft, silky and very flattering.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, €15.99

False_Lash_Effect_Rostrum v5_FINAL

A hero product for good reason – the wonderfully creamy texture never clogs, builds to incredible volume, and never, ever dries out.

Lyndsey Cavanagh is a?creative artist with Max Factor; appointments with her can be booked through The Hive, South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, 01 475 8649; thehivesalon.ie.

You can read this article and more in the IMAGE Magazine September issue; now available nationwide.