7 May 2017

The Pick Of The Eye Pencils

Pick Of The Eye Pencils on vickiarcher.com


Eye liner is a love/hate thing with me.

I like the dark upswept or heavily outlined look on others. I struggle to get it quite right on myself.

The ageing process, as much as I like it intellectually, does have some downsides. I could blame age and a tendency for the eyes to be less wide open than they once were but in truth I was never much good at the application of eye liner. It is a twofold dilemma.

How to apply.

I want to share a little trick that has changed my eyeliner life. 

Start with a pencil, never a liquid.

I have always held down my eyelid to apply eyeliner. Wrong.

Apply the pencil with eyes wide open, looking straight ahead into the mirror.

The line is drawn as the eye is seen. Am I making sense?

Start from the centre and draw upwards as you reach the outer lid.

When you close your eyes, you will see that it is a  different shading to the one that would be there if you lined your eyes closed.

Open. The eyes look wider and the eyeliner flies up at the edge rather than down.

I was amazed at the result.

What to use?

A soft eye pencil, never with shine, that is less flattering.

Dark Grey is the shade of choice. A soft colour that opens up the eyes and is much kinder than black.

Favourites; Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury and Mac, for ease, colour and sensitivity.

My eyes are looking up, xv.

The Pick of The Eye Pencils

mac in phone number  ||  chanel in 64 graphite  || charlotte tilbury in verushka mink

images, vogue cover, helen mirren by annie leibovitz

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Taste of France

Does pencil stay on all day? Or is it just me smudging it off? I have had good luck with gel liner, which has a lipstick-like consistency.
Helen Mirren is amazing.


I find it smudges a little but I don’t mind that… I just blend it from time to time if necessary.
It does stay on all the day though… or enough anyway ;)


So very hard to do as we age. For me it’s especially hard as I am blind as a bat without my reading glasses for close work. Distance vision is still OK, enough to qualify for my driver’s licence, without glasses at least. But it’s pretty much impossible to apply eyeliner wearing glasses. And I can’t wear contacts. A lovely Chanel consultant suggested a gorgeous grey powdery shadow that I sometimes apply just above the eyelash line because it can be smudged a bit afterwards and accuracy is not quite so important.
Helen Mirren is stunning. So glad to see in this photo they haven’t airbrushed her wrinkles – and there’s a hint of age spots too. Maybe just softened a bit. But wonderful that they haven’t tried to make her appear like a 30 year old. Best wishes, Pamela


The glasses! They are such a nuisance… they are the one things I really find annoying about ageing… I’m grateful for the clarity though ;)

Mimi Gregor

After watching Stephanie Lange’s tutorial on applying eye makeup to hooded eyelids, I have duplicated the look to great success. The eyeliner portion was especially… erm… eye-opening for me. It involved using a black matte eye shadow on an angled eyeliner brush, and applying it right into the upper lashline. Then one applies an eyeliner (She used a pencil. I don’t like pencils. I used a gel liner and a very tiny eyeliner brush) to the waterline (just under the upper lashes), going right into the base of the lashes. Then the mascara. By working both eyeliners right into the lashline from both sides, it really makes one’s lashes look long and lush! I had heard about applying eyeliner to the waterline before, but had been afraid to do it, as I had never seen it done. Seeing how quickly and easily she did it gave me courage to try it, and it makes an enormous difference.


I will try Mimi, I think my eyes are far too sensitive to apply anything in the waterline. That’s always a problem for me.
Try this technique with your eyeliner of choice, you could probably do it with the waterline as well… See what you think…I found it made an enormous difference. :)

Anita Rivera

I am SO with you on this, Vicki. There was a time when my eyes accepted all sorts of experiments with liner. My bottom lashes are very few, so any liner on the bottom lids must be very light, sweeping upward from the corner. It looks ridiculous for me to draw in a line however, when I hardly have any lashes there! Oh how gorgeous is Helen Mirren…..good gracious, what is it about her that oozes sex appeal? I DON’T HAVE IT! HAHAHAHAHHAHA

I shall experiment once again, but maybe this time, with a light line on the top. I’ve never really done that!


Some people feel naked without lipstick. I feel naked without eyeliner. Am ‘currently’ using a soft pencil (no sharp point). Do you make the line from the inner eye as well or only from the center out? I do use the pencil on the bottom as well.

Anne Campbell-Crawford

Hi – I like the gel liner made by Dior. Kohl just doesn’t last more than a few hours. As I have blue/green eyes the purple toned eyeliners are the best. So presently I am using Dior Gel in Violet and the eye colour certainly pops. Hope this helps. If not why not try tatooing, ie permanent make-up. Quite successful and you don’t feel so colourless in the morning.
Bon w/e


I use Water Resistant Eyeliner by Clinique. It’s like a pressed powder, just moisten and paint on, very natural but enhancing! No smudging off either. Just wish they had a dark gray. Do use above and below lashes and to fill in tiny sparse spots. The powdered eyeliner is difficult to find, this is the only one i know of.

CINDY hattersley

I am going to give the eyeliner a try. Your readers always offer such good advice. I am going to give Mimi’s suggestions a try as well. Getting older is not for the faint of heart!!

Tracy Stiles

Sometimes I look too harsh with liner. Now, I take a very stiff tiny eyeliner brush, sweep it across the pencil to add colour to the brush then apply as stated above with my eyes open. It is a very nice soft look that defines.
Any hints help I think as we become women of a certain age…..


I use chocolate brown/Clinique has a color called Almost Black .. and I use pencils so I can smudge them. I am a fair skinned blonde… a black line looks way too hard and old fashioned on me. But I never go out without at least mascara on .. :)


Brown Copper pencil by Laura Mercier makes my hazel eyes pop. I am not a master of application though. Perhaps with Vicki and Mimi’s suggestions I can improve my technique! Helen Mirren looks absolutely fabulous.

Ellen Shook

I like Charlotte Tilbury and Urban Decay’s pencils. For a surprisingly good low-budget option, there is NYX. All these pencils blend very well with a particular brush, usually called a “smudger” or an actual art brush called a “Chisel Blender”. (BTW the use of art brushes for makeup are a well-kept secret among makeup artists.) I find that going back over a blended pencil line with a comparable shade of powder eyeshadow will set the application till you take it off, no matter how many hours later.


Hi Vicki
I’m 42 and i love a Chanel pencil. Could never use liquid. No good at that. Have found a chanel pencil to be best. Used this only for past 10yrs. Have no desire to change.
Ps love your books. Beautiful pictures to sometimes escape the everyday.


Hi Vicki- I can understand why you choose gray for blue eyes but gray can be quite dead for those of us with brown eyes! It bears mentioning, perhaps, other color options for other eye colors. Also, skin color matters! I have light olive skin and again, gray would kill me!


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