Max Made


A cheat sheet to mastering the classic liquid liner.

I have always been a huge fan of Adele, for her wit and style as much as for her thoughtful music.

So it was a total #lifegoal to catch her live with my BFF (and 95K other love-struck revellers) at the ANZ Stadium this weekend.

However, upon my excited entry into the arena, it wasn’t her tunes or merchandise that greeted me at the scene… it was those bluesy eyes, blown up to extreme proportions and closed mysteriously, likely to show off the precision handy-work of her incredible and famous eyeliner.

Think about the significance of a seemingly innocuous make-up technique to her brand: before even the voice and presence of this record-breaking powerhouse graced the stage, it’s her perfectly flicked, deep set cat eyes that were beckoning us to admire their winged perfection!

Adele’s well-curated retro image lends sophistication and stature in a sea of sylphs (although I was tempted to use another “S” word)… Yes, there are gowns and that bee-hive that add to her stately vibe, but it’s the eyes that hold a glimpse of the Adele allure. Not bad for a Tottenham girl who swears like a sailor!

Now, I can’t promise you’ll ever hit her gut-wrenching octaves (or award-winning fame) – but I can certainly vouch that you can start building your own Adele factor with those beguiling eyes. Just follow my instructions for the ultimate diva flick!


Step 1. Start by prepping the eyes with an eye primer or even a concealer that you can powder to absorb any moisture before applying your liquid liner. Tip: One of my favourite primers is Benefit Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer. It comes in two skin tone shades that are both fab on their own, or with a sheer wash of champagne eyeshadow over the top to give your liner room to shine. 

Step 2. Looking directly in the mirror, lift your chin high so you can see the entirety of your eye lids and most importantly, both your lash lines clearly. This technique will allow you to get a clear, even view of both eyes – and eventually your liner – so it doesn’t end up uneven.

Step 3. Using a felt tip liquid liner, begin pressing the liner along the lash line. Rather than using the tip of the pen, utilise the side of the felt tip to fake your way to a steady hand, making for accurate moves that cover more ground in a controlled way. 

Step 4. Once you’re happy with the thickness of the line you have created along the lash line, it’s time to define the angle of your flick. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to continue using the side of your felt tip pen! Keeping your chin high, simply use the length of the side of the felt tip pen to draw your flick off the end of your eye. The key here is to get the angle right for your eye shape.

A good rule of thumb is to aim the tip of the liquid liner somewhere between the tip of your ears and the end of you brows, before pressing the length of the pen down to meet the very outer corner of your eye.

Step 5. You may want to play around a little with the arch of the flick as it comes off the lash line, depending on how thick or thin you want your Adele-inspired liner, but the best way is to finish with a double coat of thick mascara ( Try It Cosmetics Superhero Mascaraand twice-curled lashes – and you’re ready to set fire to the rain (sorry, had to).

Editors Pick

I absolutely love the new HOURGLASS Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner due to its firm, long tip that makes it an absolute dream to apply even for the liquid novice! Whether its bold, graphic lines, or a subtle, sultry flick to elongate the eye, this waterproof liner covers all bases, delivering an ultra-black precision line every time – which is what we want for that Adele style. Being waterproof, it also won’t smudge off (which is handy at a tear-jerking Adele gig).


Review & How-to: Max May | Written: Alina Gershon

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