Sunday, 30 January 2011
On the lash (part one: just make-up)
This first guide is a how-to that recreates the look of eyelashes without false eyelashes. I'll cover falsies in a later post, but for ladies who are experiencing temporary eyelash loss (for example, women undergoing chemo), the make-up-only route is best. False lashes are a fiddly pain to apply, and by the time you've got the hang of it, your real lashes will have grown back, so they're really a more long-term solution.
Step 1: clear the decks
Make sure you start with a clean, dry skin surface, as this ensures the make-up you then apply stays put all day. Your best bet: gently patting a little translucent powder over your eyelid.
Step 2: eyeliner, eyeliner, eyeliner
Needed: Good-quality liquid eyeliner (pictures: Exaggerate eyeliner by Rimmel London)
A nice 1950s-style sweep of eyeliner along the lashline of your upper eyelid will frame your eye and give the illusion of lashes being there. Unless they’re incredibly close to your face, no-one will be able to tell there aren’t actually any lashes there.
Liquid eyeliner has an unfair reputation as being nigh-on impossible to apply, but it's really not. You just need to use a product with the right-sized nib: not too hard, not too soft and the right thickness. (Avoid the ones with the really thin, one-hair-thick brush, as they're too tricky to control.) Hands-down, the best one I've ever found is the Rimmel London Exaggerate liner pictured: it stays on all day, doesn't crumble, and has the perfect nib!
To apply, gently pull the skin of your eyelid taut with one hand, and starting from the inner corner of the eye, slowly paint along the lashline with the other. Rather than trying to do it in one neat sweep, just do the line in stages.
To really open your eyes up, go a little beyond the edge of your eye, and add a little flick at the corner. (Cautionary visual note: resist the temptation to go overboard with this one...). If your line goes a little wobby, it can be easily rectified with a wet cotton bud.
(NB: If you find liquid liner just impossible to apply, you can use a kohl eyeliner - or even black eyeshadow - instead, dabbed on precisely along the lashline with a little brush or a cotton bud.)
Step 3: smudging and softening
Needed: black or brown eyeshadow (pictures: Rimmel London Mono shadow in Black)
white or pearly eyeliner (pictures: Benefit Eye Bright)
For extra naturalness, you want to keep your line soft. Using a small brush or cotton bud, smudge a little black eyeshadow along the top edge of the liquid liner to soften the line.
Now, the finishing touch: smudging in 'bottom lashes'. To do this, I like to first run a white or pearly eyeliner along the inside of my bottom eyelid - this widens the eye.
Then, I dab a little black eyeshadow under that, to replicate the look of lashes.
And there you go! Unless anyone gets truly up-close, or looks at your eyes from the side, nobody will be able to tell that you're lash-free.
Next time: false lashes...