Black eyeliner, eh? Was there ever anything so goddamn sexy? If lipstick forces people to consider what the mouth does, then eyeliner forces people to consider your soul. My first teenage dabble was purple applied right to the water line topped off with electric blue mascara. Grunge, I was not. However, this summer, I just want to be a saucy Mediterranean minx. My muse is Sophia Loren, who (in my imagination) spent her days shopping along the Via Veneto and her evenings eating bowls of pasta al dente but never screaming at her lover past midnight.
I've been experimenting with Kjaer Weis's Eye Shadow's in Magnetic and Transcend—each shade has tiny specks of glitter that may spill artfully onto cheekbones—then tracing Ilia's Pure Eyeliner along the lash line for a stretched-out black stroke. If your hand is unsteady, then go with it—our skin is an imperfect palette, so the messier and smudgier, the better. The cherry on top? The way the light hits the sparkle gives the "smoke" its modern magic.
I think a chunky, perfectly creamy eye pencil is my ultimate makeup-bag item. I used to use only Sue Devitt's roster of kaleidoscopic crayons, but, alas, they got discontinued. I played around until I found Nars Soft Touch Shadow pencils, jumbo-size multitaskers that shade, line, and highlight. My absolute favorite is Calabria, an amethyst that picks up hues in my green eyes I never knew existed. For an unexpected twist on the traditional smoky eye, try blending a line of this hazy dark purple pigment along the lower lashes while leaving the upper lids bare—you won't regret it.
I also love drawing with Vapour's Mesmerize Eyeliner in Truffle, which has a slight shimmer and a coconut and chamomile formula that mostly stays put. Although, I must say, I like it wherein everything that was above my eye migrates to just below in a perfectly imperfect mess perhaps the most difficult achievement of all for an eye pencil.
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