Whether you love it or hate it, eyeliner is probably one of the oldest makeup staples. Dating back to as early as 10,000 BC where the Ancient Egyptian’s would use it to protect their eyes from the desert sun and also protect themselves from the evil eye, can you imagine the iconic Cleopatra look without good old eyeliner. Obviously eyeliner has changed since the days of using copper ore and antimony to make kohl sticks but the same principle has remained; to define the eyes and add whatever degree of drama to your look you like. With the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in the 1920’s came an age of women being bold and wearing more makeup, and so the eyeliner trend grew. Eyeliner is as artistic and creative as eye shadow but often gets a bad reputation; maybe its because people find it difficult to apply or they feel eyeliner is too ‘dramatic’ for them.
Since my teens I have been obsessed with eyeliner even more than my beloved bright eyeshadows. I was a little obsessed with the 60’s style that was made famous by Mary Quant and Twiggy and wanted to be a beatnik. Strangely I also had a flair for the dramatic 80’s looks that were associated with the Punk and Goth styles, I loved the idea that men could rock eyeliner as well. (The Cure will forever be one of my favourite bands).
Eyeliner, whether it be a tight line, smudged and smoky or a full on wing, has gone hand in hand with many iconic ladies (and men might I add); from the days of the silent movies and Theda Bara, through the Hollywood icons of Bette Davies, Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and my own personal favourite Audrey Hepburn to the musical icons of Joan Jett, Siouxsie Sioux and of course the infamous Amy Winehouse. You cannot go far in popular culture or fashion without eyeliner darkening its doorstep in all the best possible ways.
I am very rarely without a good old winged eyeliner when I do my makeup; its a Mrs T staple. Winged eyeliner reminds me of all the classic, iconic women listed above and helps me feel fierce. I feel at my most sassy when wearing a wing, like I am sharp enough to tackle anything that comes my way. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is my taste and I do not make any apologies for it, I will still rock a wing whether it is in fashion or not; as someone said to me this week ‘dare to be different’. I am proud that, ever since my teens I have been rocking eyeliner and will continue to well into my old age.
So whether it be liquid or gel; kohl or powder; be brave, be bold and give eyeliner some love, its been underestimated for centuries. Wing it out, wing it out, don’t hold it back anymore…