Any beauty magazine will tell you that the smoky eye is always in for fall; I’m not breaking any ground there and I know that. BUT, I do know that it’s not always the easiest or the quickest look to achieve. You need the right eyeliner and the right makeup brush, not to mention a steady hand and patience (of which I have none). Feel me?
Luckily, I found a product that makes the whole process way easier without dropping a lot of cash. Allow me to tell you how I made the discovery that will help us all look even SULTRIER all autumn long.
Last weekend, my good friend/arch enemy, Daniel, who is studying textile and design, was shooting photos of his work for his portfolio and asked me if I would come along and do makeup for the shoot.
In true Tynan fashion, I played it too cool and told him, “Well, maybe, let me see if I’m even available,” while in my head it was an automatic and resounding YES! I was delighted to be his one-man glam squad. Besides, I find doing makeup on others is much easier than doing it on myself, so HOW COULD I MESS THIS UP?!
He told me that we’d be going back to his hometown in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin, because he was going to be using his two gorgeous cousins as his models and they’re still attending high school there. What he didn’t tell me is that the shoot was going to happen at his parents' place. On a diary farm. ON A DAIRY FARM. Where do I even begin with that?
But back to makeup. Admittedly, I hate it when anyone describes themselves as “self-taught” in anything, mostly because I’m a snob and want to see the receipts for anyone’s credentials. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t self-taught in doing makeup.
I spent half of my formative years doing theater (I refuse to spell it “theatre,” so deal), so I passed a lot of time backstage messing around with makeup and spilling expensive stage cosmetics everywhere. Pair that with the four years I spent in college dorm rooms getting ready to go out with all my girlfriends, blasting Britney’s “Blackout,” drinking and screaming, “No, do your makeup like THIS.” I know a thing or two.
I knew the modest arsenal of makeup I own would be enough to get the girls photo-ready, but I wanted to pick up a new eyeliner to use because Daniel emphasized the fact that he wanted the eyes to look different for each of the shots we were doing.
I always forget how expensive eyeliners are. I’m not cheap and I love overspending on frivolous bullshit, but I just don’t want to spend more than $10 on something that I’ll probably blind myself with. They all look so dangerous!
After reluctantly perusing Walgreens for 20 minutes, I found Rimmel’s EXAGGERATE Waterproof Eye Definer. The minute I picked it up, I knew it was the one I’d be using.
Exaggerate is a clear standout from all other eyeliners for a handful of key reasons. One, it’s a “kohl stick,” meaning it’s noticeably smoother than a standard eyeliner pencil, making application easier and more tolerable.
Two, since it’s not a pencil, there’s no sharpening, it simply twists up like a Chapstick would. Do eye pencils that you’re expected to sharpen terrify anyone other than me? That’s just asking for trouble, is it not? Plus, I’m not trying to carry a pencil sharpener around with me.
THIRD, and perhaps most notable, on the opposite end of the stick sits a tiny little sponge, or “smudger” (is that a word? it is now), to aid in your quest for the smoky eye. I was skeptical as always, but it works!
The kohl stick itself is definitely made to be smudged out as little or as much as you’d like, but used without the sponge, you can easily achieve a precise look. YOU control the level of drama! Wouldn’t it be awesome if that was the case in all aspects of life?
And! It was only like, six dollars, at most! Not to mention, I live in a college town, which also happens to be a capital city, so all of the Walgreens in the city have this ridiculous markup on everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was even less expensive in most other regions.
Though it’s smudgeable, it dries to be waterproof so if you’re caught in the rain like I was yesterday afternoon, or bawling your eyes out about your stupid boyfriend, which you SHOULDN’T be, it’s not going to make you look like a damn raccoon.
The photo shoot ended up being effortless, for me especially. When Daniel’s cousins showed up and it was clear that I’d have very little work to do since they were both knockouts.
I made sure to be as prepared for the shoot as possible, so I checked and rechecked my makeup bag multiple times before I left my apartment. I didn’t want to be super hungover with shaky hands, so I hardly drank the night before. I only got, you know, vaguely sauced. I definitely thanked myself for that as I was careening toward their little eyeballs with the new kohl stick.
DID I MENTION THIS ALL TOOK PLACE ON A DAIRY FARM?! I can’t really talk about it because I’m still recovering, but we had a backdrop and some lighting so it’s not like the girls were surrounded by, like, cows. God, Wisconsin wears on me. Just imagine me, teetering around the dairy farm surrounded by, like, bugs and fresh air and sunlight. It was like an episode of “The Simple Life."
SO. How are you doing your makeup this fall? What products are you obsessed with and why? Do YOU have any horror stories about being stranded out in the country for the sake of FASHION? Get at me @TynanBuck.