I have been going for a fairly neutral/safe look when it comes to my face this Spring. I’ve been going for a glowy warmed-up face (making the most of my improved complexion), with gold highlighter dabbed on to my eyelids, and a brownish-pink gloss on the lips. I’ve been enjoying this simple look to be honest. As I get older my face seems to find it harder to take a lot of make up, the ageing process seem to accelerate to an alarming rate when I pile it on an attempt to create a dramatic look, or if it’s a routine that involves a lot of products and layers. This understated look, which involves using just a few choice products, has served me well as easy and flexible spring/summer look. It goes with everything too so can take me from day to evening, and any kind of outfit change. But it is admittedly obvious and unimaginative. I have to admit that I do have tendency to get stuck in a make up rut when I find an easy routine like this that I’m happy with, so I’m glad when the discovery of a product nudges me out of my comfort zone and into new realms of colour or design.
Last week I received a very inspiring and multi-coloured make up delivery, and the novelty factor alone made me shift my plans and dedicate a morning to playing around with what was enclosed.
‘The Too Face Sketch Marker is an advanced liquid eyeliner inspired by Japanese Calligraphy Pens. Its formula acts as an artist’s best drawing ink, created to be exceptionally smooth, vivid, waterproof and ideal for lining eyes. The flexible tip allows you to effortlessly create paintbrush-like strokes for daytime to dramatic cat eyes and everything in between.’
This amazing range of cruelty free creative liners are available in a kaleidoscope of colours, from soft pastels to bold pop art shades. The generous guys from Too Faced sent me a trio of pastel shades to have fun with, but today I am going to focus on my play-time with the Canary Yellow one.
For the first look I wanted to investigate the product’s basic capabilities. Nothing out there, creative, or challenging – just see whether it’s easy to apply to create the average one line across the lid (which was promised in the product decsription). Like any new pen, make up or not, it took a few moments of use to get the colour to become as thick and saturated as it’s meant to be, but after a few swipes it was a very vibrant canary yellow. Because my skin is a bit murky in colour, it’s not clear and uniform, not like a consistent canvas of alabaster, or a smooth and velvety dark skin, I wondered whether this bright light colour would lack impact on me. I was pleased to see that even on my slightly transluscent, almost grey skin ( which is also decorated by blue veins which try their best to show through on my eyelids) it still packed a colour punch. The slightly warmer yellow shade was more flattering on my complexion than a an acid or neon one too.
The shape of the nib makes it very easy to create reasonably thin line and you don’t get excess product leaking or making the line look uneven – it’s fairly easy to keep the colour contained to the chosen surface area or design.
It dries very quickly, which is ideal for people that get ready in a hurry and who don’t want to spend time frantically wafting air into their face before moving on to the next step of their get-ready process. It’s literally a matter of moments before it’s safe to pull a t-shirt over your head after application.
I really liked this minimal graphic look. The yellow gives this very basic make up look a contemporary and fresh feel, and I feel like it’s going to be one of my go-to looks should we actually get a summer in the UK this year. If not I’ll wear it in Cali this August, where it will look even more awesome set against all their instagrammable backdrops. Yes I will be hunting out that infamous pink wall.
As you may have noticed from my feed over the last year or so, I have developed quite the obsession with yellow. I often hear the rule that blonde’s shouldn’t wear this cheery shade, or that it’s better on different more contrasting hair colours, but I actually love the matchy-matchy nature of teaming yellow with the yellowist of hair shades. I feel so sunny and uplifted when I wear it, that I’m more than happy to rebel against these fashion rules.
I didn’t need to wipe my make up and start again for my second experiment, for this I simply coloured in the rest of my eyelid. You are quite literally colouring in now. Do you remember as a child when you used to colour in with your felt pens, how exciting you’d be for the bits of the drawing where you could move your pen with more vigour and freedom, where there weren’t lines to worry about drawing over. It felt a bit like that when I was creating this bold look. I wasn’t worried about perfecting lines or symmetrical flicks, this was simply colouring everywhere up until the lid crease. As you can see from the pictures I got a bit over excited and went over the creases – think I was just enjoying the ease of using these pens.
To create similar looks to this in the past I have used creme eyeshadows which involve you using your fingers to apply. This is a very mess free way of delivering the same impactful results.
When you apply this amount of product to the eyelid it is easier to see the texture it becomes once dry. It’s slightly rough to the touch and if you apply it over wrinkles or creases you can sort of feel it pull, but not to an uncomfortable level. Sometimes when you apply a product in a way it isn’t necessarily intended you experience some drawbacks. I predicted there might be some flaking off or crumbling because I had applied a few layers, and on a large surface area, but it actually had great staying power.
I’m not sure whether it was oxidising or whether it was just because of the layering up of the product, but it did become a slightly darker/warmer yellow after it dried, but I actually really liked it. It really did look like flower pollen had fallen and collated on my lids, which fits nicely into this spring-time aesthetic.
Out of all the looks I tried with the three colours I was sent, I think this was my overall favourite. It’s striking but uncomplicated. It makes a statement without looking like you’ve tried to hard.
I think it would be perfect for injecting a pop of colour to a simple ensemble – think how it could transform a simple LBD. It would look just as beautiful teamed with your spring floral prints too though. And if you’re into colour blocking, you could think of your eyelids as part of your ensemble – imagine this look teamed with a pink top, and sky blue slacks for example.
Not all experiments work, but that’s the whole point isn’t it? It’s trial and error, a procedure or process to determine something. In this case I determined that this look wasn’t great, and that I’m still rubbish at make up, but hey it was fun, and if you have fun while experimenting surely it was worth doing it. That said I don’t think it’s a science that needs complete re-thinking, just a few tweaks.
When I saw the expanse of bold yellow across my entire lid I knew it would serve as a great base for some black. Yes, I was inspired by the humble bumble bee – by the way what’s going on with them this year they look like they’re planning take over the world? But I decided not to completely rip of the bee’s style and do stripes. I had remembered that I had some cool stamps that I bought last year that could help to create a cool Halloween look instead. I started off my putting on stamp in the centre of each lid which looked pretty cool, but then like an excitable child who isn’t fearful of overkill, decided to keep on stamping till my whole lid was covered with moons and stars. I love how it’s the night sky in negative too.
I think the unplanned nature of this look is a bit obvious in it’s execution, it lacks precision and finesse, but I might try and hone the general concept in time for October because I think it has potential to be creepy cool.
I applied Kat Von D’s Slayer to complete this edgy look, although I must remember to line the lips when I wear a dark lip. My bare lips lack a clear outline, so it’s necessary for me to create a clearly defined shape with a pencil before applying a lipstick or I tend to get a bit wibbly wobbly – as you can see in these shots.
Although this look isn’t going to be one that you’ll find shared by the masses and landing in your instagram explore pages nor will it trend on YouTube, but it does illustrate how useful and versatile these coloured liners are. Without researching looks other people have created with them, and from just creating on instinct and whim, I have been able to come up with very wearable everyday looks (albeit fresh and fun ones) as well as more theatrical, fancy dress looks. For this reason I would thoroughly recommend you make a purchases, I think they’ll be a perfect addition to your s/s make up bag.
If you’re a complete beauty novice like me, with only basic skills but an interest in expanding your repertoire or pushing your personal make up boundaries, then these are ideal. I genuinely think anyone could achieve great result with them, they’re so effortless to use.
This week you’ll see a 5 minute video go up on my channel featuring these looks and others utilising the other coloured liners too, so make sure you give it a watch – you’ll see what the nibs look like and how easy they are to use.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried colourful liners or whether you’re tempted to give the look a go.