I can’t be the only one. I can’t be the only one with two X chromosomes and upstairs and downstairs lady parts not to have the foggiest idea how to put on eyeliner. Well, maybe not the foggiest idea – I have an idea but it’s more like a misty idea than a foggy idea. I understand the theory of it, it’s just the practical side that I can’t get to grips with, much like cooking. I know how I’m supposed to do it, I just can’t.
I’ve tried different sorts of eyeliners – liquid, pencil, gel and I’ve tried getting my information from various sources – going through magazines 1980s style, asking friends, watching YouTube videos and more YouTube videos and even more until YouTube no longer recommends Craig Ferguson interviews to me and instead just suggests beauty videos.
And all these places basically tell me the same thing – close your eye and draw a line. I’ve been drawing lines for many years, at nursery school, actual school, during games nights with friends and once on my kitchen door. It seems I can draw a line on almost any material – paper, wood, wall, papyrus – but when it comes to skin or, more precisely, eye socket skin, I can’t do it. It’s as if my skin is rejecting the eyeliner or, when I do draw something, the line seems to be a million miles away from the lashes. It doesn’t look ‘sexy’ or ‘smokey’ or even just ‘competent’ which I would settle for at this point, it looks like I’ve let a child play make-up artist and they’ve done what they think makes me look ‘really, really pwetty’.
Maybe I’m being too critical on myself, perhaps this is how eyeliner does actually look on everyone and it’s only because I’m analysing my face that I notice it, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m just missing whatever gene it is that makes you an eyeliner expert, along with the gene that enables you to do a messy bun and the one the allows you to walk around shops and be able to envisage the clothes on the rack on your rack.
I feel that I will forever have eyes that are missing a certain darkness – a mysteriousness and va-va-voom. I will forever have the eyes of that kid in primary school who had really dark eyelashes as luckily, I somehow picked up the art of dragging a mascara wand across my lashes. I will always be the girl in the photo who looks as if she’s just woken up and had no time to get ready whilst everyone else looks into the camera with glamorous night-time eyes. But if this is the case, I will also forever be the girl who never has panda eyes at the end of the night and, although it’s not much, I’ll take these small victories where I can and somehow claim that my eyeliner incompetence is in fact an asset. People can only wish that they are as bad at putting eyeliner on as I am.