Readers Ask: Dear Lucky

Q: Why am I such a klutz with eyeliner?

Illustration by Lauren Friedman

A: Two things to think about: I could not figure out eyeliner until I took a group class at Trish McEvoy. (They are fantastic. If you've ever got an afternoon to spare in NYC, go. It's worth the time and not-insignificant $$$.) There I learned to take a flat brush and dip it in dark brown eyeshadow. Then you place—not draw—the brush right where your eyelid and eyelash meet. Pull the brush away; reload. Do it again, right next to the spot you just did. Dot of color, dot of color, dot of color: It all adds up to make the line. Beginners should only line from the middle of the lashes (the center point over your eye) out to the corners. Now have a look: If you want more, repeat. Clean up mistakes with a Q-tip. My personal addition to this is: I think it's easier with gel eyeliner (as opposed to shadow). But to each her own.

The second tip I got from a beauty editor I used to work with: Every day this woman started out very tasteful and subtle. All day, the way some people bite their nails or pop Tic Tacs, she'd sit with a big soft eyeliner pencil and circle it around her eyes. Smokier and smokier, all day long, like Madame Defarge with her knitting. By quitting time, she couldn't have looked more fabulous. The lesson is, sit there and go crazy with a pencil, and eventually it'll all look pretty good.

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