Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam

How I Slayed Graphic Eye Makeup

TIFF has inspired me to get with the graphic eye. Celebrities really know how to rock the red carpet during the festival, especially with their beauty looks. I figure it’s because Toronto is cool enough for such adventurous makeup, and the city is a legit party during the film festival. I was invited to three gifting suites, which are especially fun events during TIFF, and was offered make-up touch-ups at all three. At Essentials Lounge, I was given a bold lip with Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse. At NKPR IT House, I was told I had an Old Hollywood appeal (Who knew? Not me!) and Be Glammed got me dolled up with a cat-eye and red lip with Urban Decay and Nars. But it was at the Shoppers Drug Mart TIFF Suite where editorial makeup artist Simone Otis gave me a Stila graphic eye, that inspired me to do it again myself. This graphic eye was the perfect look for me to see Arrival at TIFF. First, I outline what she did. And second, I show my attempt to recreate it.


    Graphic Eye Tools:

  • Eyeliner: Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black.
  • Eye shadows:  Smudge Pot in Kitten, Aquamarine shadow from the Eyes Are The Pretty Window Shadow Pallette Body, and Essence shadow from the Eyes Are The Pretty Window Shadow Palette Soul.
  • Mascara: Huge Extreme Mascara in Rich Black.


1. After moisturizing skin and priming eyes, line from the inner corner of one eye to the middle of the lid, right over where the pupil would be if you were to look straight ahead. Then do the other eye. “Never completely do one eye and then do the other eye,” she says. “If you do them at the same time you can ensure that the eyeliner is even.”

2. Then she dotted where the flick of the dramatic cat eye would end on the outer eye. “Go backwards and line the eye from the end to the inner corner,” she says. This will make sure both eyes look similar and you don’t end up with one (or two) gone wonky.

3. Clean up any mistakes with a Q-tip and makeup remover. “We think it’s a bad thing if we have to fix liner, but it’s really not a big deal,” she says. “You know how they say that ‘eyeliner can smell your fear,’ well that’s true. But don’t worry about it. You can clean up any mistakes.” Black eyeliner brings out the perfectionist and most impatient woman in me. We’re in this together, so chill.

4. Dust a thin line of black shadow underneath the outer bottom lashes. Otis tells me this will finish of the look.

5. Start with a cream shadow on top of the outer flick and in the inner corner of the eye. Then apply powder shadow in the same colour. “I like using cream shadow first because it makes the makeup ‘stick’ better,” she says. Finish off with a coat of mascara and you’re good to go.

What I learned: Doing black eyeliner on both eyes, at the same time, has revolutionized my eye game. I’m a convert with balanced eyes. Yay me! I also went for silver instead of blue to take me from day-to-night as I wasn’t going to have time to go home and redo my face. I like it. I’ll definitely do it again. Meowwwwwwww!