I've been a lover of the coveted cat-eye flick for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a little girl I've gazed in awe at pictures of 1940's glamour icons, flawlessly mastering the precise line of ink and bold red lip. I, however, have never been able to master either. On the rare occasion that I have the time and the patience to give the winged liner look a go, I'm always sure to reach for the Extreme 24hr Felt Liner from Collection. An absolute steel at around the £3 mark, this is by far the best tool I've come across in terms of colour pay off and ease of application - although it certainly isn't a walk in the park...
I tend to get the main part of the liner done before even attempting a flick; in fact more often than not I actually leave it at that. I'm completely unable to match the effortless, open-eyed application of the YouTube gurus and instead I fall to my (vageuly) fail-safe method of pulling the skin around my eye as taught as possible and praying for the best. Beginning about 3/4 of the way into my lashline, I glide the pen across my lid, keeping it as close to my lashes as possible. The only part that I do with my eye open is the inner corner, as I find it's the only way to get a gradual finish to my liner. Usually I manage to master this step in one go, but I do like to go over it a few times to ensure the line is consistent and full.
If that doesn't sound complicated enough, attempting the classic flick is where the real fun begins. I'm not ashamed to admit that this part often takes numerous attempts, so I keep a tiny bottle of Bioderma and a handful of cotton buds handy in case I need to do any touch-ups (read: remove everything and start all over again). I have quite hooded eyes, so once again I prefer to close them before drawing in order to keep everything straight and precise. The best tip I've learnt is to follow the bottom lash line and extend the ink across as if it were continuing on naturally; that way you get a flattering angle that will (hopefully) mirror itself almost exactly on the other eye, too. The hardest part for me is angling the pen so that the line 'flicks' out at the tip as opposed to coming to a sudden, stumpy end. A light hand is crucial and I like to extend the original line in a 'sweeping' motion; even if the colour pay off isn't great at first, it's far easier to go back over the wing and make it bolder than to take unwanted product away from it. A touch up or twelve later and I'm (usually) left with something that resembles the look I'm going for. After all, I'm a firm believer that the theory of eyebrows being sisters as opposed to twins can also be related to liner.