Extreme Eyes Liner & Color Tips For All Ages

0 Comments 20 November 2009

Diana Rigg sported them in The Avengers along with her leather catsuits. On Audrey Hepburn, they created the perfect mix of pixie and sophisticate. Now Renée Zellweger is resurrecting the look in her new movie Down with Love. Lined lids are everywhere right now, and we mean lined. Not smudged or smoky, but drawn-on and definite. And, as if that’s not enough, neutral eye makeup colors are getting edged out by peacock hues. There are two approaches you can take to the extreme-eye trend: Go into denial and cling to that brown eye shadow, or try out some wild new colors and have some fun.

Mally Roncal, Sephora’s celebrity makeup artist, works with clients like Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Osbourne. She’s a big advocate for having a good time with this look, no matter what your age.

Extreme eyes for 20-somethings

“’50s liquid eyeliner is such a big thing right now,” says Roncal. “I love the way that looks.” Experiment with slightly toned-down versions of runway applications. You might not want to paint on multiple fake lashes à la DKNY, but defined liner with a Cleopatra curve at the eye’s outer edge is fun. If you have liner-application anxiety, Roncal advises doing it this way: drink your coffee after you put on eye makeup, and rest your elbow on the table to steady your hand during application.

If you go big with the eyes, put a shiny gloss on the lips instead of something matte, and tone down the blush. Too much of everything will age a youthful face prematurely.

Extreme eyes for 30-somethings

To keep the look modern and fresh, experiment with liquid eyeliners in different colors. “I love liner in grays, blues and lavenders. You’re getting the trend, but it’s not too crazy or over the top,” Roncal says.

Speaking of color—how exactly do you approach the wild eye shadows that are available right now? “If it’s a bright color, do it as a wash, as opposed to opaque.” Nars currently offers a duo called “Rated R”—acid green and shocking blue. Roncal insists these colors will work if you wear them correctly: “It’s really gorgeous; it’s very wearable, if you do it as a wash.”

Extreme eyes for 40-somethings

“Still do the cat eyes, it’s a glamorous, timeless look,” says Roncal. Today’s liner formulas are much nicer than the ones you nicked from your mom years ago; they go on thin and dry as quick as a wink. Don’t neglect your lashes as you go crazy with the color—always curl, and always apply mascara to both the top and bottom lashes.

Consider some of the metallic liners that are available right now—Naturistics has a line called Chrome that will edge your eyes with a golden glint. Don’t let the low price ($1.84) or the shiny bottle scare you. This trend is a perfect opportunity to try wild colors at low-end prices. Then, if something works, splurge on a luxe version of the same shade.

Extreme eyes for 50-somethings

The wonderful thing about liquid eyeliner is that once you paint it on your lid, the stuff stays put. It doesn’t wander off into the various smile lines you’ve earned. Roncal says that when she works with clients in their 50s, she loves to use high-quality powder eye shadows instead of creams. Creams tend to gather in creases, she says, whereas powders keep the look smooth and fresh. “I love pastels—Christian Dior is doing a quad right now with lavender, blue, pink and green that’s wonderful.” Lighter shadow colors and a sheer touch on lips will also help avoid a harsh “Mrs. Robinson” look.

This season’s eyes aren’t subtle, but they’re not meant to shock either. Roncal sums the bright-eyed trend this way: “I don’t know what’s going on in the world, but everyone wants to be pretty right now.”


- who has written 33 posts on Women Weblog.

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