Thursday, 5 November 2009

the search for weapons of mass seduction...

Or more specifically what seems to be a particularly tricky item: the liquid eyeliner. I expect any male readers have switched off now. But remember, Christmas approaches and these make particularly useful stocking fillers for chapettes. Being fearless, a couple of weeks ago Redlegs decided to brave the Helmand Province of cosmetic halls: Selfridges. There I tried on just about every eyeliner I could find. Fearing the effect this might have on my delicate eyelids I resorted to long elegant strokes on the side of my hand. By the end of the hour I looked like some strange rarefied demon with hands covered in black strokes. To be devious I made an effort to paint stripes in alphabetical order.

I was driven to this action by my disappointment with Mac's eyeliner which I bought on a whim, presuming it would be as wonderful as their matt red lippy. Alas it let me down as it was not easy to apply. I found that my bargain basement variety Bourjois was good but had a limited shelf life and determined that perhaps, as with plastic surgeons and underwear, the best approach would be to move up-market.

My criteria were:

1) Type of brush

2) Ease of application

3) Lack of that bane of both eyeliners and mascara: clagginess.

Some were deeply disappointing, but my top 3 (out of 22 ladies!) were at

3: Illamasqua. This went on very smoothly, was very black and I liked the sales staff, or rather they liked me. The severe bob and bright red lips probably squealed that I would wear the colourful stuff that is their particular selling point. They are known as 'Goth Grabbers'. The only thing that let this one down was that the brush, although decent quality was far too thin for producing classic retro flicks. It would however be good for rococo flourishes.

2: Guerlain. This had a brush you could have used to paint a nice Watercolour of , oh I don't know, Morecombe Bay at dawn. The consistency was thin but it was very easy to apply, one or two coats gave a rich very professional 50's model with elephants look. I also liked the grey shade: Anthracite. But that might be because I liked the name, Anthracite, if I have children, especially twins I would be tempted to name them Anthracite and Lucite. I like Guerlain, lovely packaging, and their Gentian perfume is nice.

1: Dior. This was my number one for a variety of reasons. I liked the fact that the decent medium to large felt like brush was affixed to the barrel carrying the liner. I find the pot system inconvenient. In addition they have utilised the click system used for Touch Eclat which means you control the amount of gunk on the brush tip. Like the Guerlain it required two layers but provided a lovely flick and a good colour. Additionally the staff were cheery, if rather curious about my thoroughness in choosing my liner. They also gave me a free mascara, which was nice of them.

Notes: Curious place the cosmetic hall, I like the way the staff eye people up, it's a jungle. I have been there recently looking nondescript and been almost completely ignored. Carefully applied pillar box red lipstick however prompts lots of engagement. Some companies simply don't appeal, I had a terrible reaction once to some clinique stuff, my gentleman friend of the time bought it because he liked the 'ladies in nurses uniforms' (their eyeliner was in the 'ok' range). But I like flamboyant packaging, pots and potions should be little packets of glamour. Yet it works, this clinical approach, for She Uemura. I failed to try their eyeliner because their staff were thin on the ground, which is a shame because their stuff is top notch. They were very busy with their eyelash bar, something I understand as putting false eyelashes on is one of those irritating almost sisyphan task that is only justified by a special occassion. The only people who could possibly do it quickly are drag queens, showgirls and the vain. Although I did hear a disturbing report that 20% of Shu Uemura's customers are now gentlemen...


Anonymous said...

Very entertaining article, and I found your eyeliner reviews quite handy. I too love Shu Uemura, sadly a Kings salary as you well know doesn't stretch that far! Helen R x

Anonymous said...

Then ask for a King's ransom!



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