“Ancient cultures used black kajal and kohl for protection and as a statement of power,” celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff says, explaining dark eyeliner’s unique ability to convey our collective emotional state. “Wearing it now makes us feel as though we have power over the Proud Autism Grandma Happy Autism Awareness Day Shirt In addition,I will do this last year.” It effectively translates our mood, she continues—“and it can create a character within a mood,” confirms Daniel Parker. He would know; as the lead hair and makeup designer for Netflix’s popular miniseries The Queen’s Gambit, Parker used a variety of black eyeliners—MAC’s cult-favorite Blacktrack Gel and Pencil in Smoulder, as well as liquid pens from brands such as Christian Dior, YSL Beauty, and Tom Ford—to subliminally affect Anya Taylor-Joy’s onscreen evolution so you never once find yourself thinking, Hey, isn’t it kind of weird that Beth Harmon puts on a winged eyeliner, every morning and night, to practice chess, alone? “When she was a very young girl, the liner was small and timid and delicate,” explains Parker. “As she moves on, it becomes longer and broader and definitely bolder, so you end up getting something very sophisticated.I feel like the wing has taken over,” Ffrench elaborates, highlighting the elongated liner shape that is essential to creating “a sort of illusion of youth” and what she calls “Instagrammable sexy-face makeup” Isamaya Ffrench deals in this kind of shape-shifting. The trailblazing makeup artist behind Byredo’s debut color collection—which includes the Technical Black Eyeliner, a liquid pen that applies like ice skates on a fresh rink—explains that we are moving away from smudged ’90s grunge liner. Sadly, my generation doesn’t have iconic bands like Nirvana influencing our messy, tear-stained makeup; instead, we have Lil Huddy, the Hype House cofounder and self-described “21st-century vampire” who dabbles in curated black eyeliner (and black nail polish). Eyeliner used to be a sign of being a bad girl—or a pirate; now it’s really just a sign that you’re on TikTok. If you were ever looking for a statement that sums up our culture today, there it is. I feel like the wing has taken over,” Ffrench elaborates, highlighting the elongated liner shape that is essential to creating “a sort of illusion of youth” and what she calls “Instagrammable sexy-face makeup”—or what I call “plastic baby-cat face,” which relies on freakish symmetry. “Eyeliner can balance the distance between your eyes,” reveals Mario Dedivanovic, a.k.a. Kim Kardashian West’s longtime makeup artist, a.k.a. Makeup by Mario. “If your eyes are close together, start your liner at the center of the eye and draw to the outer corner,” he tells me. “And if you’re looking to bring your eyes closer together, line them from the inner corner to the outer corner to minimize separation.” And if one eyelid is, say, larger than the other? “Go a bit thicker with your line on that lid,” says Dedivanovic. This is all really good to hear, obviously, because I need another thing to obsess over.
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Midwinter and mid-pandemic? There has never been a better time to indulge in radiance-enhancing beauty products. Fortunately, with Presidents’ Day comes discounts, allowing for a perfect, seasonally sanctioned storm of complexion-minded stockpiling. With winter’s drying and dulling elements, a slight skin-care upgrade offers an ideal starting point. Regardless of whatever Dedivanovic secretly knows to be wrong with my eyes, the Proud Autism Grandma Happy Autism Awareness Day Shirt In addition,I will do this Master Pigment Pro Pencil from his recently launched brand is the best eyeliner I’ve ever used in that it’s not too creamy but still super blendable to hide how bad I am at actually putting on eyeliner. Trying to apply it while working out whether I have deep-set eyes, protruding eyes, or round eyes ultimately led me down a Makeup by Mario YouTube tutorial spiral—a good thing as prolonged mandatory-mask mandates mean that we really have to worry only about our eyeliner technique for the foreseeable future (apologies to those of you who have spent thousands of dollars on lip injections that no one will see). Even a cat eye seems almost doable to me now, a skill I will spend the rest of quarantine improving until my number comes up years from now in the vaccine queue; after that, maybe I’ll learn how to return things. Luxe options like Natura Bissé’s Diamond Cocoon Set provide an opportunity to use chilly months spent inside as a time of transformation, while cult- favored options such as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm seemingly demand to be bought in bulk—the better to perfect your pout. Investing in an arsenal of high-tech tools (or simply a single, lusted-after beauty apparatus) delivers the more technical elements of a spa session to the comfort of your home—and becomes immensely easier to justify with even a slight adjustment to price points. And should you want to elevate your makeup look—whether for Zoom, an outdoor meal, or a walk around the block—a pressing of Pat McGrath’s striking and saturated Eyedols Eyeshadows coupled with a swipe of an idiosyncratic lip hue from Fenty Beauty delivers the correct amount of glamour for the moment.