Eyeliner: flicks, tricks and cat eyes

Worried about hand wobbles and wonky lines? Try gel liner

Audrey Hepburn: the poster girl for flicked eyeliner

Audrey Hepburn: the poster girl for flicked eyeliner


The cat’s-eye flick has been synonymous with glamour since the days of the old Hollywood screen sirens. With the fashion passion strong for the vintage look at the moment, Audrey Hepburn is the poster girl for flicked liner.

The very thought of winged liner is enough to frighten the life out of many people, however. Hand wobbles, wonky lines and drawing a thicker line on one eye than the other are dangers. As someone who has been wearing liquid liner ever since I first discovered the joy of it around my Leaving Cert years, I find it draws the blackest and most dramatic line. I’ve shouted my love for the iconic Lancome Art Liner to the rooftops so many times that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I realise it’s not for everyone.

The cosmetic industry knows it’s not for everyone too, and so various gizmos have been invented to try and make it easier to get the line right – Bourjois and Clarins 3 Dot Liners among them. You don’t really need three-pronged liners, however – just dot your regular liner along the lash line if you don’t feel confident enough to create a solid line straight off, and then join the dots.

Gel liner is a much safer bet. It’s easier to control, easier to draw with a mini-brush and offers much less potential for disaster because it’s so easy to fix. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (€22.50) and Mac Fluidline (€18.50) are probably the best known of the premium gel liners, and for years it was impossible to find a decent budget alternative. All that changed with the introduction of Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner (€11.50) , which included a brush and managed to outdo the pricier brands. Twist-up gel liner pencils are another option, but they don’t tend to wear as well.

And if you’re feeling extra brave? Adding a bold stripe of coloured eyeliner above your regular black line to create a double liner effect looks great on a night out.

Tweet Aisling @Aphrodite101


eyeSmashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner (€19)

One of the most annoying things about pencil liners is that you can never find a sharpener when you need it. These iridescent twist-up liners are available in eight shades and will add definition and shimmer.

ingInglot AMC Eyeliner Gel (€15)

This is the smartest gel liner budget choice, and is available in 20 colours . The shade range means you can follow any trend you desire , and the quality is great.

unkinUrban Decay Ink For Eyes (€20)

A fine, intensely black line that’s practically bomb-proof. Turn the pen to get a thicker line and use the tip to create a winged look.

lauraLaura Mercier Creme Eyeliner (€27)

This liner, a sort of liquid -gel hybrid, is applied with a brush and makes it really easy to get a clean and perfectly defined look. Available in six shades.

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