Eyeliner’s great, isn’t it? It gives you the freedom to frame your peepers in a slew of illusions – an elegantly drawn curve and you have beautiful Adele-esque eyes, a little catflick and you’re rocking a spritely Holly Golightly. Except those times when it feels like your artistic abilities have been milked dry and things get boring. But wait – we’ve come up with some real fun eyeliner styles to try!
Aside from borrowing her expertise, we asked gorgeous makeup artist Sabrina Suhail (who also taught us the art of strobing) to also play model for the day. And just so her pro skills don’t faze you, we’ve rated each look on level of difficulty – so everyone gets to experiment a little!
For starters, Sabrina prepped her eyelid with a smudge proof base – M.A.C Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork for every look. “It’s a great concealer, and helps the product hold on longer, especially during warmer months,” she says.
1/5 THE SKINNY LINE
This one’s your average liner with a twist – there’s also going to be a half lower liner to frame the eyes from the sides – especially great to lend rounder eyes more definition and almond-shaped eyes that extra edge.
To mimic the look, paint a medium thick line on your upper lash with a cream or gel-based liner (Sabrina used L'oréal Paris Super Liner Gel Intenza 36H in Profound Black), ending it just where the eye ends.
Now, with a kohl pencil (she used Maybelline The Colossal Kajal 12 Hour Smudge Free in Black), go over the lower lash line, stopping halfway, joining it with the upper line at the outer corner – then smudging it out a little. Make sure both lines are of approximately equal thickness, and there you have it.
2/5 THE DUAL LINER
This eyeliner idea is perfect for when you’re in one of those tropical, pass-me-the-mimosa moods, and we’re giving it a medium rating only because it involves three (super easy) steps.
First, Sabrina drew a black gel line on her upper lid, extending the flick out dramatically, then giving it a moment to dry.
Then, using an eyeshadow brush and M.A.C Art of the Eye Eyeshadow in Parrot, a gorgeous aqua/teal hue layered featuring green-gold shimmer, she drew a thicker line right above along the black one, leaving no gap in between. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Deep End is a similar, easier alternative if you like working with pencils rather than powders.
Finally, she patted some gold pigment from Faces Sparkle Dust Stackable on the inner corners. This is legit the easiest way to feel like an exotic bird! – you can also come up with your own colourful pairings!
3/5 THE UPSIDE DOWN CAT EYE
Not feeling the feline flick anymore? Take that and turn it around on its head – try this totally badass upside down cat eye.
With a black gel liner, Sabrina used a kohl pencil (The Body Shop Matte Kajal in Black) to define the waterline, then drew a thick line along her lower lash line; and just like you’d extend the flick of a cat eye, she extended the line upwards and out.
She balanced it out by piling on a lengthening and volumizing mascara – Benefit Bad Girl Mascara is her favourite for this purpose. No better way to rock a rebel eye!
4/5 THE CREASE
Okay this might take a few tries, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ve managed to learn the most artsy eyeliner style there ever was.
Using an angular brush dipped in a gel liner –M.A.C Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack was used here – first create a classic cat eye; a little flick going up from the outer corner of your eyes, joint with a line drawn along the lid, and then filled in.
Now comes the tricky part: by now, the product on your brush is probably almost exhausted, but don’t go in for another dip – just use the remaining to draw a diffused line starting from the tip of your cat eye going into the crease, diffusing more as you draw it in. Trust us though, once you’ve got the hang of it, this cool-as-hell look is going to be worth it!
5/5 THE SCOOP
This squared-off modification of the cat eye is the look du jour if the spring runways are anything to go by. Trade the pointy tips for cat-eye squares and do it in technicolour to play it up!
Here’s how Sabrina did it: She first tightlined the upper lid with a kohl pencil (Maybelline The Colossal Kajal 12 Hour Smudge Free in Black), then drew a really thin black gel liner along the lash line.
Next, using an eyeshadow brush, she painted on the M.A.C Pigment in Nocturnal Plum – sweeping a thick line of the deep, matte colour right above the black liner. Stopping at the end of the lid, she then extended the line straight outwards, sharpening the line to create a tough square edge. Tip: If this is a bit too advanced for your skills (join the club), use the tape trick! Just stick tapes vertically on the edges of your eyes, where you want to square the liner off – they act as stencils of sorts.
Now you can stop here, but if you want to go all out in sudden festival spirit, brush on a vibrant matte yellow shadow (we used the middle hue from the Inglot Freedom System Rainbow Eyeshadow trio palette) to the side and below the square edges. Complete the fun look by applying tons of mascara!
Makeup and model: Sabrina Suhail. Photographed by Clint Soman.