With a tentative breath, hands shaking and palms sweating, the thin brush is delicately pressed onto the eyelid and with a lucky swoop, and the deed is done. The liner is complete. Creating a perfect cat eye is a daunting process, but the allure and magic of having a line extend out to create the most mesmerizing eye is undeniable and addicting enough for liner-fiends to go through the process again and again. But perhaps, with the appearance of the thumbprint liner trend on the runway, eyeliner addicts will trade their signature flick with a purposeful smudge.
Cat eyes have history behind them, though. The style goes all the way back to ancient Egypt, when Cleopatra used kohl to create a dramatic flick. The line was supposed to protect individuals from evil and the sun. Today, everyone from celebrities to middle schoolers polishes off a look with his/her version of the perfect liner. Angled in various positions, using a wide array of hues and even through the magic of tape and eyeshadow, the cat eye process has been through years of refinement.
This New York Fashion Week, however, there was a new liner style in town — behold thumbprint eyeliner. Thumbprint liner has a rounded corner, literally looking like a thumbprint mark next to the outer corner of the eye created by dark eyeshadow rather than the typical pointed line. A softer version of the usual jarringly strong line, it even seems to have a smoky eyeshadow effect along with the extension of the eye that a liner would provide. Without sacrificing the bold look, it appears to be a chic and effortless take. Seen on the likes of Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez, the look was even showcased on models in Tom Ford’s show. Tom Ford added subtle glitter, giving entrancing dimension with each blink and resulting in a seemingly cooler version of the already unique shape.
NYU students appreciate the revamped liner — either rocking the look or appreciating the style from afar.
“This new shape seems to make the eye look bigger,” CAS sophomore Jack Liu said. “It is a modern take that I appreciate compared to the typical line.”
Another student pointed out that although it is an easy way to do liner, it may not work for everyone.
“To be completely honest, I think I may have accidentally created this eyeliner look while trying to clean up my liner,” Stern sophomore Heena Kothari said. “Regardless, I think it works with certain eye shapes but not for everyone.”
Looks seen during Fashion Week instantly create a stir and begin a style storm of different variations. To redefine liquid liner, something that was seen as a classic, and create innovative negative space liner and now thumbprint liner is a testament to the fact that fashion is truly boundless. The endless creativity individuals constantly showcase is history in the making and ultimately challenges the mold of what conventional beauty must be.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 2 print edition. Email Liv Chai at [email protected]