Monday, December 10, 2007


Today's Washington Post had an article about men wearing eyeliner. (You'll have to forgive them for being behind the curve--D.C. is not a particularly fashion-forward town.) According to the story, men are getting in touch with their emo-side ala Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz in greater numbers these days. The rock 'n roll attitude that influenced Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow is now seeping into daily life. Well, none of my guy friend's wear makeup--but if they did, they may well be taking their cue from Hollywood's leading men rather than rock 'n roll bad boys.

I find the guyliner trend just a wee bit disturbing--mainly because it's done so poorly and as such is distracting. Sure, Jack Sparrow is supposed to be over the top--he's a pirate for goodness sake! But eyeliner on lawyers? Professors? The guy next door? What are Hollywood's makeup artists thinking? George Clooney got high marks for his masterful portrayal of a morally ambivalent fixer in Michael Clayton, but I have to confess to being more transfixed by his obvious eyeliner. Gorgeous George allegedly "confessed" to having some work done on his eyes--perhaps he was referring to the application of kohl pencil on his lower lash line?

John Cusack has long been a favorite of mine. From Say Anything to Runaway Jury, his boy-next-door persona conveys the type of guy you'd want to hang out with and B.S. about random shit. John seems like a laid-back t-shirt, jeans and sneakers kind of guy. It's hard to imagine him saying, "Hold on guys, I've got to put my face on!," before you head out to grab some brewskis and watch football at the local sports bar. And yet his natural freckled-face looks are often marred by a heavy-handed application of liner. In Grace is Gone, I was equally fascinated with his heart-wrenching performance as I was with watching to see if his eye makeup ran while he was crying...

And finally, the Queen--er, I mean King of Guyliner, Mr. Nicolas Cage. Maybe it's to camouflage the receding hairline, maybe it's to accentuate his killer cheekbones, maybe Jor-El commands it--I'm not sure of the reason, but Nic Cage wears more eyeliner more often than I do. Sure, he has very intense eyes. He's Nic Cage--he has intense EVERYTHING. Do we really need to ratchet up the steely gaze with a coat of liquid liner that would make Cleopatra look like a Catholic school girl in comparison? I think not.

The primary fault of the makeup artists in these cases can be summed up in one word--BLENDING (or lack thereof).
It's called a "smudger brush" and this little foam-tipped tool can soften that harsh liner and make it look softer and more natural. There should be one in your makeup kit. Use it!

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