Bold eyes ruled on the SS18 catwalks. Katie Wright reveals how to get the look.

From Cleopatra’s epic cat-eye to Cardi B’s kohl-rimmed peepers, black eyeliner never really goes out of style, does it? 

Backstage at the spring catwalks, the timeless beauty staple got a whole new lease of life, as make-up artists flexed their creative muscles and had us rethinking our approach to liner altogether.

"Wearing liner is a considered choice; it really puts your eyes forward and projects feeling – strength, rebellion, glamour," says Lyne Desnoyers, make-up artist for MAC. "There are so many moods that eyeliner can project."

In fairness, we won’t be trying some of the more conceptual creations at home – like the floating squiggles daubed on models at Eudon Choi, or the dashes of black stamped on with a drinking straw at Lanvin.


But elsewhere, the SS18 shows gave us looks that are just aching to be taken from runway to real life.

First, a little prep. Since these looks put the focus squarely on your eyes – but don’t involve eyeshadow – it’s important to start with a smooth, clean base.

Begin by smoothing an eye primer all over the lid and up to the brow bone, then use a heavy-duty concealer under the eyes (to banish dark circles) and on the lid (to cover any redness).

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer, €22.50, Boots

Preparation done, now you’re ready for the main event…

The DIY design
At John Galliano, make-up artist Christelle Cocquet made up models to look like a "punky, rockabilly group of girls".

That meant a bare skin look (no foundation, just concealer where needed), brows brushed with clear gel and only balm on the lips.

model backstage at John Galliano SS18 (MAC/PA)
A model backstage at John Galliano SS18 (MAC/PA)

The winged eyeliner look was created with a kohl pencil and applied in a ‘spontaneous’ way, says Cocquet, to make it look like the models did it themselves.

Don’t worry about being too precise when you draw your feline flick from the middle of the lower lashes, extending out to a sharp point.

 MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack (MAC/PA)
 MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack

MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack, €18.50 in Brown Thomas

eyeliner
Estée Lauder eyeliner

Estée Lauder - 'Double Wear' infinite eyeliner € 23.00 in Debenhams

The Winehouse wing
"This look was inspired by the great and glorious Amy Winehouse’s iconic punky, graphic, overdrawn feline flick, as well as Kate Moss’ signature eye," explains make-up legend Charlotte Tilbury of the elongated wing at Versus SS18.

Model backstage at Versus SS18 (Charlotte TilburyPA)
A model backstage at Versus SS18 (Charlotte Tilbury/PA)

Combining both liner pencil and pen, Tilbury started by rimming the eyes (including the waterline) with kohl and drawing the wing, then going over it with liquid liner to create a dense, matte black. Finish with lots of mascara on the top lashes.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl liquid eyeliner pencil in Bedroom Black (Charlotte Tilbury/PA)
Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl liquid eyeliner pencil in Bedroom Black 

Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Kohl Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Bedroom Black, €25

Kat Von D
Kat Von D 'Tattoo Liner'

Kat Von D 'Tattoo Liner', € 20.00 in Debenhams

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, €7.49