Dark Magic: Black Eyeliner Has Never Been Better

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If this past season is anything to go on, a black liner (or perhaps a wardrobe of them) promises seemingly infinite possibilities for transformation. Whether inky pens were used to paint a razor-sharp wing or smudged kohl simulated suggestively slept-in makeup, the runways demonstrated loads of ideas for wielding your favorite black eyeliner. Behold your new favorite ways to make your mark.

1. Under Line

Not for the faint of heart or tired of eye, a crisp slick of black reserved for the lower lash lines provided an unexpected twist on typical top lined lids.

At Isa Arfen, makeup artist Andrew Gallimore traced lower lids with Nars Black Valley Eye Paint for a modern take on traditional “Kabuki makeup.”

Lower lids received love from Mark Carrasquillo at J.W. Anderson with a healthy streak of Nars Black Valley Eye Paint and Black Moon Eyeliner Pencil to give models a “strong” and “aggressive” countenance.

2. Looking Sharp

Well-delineated lids require a seriously steady hand or a quick clean-up kit at the ready. (P.S. Pros love Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution soaked cotton swabs.)

Diane Kendal created variations on a theme at Marc Jacobs to create custom “blacquer eyes” based on the models’ eye shapes, alternating between a trio of liner Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Blacquer, Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Blacquer 42, and Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer on hand.

Referencing Amy Winehouse, Charlotte Tilbury injected her signature “feline flick” with a “punky, graphic” edge using Rock ‘n’ Kohl liquid eyeliner pencil in Bedroom Blacksmudged with vaseline along the waterlines, and then the Feline Flick Liquid Eye Pen in Panther to form the exaggerated, overdrawn wing.

3. In the Abstract

Playing fast and loose with liner means eschewing wings and flicks in favor of surprising shapes and silhouettes.

For a fresh take on the wing at Rochas, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni outlined the shape (using Clé de Peau Beauté Intensifying Liquid Liner in Black), but neglected to color in the lines.

Taking the wing to the outer limits at Miu Miu made for a “glamorously graphic eye,” said legend Pat McGrath, who used her own Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black to whip it up.

Proving that eyeliner can be sporty, Maybelline makeup artist Grace Lee recreated the look of “racing stripes” with Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil at Monse.

Literally dashing off a wing at Lanvin, Karim Rahman repurposed a drinking straw into a beauty tool to fashion dark dashes (using a custom blend of M.A.C. Acrylic Paint and Chromacake in Black Black and Water Based Mixing Medium) in place of a flick.

4. Smoked Out

Bless this mess: Because nothing is easier than a perfectly imperfect smudge.

Taking a shine to the smoky eye at Public School, Lee penciled in a rectangle on the lids with Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil in Sleek Onyx, and then gave it depth with a blend of black and gunmetal shadows and a wet-looking, not-safe-for-real-life sheen with lip gloss.

It takes some work to appear as if you fell asleep with a full face of makeup as evidenced at Ann Demeulemeester where Lynsey Alexander artfully smudged M.A.C Modern Twist Kajal Liner in Squid under eyes.

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