As someone who has been trying to replicate Amy Winehouse's trampy eyeliner for the last five years, I know a thing or two about liquid and gel eyeliners.
After a Twitter discussion with @BeccaCaddy about the best "cheap" eyeliner out there, I figured I should make this easier for all of us and just write a post about it rather than trying to give advice in 140 character spurts!
If you're trying to get a groovy cat-eye look going, or create a "flick" as the make-up artists I know call it, you'll want to use either liquid or gel eyeliner. Trying to achieve this look with a regular eyeliner pencil just won't do. Plus, it will probably hurt. The skin on around your eyes is sensitive, so you want something that will just glide on.
Like lube for your eyes.
I have wasted so much money on horrible eyeliners. May my mistakes help make you wiser. Here are the best eyeliners depending upon price, and your level of skill. Yes, it's a skill.
1. The Easy Cheap Option
If you're completely uncoordinated and have the hands of an 80-year-old woman when it comes to steadiness, you'll want to start with something easy.
The Bourjois Paris Liner Feutre is a liquid eyeliner in the form of a felt-tip pen. It's incredibly easy to put on, and easy to wipe off if you make a mistake.
Hints & Tricks: After a while, the tip of the pen widens so try no to press too hard. Make sure when you apply this you only move the pen in one direction, if you go back over what you've done in another direction, you'll fade the colour. Also, if the tip gets dry, don't shake the pen with the top off. You will speckle your bathroom with black ink. FACT.
2. The Best Cheap Option
If you're ready to move beyond a pen, and you think you're ready to use a pot of eyeliner and a brush, Maybelline's Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner is the best option.
Hints & Tricks: Make sure you practice with this, don't try it when you're running late for work. This applies really nicely, however, you might want to invest in a finer tip brush as the one provided is very thick and not very nimble. After application, give it time to dry, otherwise you'll end up with eyeliner in the crease of your eyelid, and potentially all over your face. Apply and then keep your eyes shut. Or, like I did, use the cool option on your blowdryer and blowdry your face. It works.
3. The Ethical Option
If you're vegan and want your eyeliner to be too, Lush's Emotional Brilliance Independent Eyeliner is a fantastic option for you.
Hints & Tricks: This is made with a "no-smudge, stay put formula" which really works. Just make sure you use plenty of it, as it when it dries it might start to crack a tiny bit over the day. This stays put brilliantly, although the application can be a bit tricky as the brush is in the lid of the eyeliner and is a bit short, leading to eyeliner to get a bit stuck in your lashes. It's a bit messy but worth it, and the brush is very thin so creates a really nice line.
4. The Best Pricey Option
The best eyeliner I've ever used is Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. A huge part of this, however, is using the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush to apply it - it makes all the difference!
Hints & Tricks: This eyeliner is basically amazing, so I don't have any warnings for you, other than to buy the brush!
Bobbi Brown, £17
Q-Tips are Your Friend: Make a mistake? Use a Q-Tip to quickly correct it. Works like a charm.
Curl Your Eyelashes: Curl your eyelashes before you apply your eyeliner, and then apply your mascara afterwards. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you forget to curl your lashes before, you can smudge your eyeliner. Easy mistake to make!
Fake Eyelashes? If you're applying fake eyelashes, put them on after you do your eyeliner. The girls at MAC apply your lashes first and then do the eyeliner, but they're experts and use witchcraft, so...
Don't Pull: When you're creating your flick, don't pull the skin on your eye back. All this does is make your flick seem more pointy or longer when it is when applying, and then look completely different when you let go. Look straight ahead and apply the eyeliner with your eye as it normally is.
Look around! Look at what your eyeliner flick looks like from all angles, from the side and what it looks like when your eyes are half-closed, especially. This is how other people see you! You'll probably want to do some touch-ups.
Take it Off. Make sure you have a really great eye make-up remover and use it with cotton pads. You'll need it!
Inspiration: Pinterest is crawling with amazing eyeliner ideas! Go nuts!
There you have it! This is everything I know about liquid eyeliner. Please do let me know if you have any tips or recommendations - tweet me at @CateSevilla.
Original image via Ashley Harrigan's Flickr