From a classic wing to a sooty smudge, we are well-versed in the uses of black and brown eyeliner. But according to celebrity makeup artist Michael Brown, “Adding colour to the eyes can be the easy ‘pop’ you need to take you daily look from plain to FAME!”
A well-placed splash of colour instantly enlivens the face, and “with the correct undertone, either warm or cool, it can not only brighten your look, but can bring out your eye colour when adding contrast.”
For a little stroke of coloured genius, we ask Brown and makeup’s First Lady, Filomena Natoli, how to up our eyeliner game with a little colour.
Dream in colour(ed) eyeliner.
Play With Placement
For Natoli, it’s all about playing. “I like to play with placement when I use coloured liner. It may be a gradient of colour on the wet line of the eye, or a swoosh of white or silver liquid liner across a nude lid. If you keep the skin fresh and clean using coloured liner won’t appear gaudy or tacky.”
“When I use a coloured liquid liner, I prefer to chose either top or bottom depending on the eye shape, so I may line the top only for a sharp crisp look,” says Natoli. Brown also tops it off with a little colour: “Adding a top lash line, liquid liner to your eye look can be very classic, old school glamour, especially when you keep your eye shadow application to a minimum. But when it’s colour instead of traditional black, it adds a modern playfulness that can look super cool.”
“The most common way at the moment to add a coloured liner is on the lower lash line,” declares Brown. “Your eyelids kept neutral, or your standard smokey go-to, then by using or adding (later in the day) a bright coloured liner to the lower lash line, usually blended and smudged in, can really wow the eyes. Blue is big right now, so use warm, golden browns and bronze on the eyes, then smudge in a metallic blue on lower lash line for more fun with your look.”
toe the (water) line
Brown’s latest trick involves playing with the sometimes maligned waterline. “I love adding colour to the lower, inner waterline of the eye. It is common to use black there for a sexy cat eye look, or white/cream to open the eye or take away redness, but add bronze, green or blue, and when they are metallic they reflect light and make the inner waterline a part of your eye look; so subtle but enough to pop the eye in a sultry manner.”
it’s a wrap
“When using a cream or gel pencil, I like to wrap the colour around the eye, using this texture allows for blending which will give you a softer colour result,” muses Natoli.
throw some shade
Brown is a “big fan of using soft pencil / kohl style liners as eye shadow.” Multipurpose your coloured eyeliner by “using a soft pencil (not waterproof) across the top lash line, a little heavier applied than a usual liner, and then smudge and brush the pigment up into your upper mobile eyelid with a little brush. This is a very smooth and easy way to apply colour to your eyelid, yet still leaving depth shades (if needed) in the socket area for lift and contrast from the colour shade you decide on. Using a coloured shadow can be scary for some and if not careful, gets very messy!
Natoli says that to be more adventurous, “placement and shape will allow you to be more creative with colour.” But, “remember to work with your eye shape; perhaps try a bold blue liner across the bottom lash line, graduate a colour along the top lash line, accentuate a classic flick with a colour detail just below the wing.”
Colour your world
“Blue, green and even plum are very popular right now, and if your eye shape naturally has an outer lift and a balanced socket line, then wearing a coloured liquid liner will work. If not, try layering it over a black, so you still get the depth you need for lift, or only use the coloured liner in the inner part of the eye,” says Brown.
Pick of the bunch
For Natoli, it’s all about Dior. My favourite liners at the moment are the Dior On Stage Eyeliners, they come in an array of bright colours and deliver sharp precise lines; I love the white liner its so modern and versatile I use it for red carpet and editorial work. These liners offer premium colour pay off, I love the yellow and blue, too!