9 Women On Why They Wear Eyeliner

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If you read Into The Gloss, you probably own at least a little bit of makeup. Or, maybe you own a crap ton of makeup. Cool with us either way—all types of makeup consumers welcome here. But have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself WHY you own all that makeup? Take it a step further: Why do you, on a given day, choose that pencil eyeliner over that liquid felt tip? Our guess is it's more of an emotional thing than founded in any ironclad logic. Of course, there's no wrong answers, we're just curious beauty journalists trying to get to the heart of this multibillion dollar industry. Join us, as nine women take it away...

Léon

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"Makeup is very much a part of me—I love it. When people on sets are like, ‘Today, we're going with a natural look,’ I’m like, ‘No!’ [Laughs] I hate when I don’t get to wear eyeliner. I don’t wear foundation, so I like to go harder on the eyes, and I’ve loved liner since I was 12 when I saw Amy Winehouse doing it. The Balm’s liquid one is great because it gives you a good shape and it really sticks—I’ve tried every liner to get it right."

Emily Ratajkowski

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“I'm very committed to a cat eye. I'm always like, 'I don't need it! I don't need it!' But I've been doing it since I was 15, so I always end up throwing it on. Tonight it's just a tried-and-true Revlon Liquid Liner.”

Aja King

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"I’m obsessed with eyeliner—the darker and kohl-ier, the better. When I was younger, it was harder for me to find a black eyeliner that would actually show up on my skin. Being a dark-skinned woman, when you find something that actually shows up on your face, you love it even more. I go between random drugstore ones, like L’Oréal Silkissime...that's so affordable. But right now I’m also using a Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon. Sometimes I'll put a little bit of white liner on the inside lower crease of the water line and then a black right outside of that—it makes the whites of my eyes really pop."

Aubrey Plaza

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“Whenever I’m really hormonal I wear a lot of eyeliner. It’s a psychological thing and I think I’m protected by it—it protects me from evil. The other day I did leave the house with some Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon on and I was like, ‘I just need to put this in my car because you never know.’”

Elsa Hosk

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“I always do the same makeup because it’s what works with my face. Just eyeliner and lots of mascara, very '60s. My eyeliner is this Kat Von D Tattoo Liner... I’ve tried every single eyeliner and this is the best. I use it in Mad Max Brown. Black liner looks harsh on me because I'm so blond, so I do a brown liner with a black mascara.”

Angela Dimayuga

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“The blue liner I wear came from a lot of experimenting with bright colors—it just looked really good and became a staple for me. I’m obsessed with Lancôme Artliner in Saphir, but I also use the Sephora Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner in Pool Party [ed note: discontinued], too, because I run through them so quickly."

Bobbi Brown

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“Our number one selling product is Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, which is a product category I 100% made up, from the name to the packaging. It all happened because I was in Telluride, Colorado, and someone was coming to shoot me for Architectural Digest. I went to do my makeup. And I opened my bag and realized, I have no eyeshadow, I have no brushes...but I have mascara! So I put mascara on, and because I wasn’t 22 anymore, I needed something else. When you get to a certain age, your eye shape is different. I feel like I need more to make me look awake. So I had this one waterproof mascara and I took a Q-tip, took off the fuzzy stuff, dipped it in the mascara, and I lined my eye. It worked so well! I did the shoot, and it was still on my eyes the next day because I had no eye makeup remover."

Alexa Chung

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"But I am an avid wearer of eyeliner—I would say I’m wearing it 90 percent of the time. Someone at a dinner recently asked me if it was tattooed on because they’ve never seen me without it, which I actually think would be wonderful...though I’ve gotten really good at doing it. I’ve done mine for so many years that I can just draw it on really quickly. It's funny, the makeup brand Eyeko approached me to collaborate, and we had a meeting and talked ideas and they asked if I wanted to help develop some products. It really made sense. So, it started with just the Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, which is a pen. I really love it—before I was using a brush and pot, but it’s so much to take with you, and you’re always getting your bag dirty with the brush, and you have to clean it every time; it’s a nightmare. The pens are much better. My technique is to start with the little flicks on the outside first, and then fill it in. Sometimes, I’ll do just a tiny line for a brunch, but if I’m going out for the night, then I’ll experiment with thicker lines. If you mess it up, then you just have to go with the flow and it becomes a full look.”

Kathleen Alcott

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“I've been wearing my eyeliner this way since I was 16, and I don't think I'll ever stop. Probably. Hopefully! The one I use is Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner. It's completely worn but it's only two months old, I use it every day. You can tell if I’m procrastinating if I have eyeliner on when I’m writing... That means that I got up and wasted some time in the mirror.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via ITG.

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