Sunday, April 29, 2012

Talking Techniques - Part 3b

Hello all.
So let's continue our discussion about eye make-up techniques. once again its almost a month since my last post (3/25) and since I began this piece. So sorry for the delay. My last post covered eye shadow to the 10th power. LOL! So let's complete the eye by talking eyeliner, mascara and maybe a little about faux lashes. We might throw in some brow talk too. Let's get started...
Eyeliner is hot these days! The trend is to use bright colors and/or create a winged shape or cat eye. Of course trends aren't for everyone so let's start with the basics of eyeliner application. As a general rule, the thickness and intensity of the eyeliner should correlate with the size of your eyelid—the larger the eyelid area, the thicker yet softer the eyeliner should be. The smaller the eyelid area, the thinner and more intense the liner should be.  If your lid doesn't show much, you might want to skip the eyeliner, use lots of mascara and use a deep shadow to enhance the shape of the eye. Understanding the shape of your eye, as mentioned in the last blog post, not only helps with eye shadow application, but with liner application as well. Eyeliner can help to give the illusion of wider eyes or make eyes look smaller. It can be dramatic or simply enhance the eyes and eye color.
Eyeliner Styles
Penny has smallish eyes with hooded lids, and I still wear eyeliner with every look. I don't have lush or long lashes so the liner gives me the perfect amount of intensity & brings out my eye color. I love a smokey eye look but realized that it makes my eyes even smaller. So I learned different techniques that allow me to use liner to darken my lash line without concealing my already small lid. Although I think the winged liner look is hot, I don't have the right shape eyes to pull it off.  So on most days I use the technique from the first look (top left) in the diagram; or the more natural look on the top right. I rim my entire eye if I'm doing a smokey eye or just want my eye color to pop.
(read full story....)

Types of Eyeliner:
Pencil/Kohl: The most common eyeliner is the original pencil formula. I know some folks are still using Maybelline Expert Eyes and using a lighter to burn the end and make it soft. LOL! You know...the little red pencils that come in a 2 pack? I know some of you know what I'm talking about. (Probably aged myself with that tidbit. LOL!) Pencil liners are the easiest to control and suggested for many eyeliner novices. The key is to keep the pencil sharpened and use short strokes. As with most make-up Penny advises starting with a thin application and then widen if necessary.
Pencil liners also come in Kohl (aka Kajal) formulas, which are very soft pencils often used for smudging and creating a smokey eye look. Unless the liner is soft, using eyeliner pencils has always been hit or miss for Penny. My lash line is not the smoothest so its not always easy to control the liner. Lately I have gone back to using pencil liners simply because I'm now lining my upper water line (the underside of the lash line). By lining my lash line from underneath it defines my eyes, darkens my lashes at the base, but doesn't take up my eyelid space. This is a very natural look but one that takes a little practice because you don't want the liner to get under your eye lid obviously. TIP: Penny's favorite long lasting pencil liner is Make Up For Ever's Aqua Eyes (Waterproof) Eye Liner ($18, Sephora).

Cat Eye
Liquid/Marker: Liquid eyeliner has been around forever but its not the easiest to use unless you have a steady hand. What I don't like about most liquid liners is that they tend to run, and if you make a mistake its hard to fix it. Penny often has teary eyes (allergies) so I need liner with staying power. The newer 'marker' liners have the intensity of a liquid liner but dry more quickly and are easier to use. Liquid liner is often used to create the new trend of winged and cat eye looks. Again you want to use short strokes when applying this type of eyeliner, and stay close to your lash line. Find your comfort zone....some work from the outside inward and some from the inside corner outward. I usually start in the middle and work out and then come back to extend to the inner corner. Make-up professionals give instruction on this but I think you have to find what works best for you and the look you're trying to achieve. No one is going to want to put on eyeliner if it feels challenging to work with. Take your time and when you get the hang of it play around with different looks.
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

Gel/Cream: Gel liners are my favorite because they last long. The consistency is creamy and easier to apply than liquid liner. But you get the same intensity as liquid liner. With a good liner brush and gel liner you can create cool intense long-wearing look. I have gel liners in a variety of colors and often use them if I'm going out at night. Gel and liquid liners could look harsh if not done neatly so I prefer a pencil when I'm in a rush because they are easier to smudge out if I make a mistake. LOL!  TIP: Penny's favorite gel liner is Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($22, Bloomingdale's) comes in a nice array of colors.
Cake Eyeliner

Powder/Cake: Cake liner is used mainly by professional make-up artists. They are simply powder liners that are long lasting. Often applied with a damp eyeliner brush, cake eyeliners dry quickly and are usually smudge-proof. Penny has never used a cake liner, but I have used a damp brush and eyeshadow to create the same effect. Some make-up artist even suggest using powder eye shadow to 'set' your soft pencil or liquid liners.

Dramatic Winged Eyeliner
Keep in mind that black eyeliner can be intense so opt for a chocolate brown to soften the look and make it more modern. Charcoal gray is also a great color liner. Try a 'white' eyeliner pencil on the your lower waterline to help open up your eyes. This is a popular look amongst celebrities and models. If you want to try the trends or just jazz up your look for a night out, try a bright color that compliments your skin tone and eye color. Penny likes dark green, deep violet, or blue liners when going for a more edgy look that make my hazel eyes pop. 
TIP: One of the best tips I  read about was to set my lower lash liner with powder. What I mean is that after applying liner on my lower lash line I use a pencil brush or any flat liner brush and go over that line with eye shadow to help prevent eyeliner run. You can use black eye shadow on top of black liner or try a complimentary color shadow. I also 'smudge' my liner for a less defined more blended look. Both techniques work to keep liner in place.

L'Oreal Telecopic
Explosion Waterproof
There are so many mascaras on the market the best tip Penny can give is to check the stores return policy. LOL! I'm not going to spend a lot of real estate here on this since Penny is a bit of a mascara maniac and has covered this a few times. LOL! When looking for a good mascara its all about trial and error. They all claim to do one thing or another...and nowadays it has gotten even more confusing with the fiber formulas, and vibrating mascara wands. Basically if you're lashes are fine...look for a volumizing mascara. If length is what you need, try a lengthening mascara. Some offer to do both. As for technique, again I recommend that you find what works for you. Penny uses mascara on both top and bottom lashes. My technique is to use a magnifying mirror, and looking at a slightly downward angle I coat my lashes from root to tip for my top lashes. For my bottom lashes I look straight ahead and lightly coat my lashes. Often times I use waterproof mascara on my bottom lashes (only) to prevent mascara smudging. The small travel size mascaras sold at Sephora are great for the bottom lashes; or the ball tip wand like that of Givenchy Phenomen Eyes or L'Oreal's Telescopic Explosion.

Faux Lashes:
False Lashes
It is no secret that false eyelashes have become all the rage in the past year. Penny thinks this is good and bad. LOL! I've seen more people wearing the wrong 'type' of lashes...the wrong size (yes, you should trim to fit the length of your eyes if you can't find one that matches)...or they're applying them poorly where the glue is showing; it takes away from the whole look of enhanced lashes. But I'm quite intrigued with faux lashes and have been practicing to apply them myself. I have friends who do it effortlessly but it has been hit or miss with me. My lashes are fine and average in length so I hope I can master the technique of applying faux lashes. Every once in a while I channel my inner drag queen and wear more dramatic lashes. LOL! But most of the time I try for a more natural look. Since I'm a novice myself there is not much I can share on the technique of applying false lashes but you can find lots of instructional videos on YouTube. I like inexpensive lashes like Ardell 108 and Andrea's ModLash 53 lashes sold at CVS. I've also bought Red Cherry Lashes 747s from and like those too, but I had to trim them a little. Duo Lash Adhesive (in dark tone) works best for me. I have also had lashes professionally applied. They were clusters and not strip lashes and looked amazing! Unfortunately they did not last the 2 weeks I was told they could last. I also had a hard time cleaning 'around' the lashes to preserve them. I'm one of those people that can't go to bed without giving my face a good wash, so it was hard maintain the lashes.

Basic Brow Shaping
Shaping and filling in your eyebrows can make a world of difference! Eyebrows help frame your face and can really complete your eye make-up look. Whether you get your brows, waxed, threaded or tweezed its important to keep a good shape and not over pluck your brows. For years I only waxed my brows and kept a flattering medium shape, but when I started filling them in it really completed my look and made my eyes pop! Now I fill my brows in without fail. Using an angled brow brush I fill in my brows daily with bareMinerals Brow Color in Pale/Ash Blonde (the name is deceiving; its dark brown). After filling in my brows, I brush them to groom the hair and even out the powder; then I use a little clear brow gel (by Anastasia) to set the look.

The general rule is to make sure the inner corner of your brow is in line with the outside of the corresponding nostril (1). The highest point of your arch should be in line with the outside of your pupil (2). And the outer edge of your brow should taper off to a point that intersects with an imaginary line drawn from the outer nostril past the outer edge of the eye (3). I read recently that you should think of your brows as sisters and not twins. I thought that was a great analogy. It is difficult to get your eyebrows perfectly even since they usually don't grow that way naturally. So I just try to come close. :-)

Hope this long post has been helpful. Please let me know if you have any tips/techniques to share.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Came across this video tutorial on brows today by Michelle Phan. Thought it went well with this post. Hope it helps.