Our favourite season is in full swing, which means last season's beauty bag essentials are looking out of place and heavy atop our newly bronzed, sunkissed faces. But as well as bronzer, shimmer and lipgloss, a new item is to take pride of place in your summer clutch – kohl is back!
There was a time when eyeliner would conjure images of '80s power chic or Vegas drag shows, but before you shudder at the thought of lining your peepers in pencil, remember, it's how you wear kohl this season that gives it a fresh twist, with delicious hues of golds, mints, plums and aquas replacing harsh black lines. There's a myriad of colours available to help pick out the brightest elements of your summer wardrobe, and when fused with a soft shimmer and rosy blush, you can recreate a dreamy look that's both incredibly pretty and perfect for summer. Here's how it's done…
Gold is the hottest shade for summer, and can be worn with gold-star success on your skin, lips, nails and yes, even your eyes. Golden kohls work well on most eye colours but look especially hot on those of you with darker irises, and when combined with bronzed skin, long brown lashes and sensual lips, the overall effect is seriously sexy and latino-esque.
# Try…Nars Glitter Pencil in Danceteria £18.50
# Paul & Joe Eye Crayon in Gold Dust, £13
# T.LeClerc Crayon d'Etoiles in Or Iridescent, £11.50
Green with envy
Delicious hues of green look oh-so romantic on flawless, buttery complexions with cheeks kissed with rosy blush. Soft, pastel shades work well on all eye colours, giving darker eyes a fun and funky edge and blue or green eyes a fairytale quality, whilst darker hues of green look particularly quirky framing hazel irises.
# Lancôme Crayon Khôl Waterproof in Pistache Vert, £15
# L'Oréal Contour Khôl in Pine Tree, £4.29
# MAC Eye Kohl in Minted, £11
Pretty in plum
Purples work just as well in summer as they do come autumn months. Shades of aubergine and grape make just as big an impact as black, but are much more forgiving, and alluring, on hot summer nights. These hues have a dreamy, almost wistful effect that looks stunningly sexy against a bronzed canvas with a subtle slick of black mascara. Plums work beautifully with lighter irises of green or blue, whereas those of you with dark eyes should avoid these shades until winter.
# Try…Clinique Cream Shaper in Starry Plum, £10
# MAC Fluidline in Haunting, £10.50
# Bourjois Kohl & Contour in Violet artiste, £4.25
Blue eyeliner – it's been a while since we've seen that mentioned on our pages! But blue hues look seriously edgy, quirky and fun when teamed with a sunny glow and, most importantly, minimalist colour everywhere else on the face. Navy is too corporate, and sooo wrong for summer, whilst icy shades are too retro – and not in a good way! Instead, think cobalt, marine and aqua tones this season. Blue hues look fabulous on all eye colours, but brown-eyes can pull off a hint of sparkle, so don't be afraid of glitter.
# Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Blue Cobalt Ink, £13.50
# Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl in Touareg Blue, £16
# Hard Candy Glitter Eye Pencil in Midnight, £9.50
# Jemma Kidd Make-up School Iridescent Eye Silk Crayon in Ocean, £10
Tips & tricks
The key to successful kohl is keeping the tip thin, but still blunt. So once you've sharpened, press the tip into the palm of your hand – this will soften and warm the tip, making the colour easier to blend.
When it comes to using your new kohl, avoid the old habit of drawing a precise, fine line – the key to pulling off this look successfully is to not look 'done', the colour should look melted into the lids, waxy and smudged. Choose chunky soft crayons or gel liners that are easy to blend into shape. Don't be tempted to flick at the outer corners, the way to wear kohl this season is all about a soft, smudged flash of creamy colour that ends with your lids.
And the rest...
Remember, the whole point of this look is that the eyes have it – avoid wearing too much colour on the rest of your face, not only will you steal the thunder from your pretty peepers, you run the risk of looking like a kid let loose in their mother's make-up box.
Keep your complexion buttery, dewy and deliciously sunkissed. Steer clear of powders or heavy foundations and keep formulas light, like Lancôme's delicately whipped Magi Matte (£24) or Dior Skin Airflash (£26.50). For a sugary sweet sunkissed glow, we love Clinique Shimmering Tones Bronzer in Peach Bronze, (£23).
Cheeks should be as soft and wistful as your eyes – cream blushes work best for this look. Try kissing the apples of your cheeks with Guerlain Divinora Bubble Blush Peche Graffiti (£19.50) or Becca Cream Blush in Wild Orchid (£18). Finish with a slick of mascara and a smidge of pale and peachy lipgloss, and you're ready to wow this summer.
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