The first eyeliner I ever purchased came from the $2 Shop when I was about 14 years old, and that on my waterline and a Bonne Bell lipgloss was the only makeup I wore to school. Since then, my makeup world has broadened and long gone are the days of that cheap black twist up crayon in baby blue packaging. From pencil to liquid and to gel, I've tried them all and each one I own serves a different role in my eye makeup look.
To line the lower lash line, MAC's Eye Kohl in Smolder is my pencil of choice. This isn't something I do regularly as these days, I prefer a softer eye look and I usually just line my lash line with eye shadow. If you're after a deeper and as the product name suggests, more smouldering eye look, MAC's Eye Kohls are great because the colour payoff is excellent and the softness of them makes it really easy to blend out. Having said that though, they don't smear and you won't end up with black smudges under your eyes as I used to with cheaper alternatives. If I'm not feeling the winged liner, but still want to line my upper lash line, I love smudging this into it for a "soft grunge" kind of look.
When I was about 19 or 20 years old, I ditched wearing the black on my waterline and opted for white instead. I use another MAC Eye Kohl, this time in Fascinating, and as I have quite small eyes, this makes them pop and stand out against heavy eye makeup. On an everyday basis, you'll usually only find me wearing a few coats of mascara and sometimes a little eyeshadow, but when I go out, I play up my eye makeup more and white eyeliner really helps to brighten up the eyes and make them appear bigger. I had contemplated buying a nude eyeliner in the past, but I don't find the white eyeliner too bold at all. If you've pulled an all-nighter or just simply haven't slept much the night before, white eyeliner can also help in making you look less tired.
While I'm far from mastering the art of winged eyeliner, I'm slowly, but surely getting better at it with practise. MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack and the 209 Eye Liner Brush make the perfect pair for easy winged liner application and although YouTubers make applying eyeliner with an angled brush look so easy, I just can't seem to get the hang of it! If you're experiencing winged liner woes, I suggest using a fine tipped synthetic brush as I feel it's more precise and the 209 brush makes it especially easy and evenly applies the product.
When a brush and gel is too much effort, liquid eyeliner pens are another great alternative for lining the upper lash line. The NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Carpates is one I loved as it helps achieve that perfect flick and neither fades or smudges. It wasn't long, however, until it started slightly drying up and although it still works, applying liquid liner is still difficult when it starts run out because it tugs on your eyelids. It's impossible to get an evenly black line and just generally makes the whole process more frustrating than it already is. I've since discovered a superior liquid liner and that is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black. This stuff really is intense black! It's more "liquid-y" than the NARS counterpart, making it such a dream to apply and on first application, I was so impressed by how easy it was to get my flick looking right as it usually causes me so much grief. I don't know what the proper rules for winged liner application are, but I find my flick looks best as an extension of my lower lash line as opposed to lining it up and angling it with the end of my eyebrow. Before applying, make sure to shake it well and I think the spring in the lid may have something to do with keeping the nib really wet. I don't think I'll ever look at another liquid liner again since discovering this and although I have a lot of love for NARS, I think it's time to toss that one in the bin.
What are your favourite eyeliners?