Mastering the Art of the Line

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Hello all my beautiful Warpainters!!

So when I first started to have more than just an interest in make up, one of the most feared practises I thought I’d never master was the art of eye liner. I think it’s safe to assume that a vast majority of women who enjoy applying make up attempt to apply eyeliner with a sense of trepidation! Before we get down and dirty with the fundamental application of the ‘dreaded’ line, let me first tell you a thing or two about how this practice came to be such a frustrating yet hugely desirable part of our beauty regime.

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Let’s go back…..way, way back to Ancient Egypt…..to where Eyeliner was first worn as a dark black line around the eyes. Egyptians wore various cosmetics not only for aesthetics but to protect the skin from the desert sun.Research has also speculated that eyeliner was worn to protect the wearer from the evil eye (more commonly known now amongst modern women as ‘leaky eye syndrome’!) These heavily lined eyes were a repeated depiction in Egyptian hieroglyphs and eventually, when Tutankhamuns tomb was discovered in the 1920’s the rapidly modernising woman was introduced to the ancient glorious art of eyeliner!

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And so down through the twentieth century the style has thickened, pointed, winged and disconnected but one thing remains the same….Eyeliner remains the easiest and most seductive way to add feline drama, smolder and sexiness to ones look. We take our inspiration from countless celebrities over the years whose iconic use of eyeliner has set it as a permanent trend from catwalk to red carpet to magazine to make up artist and consumer alike!

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From Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot to Elizabeth Taylor, the Hollywood starlets of their time all had this look down! Who didn’t want to emulate the aura of quirkiness that surrounded Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or capture the beauty of the enigmatic Ms Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?!

 And so the trend evolved and took on many different shapes and styles. Women are free to define their own beauty look with signature liner. That is……if you can take on the dreaded challenge of the line!  Over the years women have constantly said to me ‘Oh there’s no way I could do that, I don’t have the skill/patience/steady hand’ and I think this is copping out! Why? Well, because until I was 25 years old I, too, was copping out, being a total chicken, not wanting to ruin what eye make up I had mastered by making a complete balls of the liner right at the end. This all changed though when I began working in the industry, I had no choice, liner was the way forward. Though it wasn’t just the case that I had no choice, I had seen myself first hand the benefits of darkening the lash line and kinking the corners up. It makes fair haired Irish women’s eyes more alluring. It draws attention to eye colour. Simply put it makes a woman feel sexy!!! And I’m all for anything that makes a gal feel sexy!

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 So how does one go about kicking liners ass and making herself feel unreal in the process? Here are a few tricks of the trade and product suggestions that go a long way to simplifying things and making eyeliner less daunting!

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 First things first…..get the products right!!! I worked for MAC and trust in MAC so I almost always suggest MAC products but that’s not to say that there aren’t others on the market that can do a similar job at a lower price point. I just stick to what works for me!  I prefer to use an angled liner brush and gel liner, because I like its potency and its long lasting quality so I use MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack. You can also buy it in a navy colour (Waveline) and in brown (Dipdown) but Blacktrack is my go to product. I use a #263 Angled Liner brush from MACs range. Now, they retail at €20.50 but you can’t put a price on good brush quality or so I have learned and my liner brushes have stood the test of time (four years to be exact!)  So think of it as a sound investment.

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Now….there are a few tricks to working with gel. The first is to not overload the brush or put too much on your lid first go. Start slow! Don’t try and draw a continuous line, instead drag the brush across your lid, as close to your lash line as possible in darting motions like you’re drawing dots and use a second sweep to darken the line. Sweep over the line a third time if needed to give it more density. To create the wing or kick the liner out at the corner, I have learned that if you keep your eye open while looking straight into a well lit mirror (natural light in front of your face is great!) you can obtain better balance to both eyes.

Don’t give up!!! As they say Rome wasn’t built in a day so if at first you don’t succeed TRY AGAIN!!!

Just to run through other forms of eyeliners with you beauties, MAC carry a classic inkwell liquid liner called Bootblack which is lusciously dark but takes a few seconds longer to dry and doesn’t have the long lasting power of Blacktrack. I like it though; it’s vampy and good for a quick fix over your Blacktrack on a night out. It costs €19 and Rimmel among other brands sell a product quite like this. For beginners or sceptical beauties MAC have Penultimate Liner in Rapidblack at €19 which is a pen and great for building confidence, the pen just doesn’t last as long as the gel pot! For the ladies who love to smoulder and grunge up their look Technakohl Liner in Graphblack(€19) and Feline Power Kohl Pencil(€17.50) are great additions to any make up bag. I especially love FELINE pencil for doing smoky dark eyes….its so easy to sex up your eyes with this product!

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Boot Black

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Rapid black Felt Tip Liner

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Graph black Technakohl Liner

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   Feline Power Kohl Pencil

 I cannot repeat enough how GOOD practise works! And you will see the benefits of wearing eyeliner start to emerge….movie deals, modelling contracts, the man of your dreams will ask you out……ok, ok maybe I over exaggerated the effects just a little but I believe firmly that ‘the most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence’ and make up is our ultimate tool in enhancing what every woman already has! DON’T FORGET IT!!

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 Thanks for reading! Any of the products are available to purchase in Brown Thomas stores or online at Brown Thomas MAC. Make sure to comment underneath or on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JenniferKeatingMUA with any products you love to use!! Love to hear what works for ye.

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