When it comes to autumn/winter beauty trends, the eyes most definitely have it: all the coolest catwalk make-up designs focused on prettifying the peepers, but we’re not just talking a standard smoky eye.
Make-up artists wielded eyeliner like a weapon, with everything from the classic cat-eye flick to the Sixties ‘floating’ liner getting a fresh new-season remix.
These bold looks may take a bit of practice, but the pay-off will be so worth it, especially with party season right around the corner.
Steady hands at the ready, it’s time to toe the line...
Like any artistic endeavour, preparation is everything when it comes to perfecting your liner look.
Primer is essential for creating a blank canvas; a smooth, oil-free surface to which colour cosmetics can cling.
Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer, £21.50 contains SPF20, which we often forget about on our eyelids (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk).
If you need a more tailored shade, Artdeco 3 in 1 Eye Primer, £11.60, Debenhams, comes in cool or warm tones (www.debenhams.com).
Already perfected the cat-eye flick? Then why not take it up a notch with wider winged liner, as seen in teal on the Antonio Berardi catwalk and black at John Galliano.
“Unlike the classic flick, for this look you’re going to start with the wing,” explains make-up artist Lisa Potter-Dixon, author of Easy On The Eyes. “Draw a line from the corner of your eye, angled upwards towards the end of your brow. The longer this line, the more dramatic the look, so go as far as you dare. From the tip of this line, draw back towards the centre of the eye, but stop as you reach the middle of the eye. Fill in the gaps of the shape you have created.”
:: Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner in Beyond Black, £18.50 (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk)
:: Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Lagoon Green, £16, Debenhams (www.debenhams.com)
CROSSING THE LINE
At Giamba, the youthful off-shoot of Giambattista Valli’s main line, make-up artist Val Garland daubed tattoo-like designs around models’ eyes using black eye pencil.
The stars, hearts and musical notes might be a bit much for everyday wear, but Lily Donaldson’s sharp Z-shaped tick is totally achievable with Pur Minerals Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner in Madagascar, £14, FeelUnique.com.
The most extreme interpretation of the Sixties throwback floating liner came at Rochas, where dense, black curves sat way outside the upper and lower lashlines.
The cartoon panda look isn’t for everyone, but Felder Felder’s softer take is much more accessible.
Start with a wash of neutral eyeshadow over the lid, then trace a crescent above the crease using Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Charcoal Obsidian, £15, BeautyBay.com.
There’s no need to be really precise, because afterwards you’re going to gently smudge and blend the line with a brush like the Bobbi Brown Dual Ended Eyeliner/Smokey Eye Liner Brush, £31, to give a more lived-in look (www.bobbibrown.co.uk).
The bigger the better was the mantra at House of Holland - thick black brushstrokes were plastered across the eye crease - and at Dior, where neat ovals of khaki, brown or plum extended almost to the eyebrow.
For this kind of super-liner, a powder or gel pot and brush are your best bet - the only question is: how bold do you dare to go?
:: Bobbi Brown Intense Pigment Liner in Black Plum, £26.50, (www.bobbibrown.co.uk)
:: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Liner in Emerald, £6.99, Boots (www.boots.com)
:: Art Deco 2 Style Eyeliner Brush Premium Quality, £12, Debenhams (www.debenhams.com)
THE FINISH LINE
Been a bit heavy-handed with the liquid liner? Reach for the Bbrowbar Brow Corrector, £17, a clever two-ended (one wet, one dry) pen that will help you fix any slips (www.blinkbrowbar.com).
Now all you need is a couple of coats of mascara. Heavy eye make-up can make your eyes look smaller, so to counteract that effect, go for a curl-enhancing formula like NARS Audacious Mascara, £21, John Lewis, which uses tiny comb grips to separate and pull your lashes skyward (www.johnlewis.com).
Alternatively, amp up the grunge factor with lashings of Max Factor False Lash Effect Velvet Volume Mascara, £8.99, Boots (www.boots.com).
:: Easy On The Eyes by Lisa Potter-Dixon, £10.49, WHSmith
TRIED AND TESTED
:: Frances Wright has an eye-opening experience while trying out a new lash treatment.
“I religiously curl my eyelashes every morning in a desperate attempt to look like I’ve had enough sleep, so the idea of a treatment that could make me look awake for up to 12 weeks without the daily faff was very appealing. The treatment uses a silicone solution to turn the lashes upwards and enhance their height and volume, while also lengthening them, and can last three months. The process took an hour in total, with the top and bottom lashes tended to separately, but it is a relaxing experience as your eyes remain closed the entire time - with the additional bonus of a head massage as the lashes are left to set. It’s two weeks since I had the treatment and I haven’t needed to curl my eyelashes or smother them in mascara since. I’ve never looked more awake.”
:: Yumi Lashes, £80, is available at salons nationwide (www.yumilashes.com).
BUY IT NOW
Isn’t it devastating when a limited edition product you adore comes to the end of its run? Well, you’ve now one less lippy to worry about, because Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, £18, John Lewis, is now part of the brand’s permanent collection. The hazelnut oil infused super-soother comes in Honey and Raspberry shades (www.johnlewis.com).
:: LOVELY DAYS
Make-up is supposed to help us look more attractive, but indulging in a little preening each day can actually change our emotional state and relationships too, according to a new study. Commissioned by Revlon, researchers found that 97% of women reported a significant positive change after a week during which they performed a daily ritual that involved facing a mirror, applying make-up and fragrance, looking at themselves and smiling. Their partners noticed a difference too, as you can see in a video documenting some of the participants at www.revlon.com/loveison. Tissues at the ready, though, it’s a bit of a weepie.
STEAL OF THE WEEK
As shorter days and a lack of sunlight take hold, we all need a little bit more help with our complexions, don’t we? Enter Collection’s new #ConcealAndLightLikeAPro palette, which contains eight skin-boosting cream shades for just £5.99. Blend the concealers to find your perfect shade, then use the four clever colours to banish eye bags, redness, sallowness - or all three.
:: Collection #ConcealAndLightLikeAPro Pallette, £5.99, Boots