Miss Amalya Corinthian asked:
Having just finished reading the latest installment of The Princess and the Captain, I would like very much to reproduce the elegant curlicues with which the blondes and brunettes on the unfamiliar planet adorned their eyes. The problem is, I don’t want it to look terribly unnatural. I’ve tried a bit with eyeliner, but that seems to clump together too much. Any ideas? I want it to be really subtle, but elegant and feminine.

Princess Mushroom replied:
What sort of eyeliner do you use? In my view the best eyeliner for all purposes, but certainly the only type for “temple-style” eyes as described in The Princess and the Captain is liquid eyeliner.

I wear liquid eyeliner almost every day of my life. Girls sometimes ask how I manage to get it on so neatly. Actually it is not very hard. Anyone who knows me will confirm that I am an absolute g’doinker in the handicraft department. If I can do it, you can – believe me. Just set aside a little time – and some cleansing pads – for practice and you will soon be doing it beautifully.

I have never gone in for curlicues, but I do use a long extended stroke beyond the lower-lid lining which might be called “modified temple-style”.

People may differ on this but my personal experience leads me to say make sure you get liquid eyeliner with a brush. I have tried various brands (including some very expensive ones) that use pointy felt-tip-type applicators and I simply cannot manage them. A brush puts on the liner neatly without disturbing the skin (which causes smudges).

It does not need to be an expensive brand. The one I use most of the time comes at two shillings from a local street market. It is cheap, strikingly black, easy to apply and I love it to pieces.

Good luck!

Here is the passage which inspired Miss Corinthian:
Almost instinctively, raiAntala fell into step with the three youngsters as they marched to the café. It was down a cobbled side-street — a curious place with tinted windows and a pink-and-pale-blue neon sign. The design of everything was strange, and yet it reminded raiAntala of a dozen coffee bars she had haunted in Quirinelle. The strong rhythmic beat of the music that could be heard several doors away was very unlike Quirrie rock and roll, and yet had a certain decided kinship to it.

They entered a darkish room filled with a curious scented smoke. Tables and chairs in gleaming chrome were occupied by groups of brunettes, often dressed in black and with hair swept off their faces and rolled up into a coif with a spray of hair stiffened to stand up like a plume. Among blondes the fashion seemed to be for various shades of a pink lip-enamel lined with red. Among both sexes, heavy “temple-style” eyeliner seemed to be in fashion, often with cute curlicues emerging from the corners. Several customers were in school uniforms and were more conservatively coiffed and painted.

You can start reading The Princess and the Captain here.