In Search of the Perfect Eyeliner

I’ve no fewer than 20 eyeliners, and most of them have done very little work.  I have all types – pencil, gel, liquid, powder – and I do have my favourites among them.  Unfortunately, my favourites aren’t always perfect, but anyway….

What I look for in a perfect eyeliner:

  • long-wear
  • smudge-proof
  • pigmented.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but because I expect all 3 to be present in 1 eyeliner, the search has been difficult and costly, still few eyeliners have delivered.

Before I make these liners sound bad, I’d like to clarify that a lot has to do with my eyes.  I have ‘fat’ lower lids that push up when I laugh or smile, so my eyeliners migrate to my eye-bags. For a product to stay, it’d need to beat my oily lids (upper lids) and stay dry. Yeah….so when an eyeliner doesn’t measure up, half the fault is mine really.

I’m doing a quick review below on a few products I have used:

1.  MAC Fluidline (Average)

MAC Fluidline

A very popular gel liner which hasn’t done much for me.  It smudges in the humid environment I live in.

2.  Dejavu Lasting-Fine Pencil Gel Liner (Average)

One of the more lasting ones for me, but still smudges after a few hours.

3.  Kanebo T’estimo Liquid Eyeliner – discontinued  (Good)

A good liquid liner that lasts longer than the two mentioned above, but it takes a while to dry, and it tends to flake off at the end of the day.  Plus the fact that it has a shiny finish, it isn’t good for ‘wrinkly’ eyelids.

4.  OFFICE Water Soluble Eyeliner Powder (Excellent)

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

My search for the perfect liner ended with this one for now at least.

This is a powder liner that needs to be mixed with water before use.  If it sounds inconvenient to you, all I can say is that the result is worth all the effort.  Learn to do it quick (with the right tools!) and you’ll be done in no time.  No mess.  The product dries fast and lasts all day.

  • Tools I use with this product?  A spray bottle and a thin angled brush about half-an-index-finger’s width.  3 “presses” of the brush on my eyelid and I’m done (I have small eyes…. :p)
  • Application tip:  After loading an angled brush with product, ‘press’ the brush onto the lashline (it’s not necessary to drag it unless you prefer).  You can get the product very close to the lashline using this method.

Spray water on the lid of the case, and wet brush. After that, mix product with it. (Don’t spray water directly into the product.)

I will not recommend this product for tightlining (lining the inner rim of the eyes) though.  Pencil liners are preferred for tightlining because of hygiene reasons.  (Pencils should be sharpened and sanitized with alcohol before tightlining.)

Result of Liners mentioned above:

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 4 Texture of the Tape

Textures of eyetape vary, and eyeshadow primers may be required to help eyeshadows stay on eyetape

How important is texture of the eyetape in selecting the right type??

Which eyetape is better for eyeshadows to stick to? Left (smooth) or Right (textured)?

Truth be told, eyeshadows stick better on the tape on your right. There is much texture (grooves) for eyeshadows to adhere to, but unfortunately, I find that these tapes come in colours that are too pale for yellow or darker skin-tones.  For a more ‘natural’ look, the one on the left is better, BUT an eyeshadow primer (or eyeshadow base) is definitely required for the shadows to stick.

Frankly, the textured tape that I have on the right falls short of expectations as an eyetape.  My main problem with it is the colour these tapes often come in.

With a wide variety of good eye-primers we have today, eyeshadow application and adherence on eyetape are no longer issues.  Most definitely, I’d advise everyone to choose the right COLOUR and SHAPE over texture. (If you’re yellow-toned, go for a light yellow tape instead of a transparent or white tape.)

To conclude the eyetape series, I’d select my single-sided eyetape with consideration of the factors in the following order:

  1. Colour
  2. Shape
  3. Texture

These 3 factors are irrelevant if you’ve decided on getting double-sided eyelid tape which is invisible after application.  If you’re unsure about what double-sided eyelid tape is check out Part 1 of this series.

 

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 3 Choosing the Right Shape

Here comes Part 3 of my double-eyelid tape series, on the shape of double eyelid tape and what types of eyes they are suitable for.

Eyes that need double eyelid tape are those that are mono-lidded, hooded, or droopy.  In general, mono-lidded eyes are often described as ‘asian’ eyes which have no obvious lid crease or line above the lash line.  Hooded lids are lids that are heavier in the middle of the eye, like Taylor Swift or Hayden Panettiere’s, making their eyes look longer, rather than round.  Older people may have hooded eyes as they age too.  Droopy eyes are more often seen in older people whose eyelids of the outer corner sag because of age.

My double-lidded lines are hidden, so at first glance, I have mono-lids, while in fact my lids are actually hooded (they fold over the lines and I have a flat eyelid space from eyelash to eyebrow).

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No obvious double-eyelid crease. Flat area from eyelash to eyebrow.

To open up the eye, I can use an eyelid tape to ‘support’ the lid above my lash line.

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Crescent shaped – The curve in the middle supports the middle part of my lid and will make my eye appear ’rounder’.

The same eyetape shape will work for hooded eyelids as well, but often the tape will need to be thinner to prevent the tape from flipping.

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The ‘red’ part – a thinner piece of tape with the shape of the blue one is preferred for the hooded eye, but the position may need to be adjusted according to each person’s eye.

For the droopy eye, you’ll need an eyelid tape with a shape that can ‘lift’ the outer corner of the eye.

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The thicker end at the outer corner of the eye helps to lift it, creating a lifted eye.   (In fact, without eyetape, the same effect can be achieved by applying a darker shadow in the same area as the thicker area of the tape right down to the lashline.)

In conclusion:

The SHAPES of the eyelid tapes above are simply a guide, but you’ll need to adjust the thickness and length of the tape according to your eye. So far, I’ve found those of the ‘crescent shape’ (see the first one above) the most versatile.

The hardest to use for me is the following:

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Too thick and the bottom line too straight.

For the most natural look, I still think that the double-sided eyelid tape is the best.

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No eye-tape

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With double-sided Wonder Eyelid tape

Notice how the tape can’t be seen even after it’s been taped on.

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This tape doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth the money if it does what you want it to.

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 2 Choosing the Right Colour

This is Part 2 of a series on how to choose the right double eyelid tape.  Part 1 talked about the different types of eyelid tape, and in this part, I’ll talk about the right colour for the tape.  (In Parts 3 and 4 will be about the right shape and texture of the tape.)

Part 2 – How to Choose the Right Colour

The most natural foundation colour is the colour that ‘disappears’ into our skin after application. Odd that that may sound, but it’s true.  When I do makeup for a client, I will usually apply a few stripes of foundation in different tones near her jawline to see which colour blends into her skin most.  The reason for doing this is obvious: we don’t want people to see our foundation, we just want them to see that our skin tone is even.

The same holds true when we choose an eye tape.  The tape whose colour disappears into our skin is the most natural for us.  If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice that Left 2 and Middle are the closest to my skin tone, they are the ones I would use.  In fact, these 2 pieces of tape are pale yellow, not ‘transparent’ or ‘white’.

The next time you look for an eyetape, choose a yellow one (over a white or transparent one) if you’re warm toned.  It gives the most natural effect.

Avoid:

  • white / transparent tapes: they tend to reflect light, making the tape look more obvious than necessary.
  • shiny tapes – pick ‘matte‘ ones to avoid drawing attention to the tape.

Taken without flash but with slight reflection from the light overhead.

A Fantabulous Easter Gift……

I was eggstatic today…….

Our gift!

My husband and I are proud recipients of another beautiful gift from the two special artist-sisters (Aleph Tav Art Design House) I wrote about a couple of weeks back.  I don’t know what I have done to deserve it and am just grateful to them for their  generosity and thoughtfulness.  Thank you, Lee & Hui Joo!

This gift is specially meaningful to me and my husband because it’s something that depicts a large part of our lives.  Leslie is a pianist who has a free piano-teaching blog called Pianocheats (play your favourite songs with 3 fingers) while I am a makeup artist and personal colour analyst.

Since it was Easter, Lee and Hui Joo chose to use EGGS to fashion their characters, and they’ve done it so ‘cutely’ and fantabulously well.

Hui Joo is the one who does the drawing and painting, while Lee makes the props from scratch.  Together they make a formidable creative team. To see more pictures of their work, BE SURE to check out their webpages and Facebook page: Aleph Tav Art Design House, Aleph Tav Art’s Chinese Blog and Aleph Tav Facebook page.

Let’s check out the egg-mages of me and my husband ‘at work’!

An 'egg-mage' of my husband Leslie (www.pianocheats.com) and me in the background.

That's me....

The gift came in a handmade box, making it look like we are in our own room.

All painting is done by HJ. The little hat is cut out from an egg tray.

Side view - love the design of the 'floor'!

The piano is made of polyfoam while the keys are made of balsa wood (cut, painted and glued on by Lee).

My grooming area - comes complete with a dressing table with mirror, makeup (foundation, sponge and eyeshadows with a brush) AND FALSE LASHES! Lee's good work!

Always smile when you look in the mirror.

This clothes rack, hangers and accessories are made from scratch. Check out the detail on the belts.

Click here to see better photographs of the work by Lee, who’s also an excellent photographer.

P/S:

If you’re in Kuching and would like to check out their work, do drop in at the ‘Love Community’ bazaar to be held at Koperasi Hijau Building, 209, Jalan Setia Raja 12A, Stutong Indah (behind Nissan showroom near Giant at Tabuan Jaya) on 1st May 2012 (Tuesday – Public Holiday), 9am-2pm.   Lee and Hui Joo will have a stall displaying and selling some of their work there.

 

 

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 1 Types of Double Eyelid Tape

This is a 4-part series on some information about eyelid tapes.

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Double eyelid tapes are commonly found in Asian cosmetic stores with more varieties than ever before.

Let me share some tips with you so that the next time you go shopping for eyelid tape, you can think about these pointers before you make your selection.

The main factors to consider are these 4: ‘Type, Color, Shape and Texture.  This post covers the first one: Type.

TYPES OF DOUBLE EYELID TAPE

There are single-sided and double-sided eyelid tapes in the market.

A. Single-sided tape is like regular cellophane tape (one sided). When you stick it on your eyelid, it sits flat on the surface, thus pushing and supporting your lid, creating a fold at the top of the tape.

One type of single-sided eyelid tape - you cut the tape into your desired shape and length.

There are 2 types of single-sided eyelid tape.

  • One comes in a roll (like cellophane tape – picture above) and you need to cut them into shape yourself.
  • The other type has been cut out for you. You just need to detach them from the backing and stick them onto your lids.

B. Double-sided tape, like double-sided tape, is sticky on both sides. If applied correctly, it is hidden – sandwiched between the skin folds of your eyelid. Correctly used, you won’t be able to see the tape at all, therefore faking the most ‘natural’ looking double-eyelid for you.  The best quality double-sided eyelid tape is produced by Japan, called ‘D-Up Wonder Eyelid Tape’.

Which one to use?

1.  For newbies / those who hate fuss :  the single-sided cut-out tape
You just need to get the right shape and size for your desired double eyelid effect and tape it on. With practice you’ll get it right.

A variety of shapes are available.

2.  For the adventurous / those who are conscious about displaying their eye tape:   double-sided eyelid tape

But be warned, this is tricky to use. An applicator comes with the tape when you purchase them, but getting the tape out and sticking them correctly on your eyelids without using fingers takes practice. (But truthfully, single-sided eyelid tape is just as tricky to use!)

Who uses the eyelid tape in rolls?

This is usually used by makeup artists who encounter a variety of eye shapes in their line of work.  They also have the expertise in cutting the tape into the shape, size and length that is required.

My Verdict:

How to wear false eyelashes without looking like you’re wearing them

Main issues with wearing falsies: 1. our eyelashes look false a mile away,  2. we tend to look more ‘made-up’ than we wish to.

In a previous post I talked about choosing natural lashes.  In summary, we choose natural lashes according to these factors:

  1. Your personal style
  2. The occasion and / or the look you wish to achieve
  3. Your eye features
  4. Your own lashes

Bearing in mind that ‘natural looking false lashes’ is an oxymoron, many of us girls still want to explore ways to enhance our natural lashes to make them look fuller and longer.  Nice long lashes just make us look more feminine.

How to wear falsies without looking like you’re wearing any?

First we need to understand why false lashes look ‘unnatural’.

  • False lashes often look too thick when they combine with our own.  To look natural, we should select those that are sparse, not thick and dense.
  • The eyelash bone of false lashes are usually stuck onto our upper lashes so they are exposed, giving away the fact that we are wearing falsies.  To look more natural, hide the eyelash bone, or select falsies that have transparent bone.

Steps to achieving natural looking false-eyelash-look:

  1. Get strip lashes that are sparse.  Thick lashes look fake.

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    The pair on the right will provide the more natural visual effect.

  2. Cut the strip into 3 or 4 short pieces.

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    Cut into 3 or 4 depending on your preference

  3. Apply glue to the top of the eyelash bone. You’re going to apply the strips under your natural lashes.

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    Apply glue to the top of the bone.

  4. Apply these strips UNDER your natural lashes (NOT ABOVE as is commonly done).
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    Apply the strips under your natural lashes. Place a short strip at the end, middle and front.

  • Important: Apply glue to the upper part of the eyelash bone. This way, the glue will stick to your lashes, not the upper waterline. (The waterline is the part that’s just under the root of the lashes.)
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After attaching a strip at the corner of the eyeImage

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Eye closed: you can't tell that there is a false strip under the lashes.

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(Sorry about the inconsistency in the lighting of the photos. They’re just to illustrate a point. )

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A video speaks ten thousand words, so to illustrate check out Queenie Chan’s youtube video on this method of applying the lashes.  The video is in Cantonese but there are English subs and she demonstrates the technique clearly in it as well.  Happy trying!

My verdict after trying this out: 

  • A very good application tip. Just need to be careful that you do not get glue on your waterline.  Remember, apply the glue at the top of the eyelash bone.