Black Kohl - Is it back this 60s Summer?
I've been wearing a lot of black kohl liner recently. Previously I've avoided it before for fear of looking like Avril Lavigne. However, it seems so perfect this season. With all the 1960s inspired clothing in the shops and Sienna Miller walking round like a modern day Edie Segdwick (nothing to do with her up-coming film, I'm sure) I'm slowly turning myself into a Beatnik babe...
I'm a secret fashion history geek, and clothing from the 30s through to the 70s has always intrigued me, but when it comes down to it I'm a 60s girl at heart. Most of the things I love; big hair, bracelet sleeved jackets, crazy prints, Mary Quant, the beginnings of boho and opaque tights come from the era. When shopping with friends a few years ago they forced me to buy a black and white colourblock shift dress because it was "soooo Gemma" (I'm laughing now, of course). I'm drawn, Magpie-like, to anything that screams 60s - from awful wallpaper to swirly Pucci prints and patent boots. And now smoky eyes, it seems.
The great thing about well-applied kohl is that it can instantly change the way you look. I can disappear into the toilets and with the aid of a hairbrush and a £1.99 H&M eye pencil and come out a totally different person. On days when I go out straight from work, lipbalm and a kohl is all I need to do that 'day-to-night' thing they're always going on about in magazines.
People apply kohl in different ways, but I take the lead from Linda Evangelista (via a make-up artist). If you squint and draw into your eyelashes, you'll find you get a really good base line. It sounds mad, but it really works. You really need to get into those lashes and fill in the gaps, and this is the best method for that.
The other trick is to be careful with the lower lid. Apply too much liner there and you end up looking like Rosie the goth in Coronation Street. I apply liner along the outer half only, smudging it towards the middle (a little trick picked up after mastering the 'natural' look when performing with a face full of stage make-up during school musicals!). Then you need a good few coats of mascara to re-open the eyes. Adding dark colour will instantly make the eyes look smaller so you need to counteract that.
As far as products go, you can't go far wrong with a simple black eye pencil. As I say, one of my best came from H&M, and I also think Boots 17 offer good quality for £2.29. If you're a high-end girl and you want to pay a bit more, you can't go wrong with Benefit's Bad Gal for £12.50, Mac's Kohl for £11 or Chanel's Le Crayon Kohl for £14.
See the look in action with Easy Living Magazine's 60s Make-up Shoot