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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Obsessed Right Now - Gel Eyeliner

What springs to mind when you think of jet black eyeliner?

For me it's the vintage images of the old Hollywood beauties. So clean and yet seductive and magical. From Brigitte Bardot and her thick, distinguished eyeliner to Audrey Hepburn with her toned down, but still glamorously lined eyes, to the Queen of Burlesque, Dita von Teese...
I love it all.

I find the jet black eyeliner timeless. Amazing how one little line can transform your makeup look in a big way. And don't get me wrong you don't have to stick to black only, you can go any color you want, you can even make double liner (with some metallics or neons). Smudge it, blend it, leave it clean, all styles are gorgeous.

Barbra Streisand

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot

Sophia Loren


"Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." - Sophia Loren


Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

Dita Von Teese

For the ones who know me, I can't live without jet black eyeliner. It takes some practice to get it right, but practice makes perfect.  The most important is to have the right tools.

  • #1 on my list is a good, fine eyeliner brush. You can use both angled or pointed brush. I use the MAC 210 precise eyeliner brush when I want to achieve a super fine, close to the lashes line. For a thicker line, you can use MAC 209 and MAC 211 for even fuller (Sophia Loren style) line. I've no experience with Sigma brushes, but most of the tutorials on line will recommend using Sigma E05 - pointed or Sigma E65 angled brushes. 

My Eyeliner Brushes Collection

  • #2 on my list is the eyeliner you would like to use. This post is tagged "Obsessed", so I'm going to show you my favorite one, although you can chose to use any other brand and texture. I don't like liquid eyeliners with some kind of gloss. Actually, I hate shiny eyeliners. Mine should be gel, jet black and matte, thick when applied, longwear and no smudging. I've tried most of the major brands on the market, expensive and cheaper. And until recently I thought I've the perfect ink black eyeliner, Bobby Brown (23$ US). It's quite creamy and easy to apply, dries fine and wears really long. At the time it seemed perfect. I bought four different colors and all are beautiful. If you buy the set of two, you will get a free Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (26$ US).

Black Ink #1

  • My undisputed favorite is not MAC (I know some of my friends will be disappointed). Although MAC Fluidline (16$ US) is beautiful as well. It glides smoothly, dries almost instantaneous with a dark matte finish. You don't need to use a lot for the desired effect and the small jar will last you forever. An amazing value for money and comes in several colors.

MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel
  • Ok, time to reveal my winner and all time favorite Gel Eyeliner, YSL Effet Faux Cils Crème D'eyeliner (28$ US) or the Long-Wear Cream Eyeliner in Black. I've already praised it here, in this post. I purchased it a month or two ago, and since then I've forgotten about all the rest. It is absolutely gorgeous. It's somewhat on the drier side, but the texture is very creamy and one stroke will give me the intense black line. No need for re-applying to reach the jet black, matte look. It dries fast without flaking and will stay put all day long, even after a high-intensity workout. I did the wipe off test with all my Gel Eyeliners and YSL was the most difficult to wash. I managed to clean it only after I used the makeup remover. Just amazing... I wanted to buy #3 - Black Bronze, but unfortunately it wasn't available here. I have to get it when I travel. 



How to Apply
Everyone has a different way to apply makeup and I can assure you the eyeliner will prove it. That's how I do it.
  • Before I start with the eyes I would finish my face first - primer, foundation, setting powder and so on, depends on the occasion. If I use dark eyeshadows I will leave this step for the end. 
  • I would prepare the eyelid and cover all over with a nude shade that compliments my skin. If it's for the day wear I will not use glitter shades, just nude matte ones. 
  • Now this is quite controversial...I will apply one coat of mascara, before the eyeliner. I know that most tutorials say to apply the mascara at the end, but I like my lashes to be already somewhat done, so I can visualize the final result.
  • Time for the Eyeliner. I use a fine, pointed brush - one of the above, depends on the thickness and the intensity I would like to achieve. I always start from the middle of the lash line with short smooth strokes and move to the outside corner of the eye. 
  • Next, I apply the eyeliner all the way to the inner corner of the eye, keeping the line thicker at the outer corner and gradually thinning it toward the inner corner. If I want just to contour the eyes I will be done. But sometimes I would like to go for cat-eyes, or thick, full Sophia Loren style or even smokey. 
  • Apply several more coats of mascara and fill in with extra gel if there are some empty spots.
  • Brows, lips and you are done.
Here is a good tutorial, by one of the most gorgeous girls on Youtube. I absolutely love her videos. She does her eyeline different than I do...feel free to use any technique that will bring you the best results.  





Here are some suggestions for eyeliner shapes and designs.




And the Eyeliner Style board from the makeup artist Bassam Fattouh, featured previously here.




My favorite...may be not so winged, but still black and intense.




Let me know which one is your favorite? 

Get your tools and get on playing with shapes and colors. 

If you are on a budget Maybelline EYE STUDIO® LASTING DRAMA™ GEL EYELINER can be the perfect solution. Amazing quality and long wear and only 9.99$ US. Buy Maybelline 



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