It's been argued that Egyptian aristocrats may have applied more toxins to their faces in the name of beauty than the Hollywood elite ever could with Botox. Red lipstick? Made from crushed-up beetles. Eyeshadow? A deadly concoction of duck fat and malachite. If you think Cleopatra gave any fucks that her kohl eyeliner contained enough lead to cause brain damage, think again. Thanks to her smudgy flick of jet-black liner, the world has seen thousands of cat-eye iterations since 30 B.C.
Today's modern version, for example, is more of a precision event, as if drawn on by the kind of pre-programmed robot arm that's used for laparoscopic surgeries. And that's where my struggle begins. Because I'll never be as dedicated to the craft as her highness — only allowing myself an additional 30 seconds each morning to apply eyeliner — my wings always extend a few centimeters off from the other. This was something I learned to accept over time.
Then, the Lyda Beauty Cleopatra Cat Eye Stamp landed on my desk, promising to stamp on a bold and even cat-eye in seconds — and suddenly, I felt all my Elizabeth Taylor-reincarnated dreams come true. Using the diamond-shaped end, all I had to do was press down the stamp at the corner of my eye, then fill in any gaps with the pointed felt-tip applicator on the other. Easy.
Of course, as with all new makeup techniques I try, nailing it took me somewhere around 320 attempts (and a whole lot of makeup wipes). The shape of the stamp is thick, so unless you want a particularly robust cat-eye — think Adele or Nicki Minaj — you have to be careful to only press down the pointed part, as opposed to the rounded edge, of the pen. As soon as I got the technique down, though, I was stamping with abandon. Cleopatra, I'd like to tell myself, would be proud.
And while my hand-eye coordination may not be advanced enough for me to apply makeup while pointing an iPhone camera at my face (though you can see someone try the product on for size in the Instagram video below), at least my days of uneven eyeliner are ancient history.