The Best Eyeliners For A Foolproof Feline Flick

What links Audrey Hepburn, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Cleopatra and Angelina Jolie? Liquid eyeliner of course. While make-up trends come and go, the feline flick is a timeless classic and suits every aesthetic. From the ultra glamorous to the insouciantly rock’n’roll, it can be dressed up or down. The trick is to work out the right look for your face and chosen aesthetic, and stick with it.

How to successfully apply a liquid liner

Heed Vogue contributing beauty editor Pat McGrath’s advice, and draw the wing first. It’s easy to place the wing too low or high once you’ve already sketched a line along your lashes, especially considering that the natural curve of the eye slopes downwards at the outer corner. Instead, look straight ahead in the mirror, place a small dot where you want the line to end, draw your flick, then line along your lashes.

How do I choose an eyeliner?

Start by considering what effect you want from your eyeliner; while liquids offer a more precise finish and achieve that striking Hepburn-esque wing, gel and kohl liners tend to be more forgiving and can be blended and buffed in for a softer, more diffused effect. It might sound obvious but those who want a product just for the waterline should opt for a pencil or gel formula, as a liquid won’t stay put.

What is the best eyeliner for beginners?

The perfect eyeliner for you will also depend on your familiarity with the product. To beginners and those not au fait with applying it regularly, a liquid liner might seem intimidating as it requires a steadier hand. In this case, it can be wise to start with a pencil, whether gel or kohl, or for a pen-style liquid if that’s the effect you want. Beginner or not, the trick is just to go for it – liquid eyeliner can smell your fear. One of McGrath’s biggest tips, whatever your liner abilities, is to finish by tidying up with a cotton bud – even the pros get it wrong sometimes.

Is gel liner better than pencil?

Not necessarily – it all depends on the effect you want. Gel liners bridge the gap between liquid and pencil liner, as they impart much of the impact and precision of a liquid, but with more of the malleability and softness of a pencil. They’re an excellent option for those who like a soft, smudgy finish, if you’re creating more impactful eyeshadow looks (many make-up artists use them as a base for shadows), or if you like to apply haphazardly and buff and blend your line into place. Gel liner is also a great option if you like your liner to stay put once it’s set. Meanwhile, pencil adds intensity to the waterline and can offer a more exact effect.

From long-wearing gel liners to easy-to-use felt tips, find your perfect fit within Vogue’s edit, and get yourself in front of the mirror for practice. Shop the 15 best eyeliners below.

Best Gel Eyeliner: Victoria Beckham Beauty Beauty Satin Kajal Liner

Few liner formulas match up to this creamy, ultra-blendable number which, once set, stays put for hours. As versatile as they come, you can smoke it up with the built-in smudger or keep it to a minimal line. A must try.

£22, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.

Best Eyeliner For Beginners: NARS High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner

Brilliant for beginners, this eyeliner glides onto skin, delivering excellent colour from the off (but it can be further built up), and stays put wherever it sets – no faffing around.

£19, available at Spacenk.com.

Best Eyeliner For The Waterline: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl Black Eyeliner Pencil

Queen of a serious sultry stare, it is only right that Charlotte Tilbury has an eyeliner that creates the look in seconds. Brilliant for all parts of the eye, this one is particularly good in the waterline – expect it to roll on and stay put for hours.

£19, available at Charlottetilbury.com.

Best Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Too Faced Better Than Sex Easy Glide Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Whether you’re diving into a pool or a hot steamy encounter (as the name might suggest), Too Faced’s Better Than Sex waterproof liner is a product you can rely on. It promises to stay put up to 24 hours without smudging, budging or fading. 

£18, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.

Best Eyeliner For Cat Eyes: Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

Two liners for the price of one, really. The dual-ended pen has a thicker side for a more graphic finish, or a finer side to help you get the line snug against your lashes. Genius.

£46, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Best Brown Liquid Eyeliner: Byredo Eyeliner in Practical Brown

It might be under-the-radar but Byredo’s liquid eyeliner is beloved by any and all who try it. This brown hue is particularly flattering and lends a gentle shimmer to eyes for a soft, sultry effect. Plus, it’s vegan too. 

£31, available at Selfridges.com.

Best Smudge Proof Eyeliner: Gucci Stylo Contour Des Yeux Eyeliner

As well as looking extra chic in your make-up bag, Gucci’s eyeliner is waterproof, offers pigmented colour and truly stays put for hours. You can use it for flicks, in the waterline or even buffed in as an eyeshadow, plus there are lots of different colours to try.

£24, available at Selfridges.com.

Best Eyeliner Felt Tip: Pat McGrath Labs Perma Precision Liner

A favourite of Vogue beauty and lifestyle director Jessica Diner, this liner is rich in pigment but effortless to use. Perfect for a more defined wing.

£26, available at Net-a-porter.com.

Best Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes: La Bouche Rouge Le Kôhl Noir

Developed without microplastics and with 98 per cent natural origin ingredients, this is a good bet for those who have sensitive eyes. It delivers impactful colour in both the waterline and around eyes. 

£26, available at Net-a-porter.com.

Best Brush Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

An industry favourite, Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner has a budge-proof formula and inky black finish. Use the finest brush you can find for perfect precision.

£21, available at Johnlewis.com.

Best Coloured Eyeliner: Dior Diorshow On Stage Liner

From pink to green, Dior’s coloured eyeliners are the best in the business. The brand’s make-up artist, Peter Philips, regularly uses them backstage for the iconic looks he creates for the shows, plus the flexible felt tip is super easy to use. 

£28, available at Selfridges.com.

Best Waterproof Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner

A true cult classic, you’ll find this handy pen rolling around in many a make-up artist’s kit. The super-smooth tip helps you glide across your lash line with zero tugging or pulling for a neat flick.

£16, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Best Supermarket Liquid Eyeliner: Maybelline Express Eye Liner

Quick to dry but still bold in colour, this liquid liner combines the rich pigment of an ink well with the ease of a felt tip. It’s purse-friendly, too.

£5.10, available at Feelunique.com.

Best Vegan Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Tattoo by name, tattoo by nature, this liner is ideal for those who simply cannot be touching up their make-up once it’s on. Fully waterproof, its staying power is near legendary.

£18, available at Boots.com.

Best White Eyeliner: Shiseido Kajal InkArtist Shadow, Liner, Brow – Kabuki White

From an eyeshadow to an eyeliner, this Shiseido number is an excellent multi-tasker. White eyeliner is brilliant for making the eyes look more awake, so roll its Kabuki White shade in your waterline and expect to look infinitely more rested.

£24, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.

VOGUE article

10 Breathtaking Eye MakeUp Looks From The Vogue Archive – And How To Recreate Them At Home

At a time when mask-wearing is de rigueur, it’s no surprise that, where makeup is concerned, our attention has turned to enhancing the eyes. The distracting, spirit-lifting power of exploring new looks should not be underestimated, and from lashes to lids, and even temples, options abound.

Val Garland, makeup artist and Vogue contributing beauty editor, agrees. “Now the eye area has become our focus, it’s all about liner, lashes and brows,” she says, before singling out the graphic look of the 1960s. “Get your flick on, but switch the black and brown for navy or rich forest-green. Perfect your brows and flutter your lashes with mega volume – the strong nature of this makeup is what makes it so appealing.”

The Vogue archive holds a wealth of inspiration for looks to emulate, so here, for your delectation, is an illustrated retrospective highlighting creative expression through makeup. Look to those graphic ’60s looks, the abandon of the 1970s, the freewheeling freedom of the 1980s or the makeup magic of the modern day. This is your ultimate moodboard – and it’s a place where imagination knows no limits.

Singular Stroke

Carl “Eric” Erickson, 1935

One of the earlier illustrative examples of eye makeup in Vogue, this now iconic image serves as a reminder to never forget the drama of a single sweep of colour.

Angelic Eyes

Barry Lategan, 1974

Legendary makeup artist Barbara Daly created this heavenly look, applying frosted blue “halos” around the eyes to ethereal effect.

Get the look: try Mac Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Tilt, £16 – and remember, the more exaggerated the application, the better. 

Moonage Daydream

David Bailey, 1966

Model Celia Hammond looks out of this world thanks to makeup artist Pablo Manzoni. When an image is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic, the results are timeless.

Get the look: use YSL Beauty Sequin Crush Eyeshadow in Empowered Silver, £27, to create silver moons on the eyelids, then frame with full-on lashes for a 1960s throwback. 

Colour Play

Tyen, 1990

Photographer and makeup design director Tyen is a master of colour. This 31-year-old kaleidoscopic approach still fires up the imagination.

Get the look: use Nars Cool Crush Eyeshadow Palette, £56, as the starting point for this incredible multifaceted look. 

Rainbow Babe

Steve Lovi, 1969

Marsha Hunt looks on the bright side, courtesy of makeup artist Sammy Lopez.

Get the look: try multicoloured arcs of eyeliner using different shades from Dior Diorshow On Stage Liner collection, £27.50 each, for a modern-day interpretation. 

Life Imitating Art

John Swannell, 1980

Follow Barbara Daly’s illustrative approach with swooshes and sweeps of differing tones around the eyes.

Get the look: go for the most vivid colour combinations that you dare. Consider the painterly shades in Lancôme’s La Rose Eyeshadow Palette, £45, for inspiration. 

Striking Eyes 

David Bailey, 1966

This iconic cover image of Donyale Luna – the first Black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue – called for the powerful statement of dramatic eyeliner.

Get the look: trace Estée Lauder Little Black Liner, £24, along the lash line, and be sure to elongate the shape for that super-sleek effect.

The Pat Effect

Steven Meisel, 2017

Influenced by the makeup of the 1970s, Pat McGrath, Vogue’s beauty editor-at-large, created this shimmering aquatic moment on model Adwoa Aboah for Edward Enninful’s inaugural edition as editor-in-chief.

Get the look: sweep and blend the cooler tones from Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I: Subliminal Palette, £120, to surround the eyes.

Peepers Show

Helmut Newton, 1966

Grace Coddington, now a British Vogue contributing fashion editor, stars as the muse for this portrait, which sees maxi lashes and exaggerated winged liner take centre stage (with hair by Christopher at Vidal Sassoon).

Get the look: layer up an excess of Gucci Mascara L’Obscur, £40, on both top and bottom lashes, tracing in extra lashes on the lower line for added drama.

Beady Eyes

Norman Parkinson, 1965

Why not look to sequins and pearls to accessorise the lower lash line, like model Marika Green? Appliqué accents instantly prettify any makeup.

VOGUE article

The 13 Best Mascaras, According to Allure Editors

While some have lash extensions, many of us will forever keep tubes of mascara in stock. With that in mind, ALLURE editors and thousands of reviewers rounded up their absolute favourite mascaras of all time, with brands ranging from drugstore gems like Maybelline New York to Sephora darlings Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills. They’ve also got the luxury market covered.

Discover all the best and boldest mascaras that give us lashes with the most volume, curl, and length each and every day.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

“There really isn’t a better way to put it: Anastasia’s Lash Brag Mascara (a 2020 Best of Beauty winner) hits different. Way different. This mascara’s visibly chunky formula and curvy, dense brush can surprisingly pull off lashes that are thick and voluminous, long and wispy, or anywhere between — and not all mascaras can do that without clumping or flaking away. With a couple of swipes, the formula builds itself both upward and outward, so I get big, fanned-out lashes that practically hit the ceiling.”

$25 (Shop Now)

Tarte Maneater

“The formula of the Tarte Maneater Mascara is on the drier side, so you can easily build up lash extension-like volume and definition (and you can sneeze right after swiping it on without creating a Jackson Pollack painting on your under-eye area). Plus, this 2020 Best of Beauty winner has a cylindrical brush lined with tiny bristles that evenly coat even the thinnest of lashes.”

$23 (Shop Now)

L’Oréal Paris Bambi Waterproof

“One of the most exciting things about L’Oréal Paris Bambi Waterproof is the so-called ‘wide-eye brush.’ It has a combination of short and long bristles, which are supposed to ensure you grab every lash – no matter its length — on each swipe. It’s perfect for days when you want your makeup to look as natural as possible and there’s nary a clump to be found once it’s applied. No wonder it won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award.”

$10 (Shop Now)

Gucci L’Obscur Mascara

“Never in my life did I think I’d be in a position to say my favorite mascara was one made by Gucci, but here I am, living large. Label and aesthetically pleasing pink-and-gold packaging aside, when I first tried Gucci’s L’Obscur Mascara, I was immediately drawn to the formula, which is made to lengthen and define — rather than thicken — my wispy lashes. I typically only need a coat or two to see immediate natural-looking length and never have to worry about annoying clumping or mid-day smudge. Gucci, you made a damn good mascara.”

$35 (Shop Now)

KKW Beauty Mascara

“Never say Kim Kardashian doesn’t have talent because she did the damn thing with the KKW Beauty mascara. Just one coat separates each lash, making them look full, thick, and dramatic. No primer needed.”

$18 (Shop Now)

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara

“The only mascara that gives me that lift and volume closest to what my beloved lash extensions do is the Thrive Casemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara. It contains polymers that wrap around each lash to lengthen and strengthen, plus castor seed oil and shea butter to deeply condition each hair. Two coats and your eye area is instantly opened. I always get compliments about how long my lashes are when I use this.”

$24 (Shop Now)

Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara

“When it comes to wearability, the formula in the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara doesn’t smudge or flake — even after a full day of work followed by a gym session. If you’re going for drama with little-to-no effort, then this mascara is a dream. Lift? Check. Volume? Definitely. Length? Oh, yeah, my lashes were practically touching my brow bone by the time I was done.”

$26 (Shop Now)

Maybelline New York Falsies Lash Lift Mascara

“Something about the combination of the Maybelline New York’s The Falsies Lash Lift’s hourglass-shaped wand and lightweight, not-too-wet formula replaces the need for a lash curler, extensions, and falsies. After sweeping it through, my lashes are instantly lifted upward and volumized like a lash enhancement. The dip in the middle of the brush also makes adding mascara to your lashes as mess-free as possible.”

$10 (Shop Now)

Colourpop BFF Mascara

“When I want to add a little color to my look but am short on time, I always reach for Colourpop’s BFF Mascara. By applying just one or two coats (I start at the root of my lashes and wiggle the brush slightly from side to side as I swipe), you get a ton of color payoff. I find that my eyes are instantly brightened up, and I look more awake within seconds. It’s basically an all-in-one eye look. My personal fave color is Blue Ya Mind, though the brand’s classic black (called Black on Black) is a great staple.”

$8 (Shop Now)

Tarte Sugar Rush Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

“The Tarte Sugar Rush Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara gives my lashes length, volume, and makes them look super fluttery. I love to use this alone or layer it, specifically with the Milk Makeup Kush Mascara.”

$23 (Shop Now)

Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

“It’s fitting that one of my favorite makeup brands of all time makes one of my favorite mascara brushes ever. I love how thin and easy to maneuver it is, and the formula is perfect for everyday wear. For nighttime, I just add a second or third coat and the Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara looks great without being clumpy, thanks to how fine the bristles are.”

$28 (Shop Now)

Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

“My eyelashes are naturally pretty long, albeit blonde, so I don’t really love wearing mascara all the time (mostly because I hate taking it off at the end of the day). When I do, however, I go all-out glam with the Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara because it makes my lashes longer, thicker, and just the right amount of obnoxious diva.”

$30 (Shop Now)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

“My all-time favorite mascara, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara, might be obvious, but it’s ubiquitously beloved for a reason. Maybe I should’ve started with this, but I’m actually partial to the waterproof formula. It helps hold my lashes in place long after I’ve given them a good curl. It checks all the boxes: providing mega-volume without the clumping, inky-black color without the smudging, and just the right amount of length. I’m not much of a mascara girl, but when I am feelin’ it, this is the one I always reach for.”

$23 (Shop Now)

ALLURE article

5 Simple Ways To Heat-Proof Your Make-Up

Heat, humidity and sweat; three of make-up’s biggest enemies. Or so you might think. It doesn’t have to be that way, since nifty products and clever application techniques can help your make-up stay put through thick and thin – and that’s with a mask on, too. Here find five make-up artist-approved tips to harness when it’s hot.

Prep the skin

How you tend to your skin before you apply make-up is key to enhancing the longevity of base formulas. “Cleanse and then apply a good serum and moisturiser,” says make-up artist Cher Webb. “Then use a primer. It makes a huge difference and will keep your base on for longer.” Look to lightweight, antioxidant-rich moisturisers like QMS Medicosmetics Epigen Pollution Defence Day Cream, a good summer option, then ensure you apply an SPF, like Beauty Pie’s Featherlight SPF 50. As for primer, look no further than Elemis’s new Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser, which imparts a radiant sheen over skin while also keeping subsequent base products in place.

Choose the right foundation

Finding the right foundation is essential if you want to wear it all day – and it’s not as difficult as you might think. Those who prefer a barely-there finish should opt for BB or CC creams – Kevyn Aucoin’s Stripped Nude Skin Tint is second to none for a glowy summer finish. For those who like medium coverage and upwards, look for products labelled “long wear”. “These will have been tested by a panel of people to ensure they can perform in such a manner,” says Debbie Finnegan, MAC’s global senior artist. MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation is one such formula and promises to last for up to 24 hours on skin. Meanwhile, Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation and Urban Decay’s Stay Naked 24-Hour Foundation are both excellent options when temperatures rise.

Set your base

Whether you use a spray or a powder, setting your make-up is key. “The Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray has been one of my make-up kit essentials for so many years now, as it sets and holds make-up in place for up to 16 hours,” says Webb. “It prevents make-up melting with its built-in temperature control formula, and I also spray it on top my brushes before make-up application for added longevity.” Mists are a great option during summer (we also love Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray), since they also hydrate and refresh the face – needed when temperatures are sky high – but powders are particularly good for those with oily skin. Look for finely-milled, translucent formulas, like Morphe’s Bake And Set Powder.

Consistency is key

To heat-proof your make-up look, switch creamy consistencies for powder textures instead. “In the heat, I would recommend making the most of your eye make-up, and add a matte bronzer and powder blush as these will last the duration,” advises Webb. “Cream and gel textures may move slightly over time, so go for matte products.” You’ll love getting Gucci Beauté’s Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder out of your bag, such is its beautiful packaging and flattering matte bronze, while Chanel’s Joues Contraste Powder Blush comes in an array of flattering hues, ideal for sun-flushed skin.

Waterproof your eyes

If the heat all gets a bit much and your mascara simply won’t stay put, swap your normal mascara for a waterproof number. Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Volume on Demand Waterproof Mascara delivers a full and fluttery finish that stays put, no matter what you throw at it. 

VOGUE article