Head Fashion and Beauty Editor Sarah Kilcourse delves into her on going love affair with one make up look in particular.
Call me stereotypical but since I was twelve I have felt a deep love for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I thought I had seen female perfection; when I first laid eyes on her sleek frame stood in front of the window of Tiffany & Co, coffee in hand, in the ultimate Givenchy little black dress—the dress that launched the LBD. Then she pulls down her sunglasses, reveals those long black eyelashes and, best of all, elegant black eyeliner flicks.
Twelve year old me knew exactly what to do. Pocket money in hand, I headed to Boots to purchase a kohl eye pencil and subsequently created a horrific mess on my face. A mess I proceeded to wear to school—for years. Over time however, I was introduced to new forms of eyeliner. I dabbled in liquid eyeliner, although I swiftly realised it was too harsh a shade of black compared to my fair skin and ginger hair. Next was gel eyeliner, with which I had much more success, thankfully by this time I had a steadier hand. Before landing on my current eyeliner of choice, L’Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim, an easy application felt tip.
Throughout all my changes of success and product, the end goal with my eyeliner has always been the same. A feline flick. I may not be as doe eyed as Audrey, but with that beautiful black line I can pretend to be somewhere close.
The feline flick is a make-up look that never goes out of fashion. Black eyeliner did exist long before Audrey Hepburn; early images of Cleopatra show her eyes adorned with black lines; Amy Winehouse rocked eyeliner up, making it thicker, more extreme, messie—perennially cool. Eyeliner is consistently reinvented, redefined and reformed. It may be smudged out and smoky, neat and delicate or in full Instagram “fleek” mode, but it’s a flick none the less.
I am forever on the receiving end of questions (mainly from family members) of why do I feel the need to put so much black around my eyes? And the answer is simple. With that one touch of make-up I am me, not the me that for some unknown reason can’t function between 3pm and 5pm, I am the me that goes and gets their dream university job, the me that can rise above bitchy comments and the me that can give the best side-eye.
For some make-up is an obsession, I could never claim to feel this level of intense affiliation with cosmetics. But I will defend the feline flick ‘til the end of time. As far as I am concerned it is the ultimate in feminine, sexy, sophisticated, elegant glamour. Youtube has over 26,000 search results for the feline flick if you’re in need of some advice.
I can accept that I am unlikely to eat croissants in haute couture outside jewellery shops, but everyday I can be Holly Golightly with a flick of my eyeliner.