How to Make your Eyes Pop While Wearing a Mask
Since the start of the pandemic, our face make up has had a shake-up. While before lips had a tendency to take centre stage (due to the popularity of products like Kylie Jenner’s lip kits and some (frankly inadvisable) lip plumping methods, the use of face masks has made eyes a major focal point, allowing for a little more colour and creativity - and for facemask makeup inspiration where better to take our beauty cues from than some of the most iconic - eye makeup looks throughout pop culture?
Prep those Peepers
Before you start, remove any traces of old makeup using a gentle micellar cleanser. Next, use your ring finger to gently pat your chosen eye cream or gel around and under the lids, and allow it to absorb. Finish by applying your makeup as usual including - and (this bit is extra important) - a brow routine to frame your handiwork perfectly.
Bowie’s Gold Moment
Arguably the most iconic look was that lightning strike - but David Bowie had so many others, like the glam golden look for his Ziggy Stardust persona. You don’t have to paint a gold medallion on your forehead (although - you do you) - but you can pay homage: a coral pink eyeshadow, blown out and smudged under the eyes provides the perfect contrast for a dramatic gold blended over the lid (think of it like a sunset for the eyes).
Amy Winehouse’s Exaggerated Cat Flick
Like her music, Amy Winehouses’ overall look was retro with a major twist. To copy(cat) the look, start with a light nude shade over the lids. For the liner, makeup artist Stoj recommends looking into a mirror straight-on before (resting your elbows to steady your hands) marking where you want the end of your “wing” to be. Create those first before applying along the lash line to join everything up using small strokes (don’t stretch your eyelids to do this as you’ll end up with an odd shape). Keep looking down for a moment to let the liner dry, before removing any excess with a q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover.
Twiggy’s Doe-eyed Look
Twiggy’s mod moment in the sixties was a groovy combination of innocence and attitude that was perfect for rebellious teens. As beauty blogger Hannah Johnson suggests, cover the eyelids from browbone to lash line with white eyeshadow and blend. Next, use a white eyeliner along the waterline to give that doe-eyed look. Exaggerate the crease of your eye with a darker black or grey (you can use a more vivid colour like blue if you want), and follow a toned-down version of the steps above for Amy’s eyeliner - this time with a smaller flick. Finish by dotting liquid eyeliner along the lower lash before dragging each “dot” out to create exaggerated lower “lashes”.
Brigitte Bardot’s Bedroom Eyes
While the Bardot-inspired fringe is still having a moment, why not pair it with the classic eye makeup worn by the woman herself? Begin with a light matte brown in the crease and softly blend out before using your black liquid eyeliner to create a wing. Draw a slightly thicker line across the top lid to connect the wing, then go in with a slightly darker brown shadow. Finish with a stroke of softly smudged kohl and some feathery false eyelashes - and don’t forget to smoulder.
Michael Stipe’s Electric Stripe
Worn as a reference to REM’s 2005 single Electron Blue (incidentally they also have a song called “crush with eyeliner”!), the band’s frontman famously wore a theatrical blue stripe across his eyes while onstage. It’s a high-drama look - but you can make it wearable for every day: use two shades of shimmery blue - one light, one darker -to colour block random areas of your eyelid. Be bold (if you dare) and take it to the inner and outer corner of the eyes - and if you’re feeling really adventurous, over (yes, over!) the brow.
Grace Jones’s Purple Reign
Whether strutting her stuff onstage, discoing down in Studio 54 or being an iconic Bond Villain in View to a Kill, Grace Jones (like Bowie) is a pop culture chameleon challenging conventions of both style and gender. Get the look by starting with a dramatic angled brow - then use a combination of metallic colours on the lid (red, pink and purple are perfect), blowing out the colour as much as you like - even up to the temples if you’re feeling adventurous.
Bjork’s Eclectic Eyes
There’s so many to choose from, but we’ll narrow it down to two: the tiny jewels dotted under Bjork’s eyes on her album Debut, paired with minimal makeup - or the fine eyeliner dots placed alon gthe arch of her eyebrows in the video for Venus Like a Boy. Both looks take minimal effort - so they’re both perfect if you want a more creative look, but you’re short on time.
Annie Lennox’s Showgirl Look
The whole of the video to 1992 single Why is practically a makeup tutorial itself, with a fresh-faced Annie Lennox slowly transforming into a flamboyant showgirl. For this look take a molten gold eyeshadow all the way to the brow bone and blend with a fuschia pink on the lid and under the eye, winging the colour out. This look can work on anyone - but blue eyes suit pink and gold and (another colour used in the video) orange especially well. Consider pairing this look with a sparkly, tangerine-hued face mask for added drama.
Adding colour or a little sparkle to your eye makeup is a fun way to experiment with your look - and it makes a nice change if you tend to do the same thing with your eye makeup every day. So grab your most colourful eyeshadow palette - and get creative.