When the good people at Coutorture sent me a Smokey Eye Kit brush set a little bit back as a sort of thank you for being a member from way back when, little did they know they would be tapping into one of my two genuine beauty obsessions. (The other is fragrance, but I won’t submit you to my rhapsodies about Serge Lutens and Jean-Claude Ellena quite yet.) I’ve been a little over-conceptual and vaguely obsessive about eyeliner and getting that perfectly smoky eye, most likely because this is the single most difficult beauty feat for me to accomplish, thanks in no part to being Asian. As it turns out, the axiom is totally true: whether it is painting canvasses or painting eyelids, having good tools in any endeavor is half the battle. These brushes are soft, and they make the job of getting that perfect smoky eye so much easier, with the help of a little of Nars eyeshadow in Nightclubbing, always our defacto glam dark shadow.
The real question, though, is which eyeliner concept are we going for? The Audrey Hepburn classic ingenue wing? The heavy bedroom-eyed flirtatious Brigitte Bardot? The thin-lined-and-nothing-else “scary cool girl who got stoned a lot and listened to heavy metal in the parking lot”? (God, I wonder what that girl is up to these days.) However, the person I nominate for most inspirational eyeliner concept is the person who inspired me to embark on this hot mess in the first place: Toni Halliday of the band Curve, who is the real reason for this entry — deep down, I really just want to post the video for “Horror Head.” Undersung as an alternative heroine, Halliday provided the sultry, throaty alto in Curve’s slightly Goth, electroindustrial take on shoegazer music in the early 1990s. I dug up their 1992 debut Doppelganger recently and besides some dated production, it’s still as darkly alluring as ever; now I’m waiting for NYLON to dig up some old pictures for their Private Icon series. Till then, bat your eyes to this — it’s totally my alt-90s.