Take a chance and try the 'banana overte' eyeshadow style
Katie Trotter: Dare to deviate from your usual make-up habit
It's funny, we spend hours mulling over magazines reading about trends and what to do with them, reshuffling our wardrobes at least once a year - out with the old and in with the new - that even those of us with little or no interest can't help but gather information about fashion and what we should be tapping into.
You would expect to find a similar situation in the beauty industry but in fact, what we have there is quite the opposite. You see, we get stuck with make-up. Most of us did our experimenting as teenagers (remember blue eyeliner?) and went on to find a look that has suited us and is one we stick with.
This is a shame because all we are doing is denying ourselves options simply because we can't be bothered or we are too timid to try something new. Take eyeliner; most of us have used the same application methods for decades. I generally go for a liquid, inky "flick" while my good friend (a teenager in the 1980s) goes for the same black khol pencil on the inner and lower lid as she did with her side ponytail.
So what is it we fear? I think a lot of us are scared to test something new, and lack confidence in both our abilities, and of the possibility of standing out. Like a new haircut, it can be shocking to see something dramatically different on the face when you are used to having it a certain way. But by being bold you would be surprised what opens up within your wardrobe choices. Take this season's 1960s-inspired eye treatment that has done the rounds - the one named the "banane ouverte" (because it looks like an upside-down banana drawn on the eyelid and well, probably sounds a lot cooler in French.)
Sound ridiculous? Well, yes it does rather but give it a chance, as the end result is actually rather elegant. Think modern 1960s pop culture, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton - artful, nonchalant, without a hint of cliché. So how do we do it? Well doing anything graphic can be overwhelming when it comes to make-up, but as long as we have the correct tools it is manageable.
Start by getting the right liner for your skin type. You can test this by trying out a few different lines on the back of your hand and wait for an hour or so and see which one hasn't moved or slipped. I like Chanel or Dolce&Gabbana but, as I say, it is more about what works better with your particular skin.
Begin by finding the natural crease in the eyelid. The liner should be just above the socket and should trace the natural curve of the eye. Then, prime the eye to help set the liner or use a natural loose powder if you have a more oily complexion. Slowly and carefully with small lines (the way you would sketch a pencil drawing), fill in the curve with pencil. If you want to take it a step further you can add layers of liquid liner with an angled brush to get a more striking, hooded effect. Go for a matt complexion and lashings of good quality mascara ( I can't recommend Diorshow blackout enough) or you can go for false eyelashes for a more dramatic result. Keep the cheeks bare, perhaps with a small sweep of a beige blush or something with a rose tint to it and go for a nude matt finish lip. Try moving your mascara wand in a zigzag pattern from the base to the tip and wait a few seconds between each coat as it will give you the desired spidery effect. Finish by filling in your eyebrows with a powder brow corrector that is about a shade lighter than your brow colour. Thicken the overall shape and accentuate the arch extending them by a little at the end.
So it may not be for everyone, but play around and try to find a signature style that does works for you. Just don't get stuck in it.