While researching Elizabeth Taylor for our style icon Christmas gift guide, I was struck by an anecdote shared by her granddaughter that I kept returning to again and again. The woman with perhaps the most famous eyes in existence loved eye makeup. Loved it. As in, she would spend two hours doing her own makeup before an event, purely because she enjoyed the primping process, and the majority of that time she spent prettifying her peepers. As a lifelong glasses wearer, I never bothered much with eye makeup until becoming a beauty writer in my thirties. Now, I’m entirely with Liz, and love playing around with depth, shape and texture, testing it all from glitter to (lash) glue. In fact, I’d argue that playing around with what you wear on your eyes is by far the most fun you can have with makeup. Here, I’ve rounded up four current favourites worth trying the next time you experiment with your own eye looks, whether you’re after a helping hand for applying falsies, or a palette so special you won’t want to use it – though I’m here to tell you, you simply must.


Jenna Lyons, former creative director of J.Crew and certified fashion royalty, was born with incontinentia pigmenti, a genetic disorder that affects skin, hair and teeth. Without lashes of her own to stick a traditional band of falsies onto, but with plenty of empathy and an understand of what it’s like to have difficulty using beauty products in traditional ways, she developed her own lash range, LoveSeen. My pick? The Lash Tool, an ingenious, well-thought-out way to apply false lashes from this or any other brand. Miles away from the eyeball-poking dangers of using tweezers to do the job, this applicator is all soft curves and perfect bends. Think the shape of an eyelash curler, minus the scary prospect of pinching and with more useful angles and a good weight. It allows you to get right up close into your lash line, even if you lack fine motor skill dexterity, as I do. It’s my new favourite way to get false lashes to fit the specific curve of my own eye shape – just go in while the lash glue is still wet and close the tool down both over your own lashes (if you have them) and the falsies, to bring them as close together as possible. With the tell-tale gap eliminated, no one will know they’re not your own – unless you want to layer seventeen pairs, so that they definitely do.


Liquid liner is one of those products it can be hard to get excited about. The look it produces, in theory? Fabulous. Yet, in practice? So often disappointing. Imagine my surprise, then, to be genuinely thrilled to discover Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Xtreme Precision Liner. They had me with the neon coral packaging, but it’s what’s inside that counts – possibly the finest liner pen I have ever come across. The tube is the ideal length and shape to give maximum control, so whether you’re wanting to create a neat bit of definition over your lash line or get creative with designs and angles, this will make it easier. Also, once applied, it doesn’t move, and is properly, inkily black.


As with the Benefit liner, the pretty packaging of Lancôme Hypnose Le 8 Mascara wouldn’t matter if the product inside didn’t live up to it, but what a joy for makeup lovers when it does. This is the first glass mascara I have ever come across (looking rather more like a design objet than your average tube), and its sinuous curves actually help with control, to get it exactly where you want it. The wand is neither trendily tiny nor a huge, bulky ’90s throw back, so think definition plus volume, and its figure eight shape gives a glamorous eye look by easily adding extra definition to the outer corners of the lashes.


Before I begin my love note to these Chanel Les 4 Ombres Tweed Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow palettes, I have to admit that these limited edition pieces are very tricky to track down. I am still going to have to tell you about them, though, because it feels like forever since a beauty product has left me quite so breathless. Chanel is, of course, the fashion house that took tweed from its musty, dusty country house connotations to the epitome of luxury, when fashioned into a smart two piece suit. Bringing tweed’s tones, colours and textures to the makeup arm of the house was a stroke of genius, and one I can only hope we will see repeated in the future. Firstly, each palette is encased in its own special pouch, which is made from the actual tweed used by the fashion house. Each pouch corresponds specifically to the colourway of the four shades in the palette inside, and each of the four shadows in the palette is embossed so that they really do look like tweed. Be still, my heart. No matter your colouring, my favourite of the options is 04 Tweed Brun et Rose. It contains three neutrals ranging from minky taupe to deepest chocolate, ideal for creating smoky looks that range from daytime definition to all-out evening fabulousness. The textures are velvety, blendable and last brilliantly. The palest shade is a sparkling peachy pink, which brings some life to the mattes and shouldn’t by rights be as flatteringly light-giving as it is. If you aren’t able to track this palette down, 308 Clair Obscur shares very similar tones. If warmer shades are more what you are after, 01 Tweed Cuivré’s gold and bronzes are rich and eyecatching. Again, if you’re unable to get your hands on that one, the 2022 holiday palette, 937 Ombre de Lune shares similarly glamorous tones.

Story by Zoe Briggs. Main image of Zendaya for Lancôme via Instagram @lancomeofficial.

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