The ever illusive eyeliner flick, it will always be in my top 3 requested tips. Once upon a time I wouldn't have left the house without applying my liquid liner so I've experienced all of the pitfalls. The tips to achieve this look are very simple, the problem is putting them into practice, and for that one thing matters above all else; patience! Don't be hard on yourself if you mess up, you can always clean it up with oily makeup remover on a q-tip.
1. Start by following the natural shape of your lash line. Don't try to make any shape at this stage, just make the roots of your eyelashes as black as possible and be careful not to leave any gaps! It helps to hold your eyeliner so the side of the brush lies flat against the roots of your lashes instead of using the tip of the pen which could end up wobbling all over the gaff. Using the side of the nib like a stamp, start at the root of your very last eyelash and slide the pen up until it meets skin, gradually working in towards the nose. The line MUST become super thin at the inner corner and eventually disappear into your eyelashes. For this reason it is much easier to apply eyeliner to the outer section of your eye only, rather than trying to coat the entire width of your lash line. Start by trying the outer third of your eye, work up to half and eventually you might be able to achieve the whole lash line complete with a neat peak at the inner corner.
2. Next you need to figure out which direction your flick should travel in. Keep your eyes open to see exactly how your face looks while it's relaxed. Check out your waterline; the place you apply either black or white pencil inside the eye. Imagine you are holding a ruler up against your bottom lash line, what direction would your waterline travel in if it continued out diagonally from your eye? This is your own perfect flick! Starting at the root of your last eyelash on the top, use neat feathered strokes to draw a line traveling in this magic direction. You can make this line as long as you want but if you keep it only on the eyelid (i.e: stopping before the socket line / crease) it will be much easier to achieve.
3. For the third line of your eyeliner triangle, you need to link the edge of your flick into the lash line itself. This last step is the most fun because you can create so many different effects. Your line can be slinky and curved ala Marilyn Monroe, big and chunky like Amy Winehouse or anywhere in between. If you made a few mistakes during step one you might need to make your line quite thick, but as you practice keep aiming for the thinnest line you can get. I adore how Charlotte Tilbury creates her feline flick, keeping the eye open and drawing a super straight line from the outer corner to the centre on the eyelid. Having applied her liner techniques to Kate Moss, Jennifer Lopez and Naomi Campbell, she is the undisputed queen of the feline flick!
Illustrations by Kate O'Reilly