I rarely leave the house without at least a bit of makeup, and yet I wouldn't call myself a beauty junkie. Rather, I have a fairly consistent set of products I use regularly, so when I add an item to my little arsenal, you can be sure that it is quite something.
A few months back, I found myself a little bored with my usual colors, so, using a wedding I was to attend as an excuse, I stopped by the MAC store in Soho to pick up something new.
Now I've always liked the dramatic look of liquid eyeliner, but after some very tragic episodes in high school, it became abundantly clear to me that I had no business even attempting to use it. Then these gel eyeliners started popping up, and I was intrigued. It seemed the perfect answer to my ineptitude. I bought a couple a few years back but they didn't turn out to be the silver bullet I had hoped for. They were too thick to begin with and dried out within weeks.
But the adorable makeup artist at MAC used their Fluidline to create the most fabulous Minnie Mouse-esque swoop on me, and I was infatuated with the possibility of reproducing it myself, so, against my better judgment, I bought the navy blue (waveline) one. At $15 it wasn't actually too much of a gamble.
Turns out the consistency is smooth and perfect, and once applied it stays put. So it was a keeper, a new addition for me. But I was still vaguely dissatisfied...not with the product, but with my application. It took me ages to get a decent looking line, and I never could quite get it right.
For a time I figured that I was just hopelessly pathetic. But then I saw the very talented Shu Uemura makeup artist applying eyeliner to my sister with what seemed like the perfect brush. She was making a flawless cat's eye look pretty effortless. I silently acknowledged that it was probably her superior skill, but allowed that the brush could have something to do with it. So again, I took a gamble (again, at $22 it wasn't a terribly big one) and bought the Shu Uemura sable 5F brush.
And you know what? It makes a surprisingly huge difference. I actually get compliments on my eyeliner now. Crazy. I always knew that the Shu brushes were the best, but I didn't know that they were this good.