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Line of the times

Make-up artist, Nancy Spencer’s fuss free guide to fabulous flicks

Published on September 28th 2010.

Line of the times

As we enter into the new season, one make-up trend that has emerged again from the catwalk is strong liquid lines of all shapes and sizes. Thick winged flicks ruled at Giambatista Valli and experimental smudges at Jean Paul Gaultier marked the start of an edgier stronger look for AW10.

In terms of recreating this look, it can be challenging; wonky lines, uneven flicks and products that just won’t stay are all potential nightmares. Follow my guide to creating the perfect lines with my tried and tested insider techniques...

Tools of the trade
There are literally hundreds of different eyeliners on the market. For a sharp precise look, opt for a liquid or cream based product over a pencil. My favourites are:

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel eyeliner (£15)

Mac Liquidlast liner (£14)

Lancôme Gentle Felt Eyeliner (£19.50)

I always use an eyeliner brush rather than the applicator the product may come with, this way I can really control the product and achieve an accurate shape. Try using a very thin Eyeliner brush such as Mac 210 brush (£15) for a smooth precise finish.

Prep your lids
To keep your liner in place and to prevent smudging or printing use a oil free primer such as Urban Decay Primer Potion (£14), next dust a face powder or a skin toned eyeshadow over the primer to set and smooth.

Trace the shape
If you find getting even flicks impossible, try using a pale brown eye kohl such as Paul & Joe Waterproof eyeliner (£11.50) to trace out the shape of the line and flick. With your eyes open, tilt your head back (this way your can see what you’re doing).

Start at the inner corner of the eye and begin where your lashes start. Dab the pencil as close to the lashes as possible, with the line starting thin and getting thicker towards the outer corner. For the flick, look straight on in the mirror and make a small dot to mark where the flick will end. You can adjust the dot to make sure each side is exactly the same. Then join the dot to the outer corner of the eye. Perfect!

Back to black
Take your chosen liner in black (cream products are easier for beginners, liquids for the more seasoned pro) and your thin liner brush. Take a small amount of the product onto the brush and slightly stretch the skin from the corner of your eye towards the temple. This will ensure a smooth finish. Using your eye kohl guide,complete the line in three stages: inner corner to middle, middle to outer corner and then finish with the flick.

Complete the look
Let the liner do the talking and keep the rest of your eye make-up simple. Curl lashes and add lots of black mascara. Use a pale highlighter on the tops of your cheek bones and a pale lipstick keep the look minimal and up-to-date. Remember practice really does make perfect with this look, so get going and wing your way to a new, edgier you.

Nancy Spencer is a freelance make-up artist and founder of Make-up Manchester. Nancy covers everything from wedding make-up to fashion and special effects. She also offers make-up lessons at her studio. For more information please visit makeupmanchester.co.uk

Make-up Manchester
Red Door studios
2nd Floor
12 Lever St
M1 1LN

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