Cleopatra got it right with her smoky eyes. Every picture we have ever seen of her shows her eyes heavily outlined with eyeliner. Applying it correctly can make your eyes look sexy and alluring; but get it wrong and it will make you look like you had a case of the shakes or were trying to imitate a panda!
First of all you should make up the rest of your eye before putting on your eyeliner. Prime your eye first – a bit like when you want to paint your walls. You always need to prepare the “canvas” beforehand. A primer makes your make up last longer and also stops your eye shadow creasing. It can also make the colour a little more vibrant. Smooth it on gently with your finger all over your eyelid then add your eye shadow.
Now you are ready to apply the liquid eyeliner and this is the tricky part. Resting your elbow on a hard surface can help to keep your hand steady. Make up experts advise looking down into a mirror rather than stretching and pulling at your eye. When I do mine, I usually look straight into a mirror and close one eye and gently stroke the eye liner on. As with most things you need to practise until you get it right.
The key here is to use light brush strokes gradually marking the eye instead of just drawing it on all in one go. Don’t worry if you do shake a little and the line goes a bit wonky – just put a bit of eye make up remover on a cotton wool bud and gently dab at the mistake. If necessary you can use the cotton wool bud to remove it all and start again.
If you are a beginner it is probably better to stick to a straight line instead of trying for a flick at the outer edge as it is quite tricky to get them to look the same. A thin line is much more flattering than a thick black line – think Amy Winehouse. That look, for most of us, is a bit over the top unless we are going to a fancy dress party. Dark brown or charcoal grey is also a better choice than black as it can make your eyes seem too hard.
Brush tips are either very thin or similar to the tip of a felt tip pen. The thicker ones are actually a bit easier to use. First apply a thin line from the centre of your eyelid out to the end and then fill in the rest. Let it dry a bit then go back and fill in any gaps.
It is better to apply towards the eyelashes as any excess with fall onto the lashes rather than onto your eyeshadow. Then apply mascara. This is a must, as without it your eyes will look undefined and unfinished. For a more dramatic look, especially for a party, you could also use fake lashes.