24th August 2012

Binky Felstead’s Guest Beauty Blog Post: Cool for Cats

A typical crazy day in busy Binky World goes something like this: after filming on location it’s off to a photo shoot then on to a speedy magazine interview before whizzing off on to a TV studio for more filming. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s hard to look your best when you don’t know if you’re coming or going.

Scanning my jam-packed schedule for the coming weeks got me thinking about my how I can streamline my life – including my beauty routine. Dashing from job to job is hard enough, but trying to apply a face full of make-up while whizzing across town is a total nightmare. What I needed, I realised, was a clever beauty trick that’s quick, simple and super-stylish – a look that’ll work from dawn till dusk.

Luckily enough, I made a brand new BBF (that’s beauty best friend) on a photo shoot last week – the gorgeous Cassie Lomas, make-up artist and all-round beauty expert. When I quizzed her about the perfect speedy make-up trick, she suggested I master the cat’s-eye flick.

For the uninitiated amongst you, the cat’s-eye flick is that sexy “winged” eyeliner technique loved by everyone from Angelina Jolie to Adele. A true beauty classic – it’s basically a sharp, defined swish of eyeliner, drawn close to the upper lashes, running from inner corner to outer edge, and ending in a jaunty upwards flick. Amy Winehouse made the look her beauty trademark, while Kate Moss has been rocking a cat’s-eye flick for so long, she can do hers without looking in the mirror!

This brilliant little beauty trick is part timeless glamour, part rock ‘n’ roll chic, which is why it’s never lost its appeal over the years. Not only that, but it turns out to be one of the big beauty trends for autumn/winter 2012.

At this season’s catwalk shows, make-up artists took the idea and ran with it, coming up with every possible take on this beauty classic. There was easy, understated winged eyeliner at Ralph Lauren and Rag & Bone – an ideal daytime spin on the look. At Anna Sui and Thierry Mugler, the cat’s-eye flick came with wild flashes of colour, from electric blue to neon pink. At Altuzarra, Zac Posen and BCBG, it was all about graphic, arty lines and dramatic stencils, while at Lanvin and Rachel Zoe, they ramped things up several notches, taking the cat’s-eye flick to it’s big, bold and beautiful conclusion.

With that sort of inspiration, I was quickly hooked on the look and I’ve spent the last few days mastering my technique. First up, you need to pick the perfect product. Soft, smudgy kohl pencils won’t give you the requisite precisely defined line you want for a sharp cat’s eye flick. What you need is a fine-tipped liquid eyeliner such as Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner or Dior Liner Precision Eyeliner. Alternatively, I’ve discovered a rather brilliant product called Too Faced Liquif-Eye, which allows you to turn your favourite eyeshadow into smudge-proof liquid eyeliner – it’s particularly good if you fancy experimenting with a coloured cat’s-eye flick, like the luscious blue ones seen on the runway at Anna Sui this season.

When it comes to applying your chosen eyeliner and creating the perfect symmetrical swishing flicks, there’s only one really good piece of advice I can pass on to you: practice makes perfect. Yes, I know it’s a total bore and, like me, you were probably hoping for some miracle insider’s secret to ensure perfect unsmudged eyeliner every time. But the only way to get this look right is to keep on trying.

Boring lecture over, I do have a couple of pointers: I find it helps to pull my skin taut on the upper lid before drawing the line – it creates a smoother surface. Also, begin by drawing a fine, narrow line and then add depth. Your swoosh can be as fine or as wide as you want (the great thing about this trend is its versatility) but starting with a narrow line means you can thicken up if you make a mistake.

If you do go wrong – and, believe me, you won’t get a perfect cat’s-eye flick every time – just dip a cotton bud in a little eye make-up remover (I use Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover), tidy up, and keep going.

I’ve got the cat’s eye flick down to a fine art now, which means I’ve achieved my goal of a quick, glamorous day-to-night make-up trick that works from boardroom to bar to boudoir. No more switching beauty looks in the back of a cab. This is go-anywhere glamour  – I call it my Quick Slick Binky Flick!

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