On Love, Loss, and Liner
I’m not great with liquid liner. No matter how many times I’ve seen it used, or practiced on myself, it takes a lot of time—and way more makeup-remover-soaked Q-tips—for me to pull off anything that even remotely resembles a cat-eye. But this weekend, the makeup gods smiled down on me.
After a harrowing trip up I-95—in an air-conditioner-less van, in bumper-to-bumper traffic—I arrived in Connecticut with a total of twenty-five minutes to get ready for a wedding that started “promptly” at 4:00, as per the invitation. (Having endured the embarrassment of showing up late to a wedding once before—while the bride was walking down the aisle, no less—I take wedding call times fairly seriously.) As soon as I was out of the car, I was in the shower and, just as quickly, slicking a little Shiseido foundation onto my face, followed by a few swipes of some cream bronzer I procured at Madina in Milan. Then, staring down at a tube of YSL’s new Baby Doll Eyeliner in #11 Light Blue—a striking shade of iridescent aqua-jade that blended surprisingly well with the orange-and-navy flower print of my Suno dress—I had to make a split-second decision: Should I forgo the statement colored flick that would make my outfit, or risk it, potentially sacrificing what could be precious minutes, which I did not have, on touch-ups and maybe even eventual removal?
Time stood still for a moment as I stared deeply at that gold-capped tube, and all of sudden, as though someone pressed the fast-forward button, I was swiping the tiny brush across my upper lashes with a precision I have never before experienced. I kid you not, dear readers, it was on in two total swipes and needed but a single correction to ensure perfection and endurance: Much to my delight, it stayed on through the entire evening, totally unfazed by the brutalizing afternoon sun (and that hour of Scottish dancing!)
Sadly, in my haste to get it into my black Rochas clutch as I was running out the door, it rolled behind an old chest of drawers and did not make it home with me from that Rodeway Inn off Exit 56. But we’ll always have that one glorious night.—Celia Ellenberg
Photo: Courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent