“Dark brown – nearly black – slightly downturned, and defined by the shape of their lids,” journalist Monica Kim wrote in a piece for Vogue back in June. “There is no wrinkle, no crease, no skin that falls back into the socket. Just a wide, flat plane that sits unmoving below my brows.” Kim was talking about her monolids, an eye shape possessed by many of East Asian descent, and one she shares with British Vogue’s luminous September cover star, Gemma Chan.
The web is awash with how-to videos and instructional articles on how to create the “ultimate” eye look, but unfortunately the techniques often ignore monolids. Here, Hiromi Ueda, the makeup artist behind Chan’s look, shares her top tips for achieving show-stopping eyes for monolids.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #61 series on my blog.
“I think the order you apply your makeup in is very important,” says Ueda. “It’s better to apply eyeshadow before you attempt a feline flick. And it’s wise to keep your eyes shut while the eyeliner is drying, to avoid reprinting the liner on top of your eyelid.”
Go bold and bright
With the onus being on accentuating the shape of the eye along the lash line, eyeshadow is a monolid’s best friend. Seek out bold and bright colours, and know that you can easily wear just one shade (instead of three, as those with double lids often do) across your lids. “I recommend choosing colour that’s impactful and which contrasts against a feline flick,” Ueda says. “I always check what my client is going to wear (and its key colours), so I can complement them in the makeup.”
Ueda is a fan of Mac’s Pigment Pots for the extensive shade range. Monolids can also pull off some colour below the eye, so if that takes your fancy, experiment with blending your chosen shade underneath, too.
How to create a feline flick
When drawing a feline flick, seek to extend the line outwards, rather than up towards the end tip of the brow – it will help to enhance the shape of your eyes. “Ensure the line looks straight when you open your eyes, so mark some points on the eye with an eye pencil or pen and then draw the defined line,” advises Ueda. You can further define and make eyes look wider by using a tightlining technique on the upper lash line – work your eyeliner into the waterline and areas between your eyelashes, for a subtle but impactful effect. Long-wear and waterproof eyeliners are best to ensure there’s less transfer onto surrounding skin.
For fluttery lashes
The trick to making eyelashes stand out if you have monolids is to curl them beforehand, says Ueda. “My biggest advice is also to replace your mascara regularly to avoid any clumpy bits, as they won’t create a perfect finish.” False eyelashes can also work really well.
Go for gloss
Many eye shapes struggle with eye gloss because it tends to crease and slide all over the face, impacting the overall eye makeup finish. Monolids, on the other hand, don’t have that problem, up the ante on your eye look with a little shine. “Apply alone or add some gloss on top of eyeshadow, as it can make colours stand out more,” says Ueda.
Finding an eyeliner that stays put it is no easy feat, even among those marketed as long-wearing or waterproof. That difficulty gets heightened a thousand-fold (no pun intended) when you’re trying to do makeup for hooded eyes, where a bit of skin hangs down over your eyelid crease and makes your eye makeup transfer with a single blink. But according to celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass, who counts Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Olsen as clients, this annoying makeup issue has an easy fix.
On Instagram Bass posted an incredibly simple way to make eyeliner last on hooded eyelids. Her caption begins: “When you spend four hours doing liquid eyeliner because you can’t see close up without your glasses anymore, and then your liner transfers to your lids because they are hooded, and gravity is pulling them down!! Aaahh!!!”
And then the magic happens. Bass whips out a small brush and dabs it onto the wand of Hourglass’s clear Arch Brow Shaping Gel, then uses the brush to go over her majestic winged liner. She explains, “This is an amazing hack to help set the liner,” but cautions to only do it once you’re happy with the liner’s shape, because once it’s set, the line is hard to manipulate (a good thing).
The technique is genius, leaving Debra Messing in the comments wondering, “Why didn’t you tell me!?!?” and others saying they’re going to try the tip because they face the exact same problem. On Reddit, the “Makeup for Hooded Eyes” forum counts 17,320 subscribers, where the issue is a common thread of discussion. One person writes, “I honestly got rid of all of my liquid liners because I couldn’t find a way to make it work for me,” while others have sworn off the liner category altogether.
Bass’s easy hack might be the path to revolution, especially if you opt for the Hourglass gel she mentions. On Ulta, shoppers write that it’s miraculous for lasting all day, and never flakes or makes your brows feel stiff, benefits that definitely transfer to its liner-setting use.
If you need something to apply it with, Morphe’s $4 angled brush racks up raves for being soft but strong, universally approved for both liner and brow use. And if you layer something like Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner or Hourglass liner Bass uses with the gel, rest assured the combo’s not coming off for hours. Welcome back to the eyeliner fold — pun slightly intended.
Whether you wear false eyelashes at all/sometimes/always, a good mascara should not flake or smudge in any case. I’ve tested SO many mascaras, at all price points, and I’m ready to share my favourites with you!
The conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length. Opthalmologically tested. Not tested on animals.
Essence What The Fake! Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara $4.99
Enriched with nylon fibers for lashes looking incredibly thicker and longer, giving your lashes that false lash look. The nylon fibers in the formula absorb some of the liquid, making this a thicker formula, great for layering and building up volume.
Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara $4.99
For clean volume and defined lashes – The Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara by Essence is made to last all day without smudging or clumping with their tubular formula. Plus, it’s easy to remove with just warm water.
Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara $4.99
The deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. Opthalmologically tested.
Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited $4.99
The deep black texture and unique shape of the Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited fiber brush ensures dramatic volume and a gorgeous false lash effect. Not tested on animals.
The special braided design of the cap has never been seen before. Enriched with lengthening fibers, this styling mascara provides an 18hr longlasting volume effect and ensures fully extended lashes. The fiber releasing brush has the perfect shape to reach even the smallest lashes!
Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $6.99
Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes! LashBlast’s patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look. Instant volume and fullness. Smudge and wear-proof. Hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers. “Cruelty Free”.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Volume On Demand Mascara $7.99
Lash-conditioning formula delivers a smooth, clump-free finish every time. Unique brush contains wavy fibre technology, catching, loading and separating every single lash. Sweep through hard-to-reach lashes with the tapered brush shape. Layer it up for bigger, bolder volume anytime with zero clumps. Available in two shades: bold black or natural-looking brown.
Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara $8.39
With COVERGIRL’s Exhibitionist volumizing mascara, lashes are full and defined after only one coat. Our volumizing mascara formula glides smoothly onto lashes. Get soft lashes with no flaking or smudging. “Cruelty Free”
L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara $8.99
L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara has a unique formula of panthenol and ceramide-R that builds and thickens voluptuous lashes while conditioning them, so they remain supple and healthy. An exceptionally plush brush is designed to glide on just the right amount of mascara without clumping or flaking. Non-irritating, fragrance-free formula is safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers.
Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara $10.49
Get an instant lash lift effect from a mascara. Falsies Lash Lift from Maybelline NY delivers dramatic volume and long, lifted lashes. The double curved lifting brush and fiber-infused formula grabs lashes at the root to lift, thicken, and lengthen. No clumps, smears, or flakes, just volume that lasts all day.
Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara $10.49
Build on bold volume to create irresistibly soft, separated, and fluffy lashes coat after coat. Maybelline’s Total Temptation Mascara features a creamy and whipped formula enriched with coconut extract.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara $10.99
This mascara unfolds layer upon layer of lashes for a new full-fan effect.
NYX On The Rise Volume Liftscara $11
Delivering quick-charge lift and volume in just a few strokes. Featuring an innovative applicator that¿s part rounded, part hourglass to lift you lashes up to new heights! The “curling” effect results in a far-reaching fringe so that eyes look bigger and lashes look thicker.
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $14.77
This is the mascara for voluptuous volume and length, now with even more black pigment. Soft wavy bristle brush holds maximum formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.
MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara $20
The breakthrough lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. This long-wearing mascara lasts up to 16 hours, yet the washable formula removes easily with warm water thanks to an innovative thermal-sensitive technology. The unique slim-type brush reaches and grips even the tiniest hairs with an advanced lifting formula in a saturated blackest black colour. This extreme defining composition enhances length, resulting in gorgeously distinguished, out-to-there lashes.
Glossier Lash Slick Mascara $20
Curls and sculpts as it lengthens, creating a natural “baby extension” effect without clumping. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place.
Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara $24
A do-it-all mascara that is designed to expose every lash, featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumizes, lifts, lengthens, and curls.
MILK Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara $24
A high-volume mascara formulated with heart-shaped fibers, conditioning hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, and pure pigments for an intense black finish.
NARS Climax Mascara $24
With its buildable formula and stellar brush, NARS’s Climax Mascara surrounds every lash with a lightweight coating that stays supple and soft to the touch – avoiding that unwanted “crispy” feel.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $25
An intensely black voluptuous volume mascara for the sexiest, defined, multidimensional lashes possible.
Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $25
A mascara inspired by hair rollers, this super-curling and lifting mascara gives a sexy, wide-eyed look. Its patent-pending Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush features tiny custom-designed hooks to catch, lift, and curl even short and straight lashes.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara $25
A lengthening mascara that curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for an “out-of-here” look.
Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara $25
A long-lasting, voluminous mascara with a black-boosting polymer in its pigment for 12 times more volume and up to 24 hours of wear.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara $27
An ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes.
Marc Jacobs Beauty At Lash’d Lengthening And Curling Mascara $27
A long-wear, lengthening, and curling mascara for a highly defined, full-extension lash look.
Hourglass Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara $29
An all-in-one mascara that delivers a look of endless length, intense volume, and sky-high lift for extreme, dramatic lashes.
Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara $29
You can expect the longest lashes going with this new Hourglass formula. The brush easily gets through every lash, creating a defined, fanned-out appearance that stays put; it’s also a tubing mascara which means it comes off easily with water – no scrubbing needed.
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara $30
A gravity-defying mascara that delivers instant volume, multidimensional length, and weightless lift in a single stroke.
What are your favourite mascaras? Let me know in the comments below!
Kevyn Aucoin was a makeup artist decades ahead of his time. Long before the age of Instagram, the late legend furiously—and intimately—documented his life and career, recording it all with a Polaroid camera or VHS camcorder glued to one of his famously large hands, as well as in his precious collection of scrapbook-style journals, which haven’t been seen publicly until now.
The Makeup Museum unveiled a vast, never-before-seen digital archive of the journals that Aucoin, widely considered the world’s first celebrity makeup artist, kept between 1983 to 1994. They document his Hollywood rolodex (Hello, Tina and Liza!), meetings with all-star collaborators and supermodel confidantes (Cindy, Linda, and Paulina…to name a few), and candid Polaroids snapped on iconic photoshoot sets, from Vogue editorials with Irving Penn to a Chanel campaign with Claudia Schiffer. Altogether, Aucoin’s personal notebooks offer a raw and authentic look into his day to day, the hustle and glamour of it.
“Kevyn was pioneering because he was the first makeup artist to ‘pull back the curtain’ and allow anyone who was even remotely interested in the world of beauty to see behind the scenes,” explains makeup artist Troy Surratt, who was a protégé of Aucoin’s. “He invited everyone to come along with him to catch a glimpse of what was an elusive and exclusive world.” Longstanding proof of this is cemented in his 1997 book Making Faces, which is widely considered “the bible” by new and seasoned makeup artists alike, and has even seen renewed interest from pros in quarantine.
Celebrity makeup artist and cofounder of the Makeup Museum Rachel Goodwin calls Aucoin her “makeup Fairy Godfather” and believes that he not only forged new territory for makeup artists, but new notoriety for the industry (now a billion-dollar behemoth on a rapid upward trajectory). “He was one of the first to bring makeup artistry into mainstream consciousness as a viable profession,” explains Goodwin. “Before Kevyn, there was a lot of secrecy around what we do. [He] gave our craft credibility, he legitimized it.” Moreover, Aucoin’s tale of drive, passion, and perseverance is one that continues to inspire—and his journals evocatively telegraph his personal evolution, from major milestones to personal mementos, such as his backstage pass to the 1994 Oscars or ticket to a Barbra Streisand concert at Madison Square Garden. “They are full of his energy and excitement and unbridled reverence for beauty,” explains Goodwin. “They tell a story of a boy from rural Louisiana whose dream was coming true in real-time. There are so many pinch-me moments in the pages and the way he documented them, it was almost as if he couldn’t believe what was happening to him either.”
A hero to many lost too soon, Aucoin lives on through his work, as well as a personal analog archive that is surely offering something novel to a new generation that taps and uploads as opposed to cutting and pasting. “The journals were created to live on…they are not as ephemeral or fleeting as an Instagram post,” says Surratt. “They are tangible and tactile, the spirit of Kevyn is imbued in the pages.”
Below, see an exclusive preview of the Makeup Museum’s digital archive of Aucoin’s journals.
Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,'” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.
Create a Glowing Canvas
Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.
Prime as Needed
To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.
Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favorites. “Start in the center of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose—letting freckles show through for those who have them—and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.
Don’t Paint, Buff
No matter what tool you’re using—a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers—buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.
Strobe Wherever the Sun Hits
For dimension, blend highlighter into the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”
Blot, Then Set
First, sop up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover luster is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’show you execute believably perfect skin.
I’ve been watching Robert Welsh on YouTube for years and I really enjoy his content on Instagram as well. On his channel he creates amazing makeup looks, gives professional makeup advice, reacts to popular beauty trends, debunks popular makeup myths, and much more!
Robert is a professional makeup artist and his mission statement in the beginning of every video is “to help you become a pro yourself or just someone that’s really good at makeup. Here we learn how to separate what we see online from what’s actually useful in real life.” Welcome to Artist Spotlight #7 series on my blog.
I came across this video and it made me laugh so much that I decided to share it with you!