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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Bling blink

Embellished dramatic eye make-up is big this spring
The Straits Times - January 27, 2012
By: Kayleen Schaefer
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Bling blink Thick swathes of glittery eyeshadow were seen at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show last July. -- PHOTO: AFP

Holiday parties are over, but brilliantly bejewelled and glittering eye make-up has been lingering on, an easy way to alleviate the January blahs.

'Embellished and dramatic make-up just feels right at this moment,' said MsRachel Goodwin, a celebrity make-up artist for Chanel. 'It's like a science fiction movie, a Stanley Kubrick thing.'

Or maybe it is dreams of snow which are encouraging us to embrace our inner Ziggy Stardusts and experiment with gluing on crystalline rhinestones, crystals and sequins or thickly swiping glittery eyeshadow.

Certainly, the couture collections for fall and winter were extra-reflective. MsGoodwin inked the models at Chanel with Illusion d'Ombre in Mirifique, a pitch-black shadow with starlight sparkles.

At Christian Dior, make-up artist Pat McGrath drew what looked like masquerade-ball masks, piling on iridescent discs, gold sequins and amber rhinestones on the models' eyebrows and upper and lower lids.

And the glitter parade continued at the spring ready-to-wear collections. At Givenchy, Ms McGrath sliced a single silver sequin in half, placing a crescent on both the upper and lower lash lines. For Dsquared, make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, working for M.A.C Cosmetics, smudged glitter around the eyes as if it were kohl liner.

When looked at among the other shiny things on the runways, such as the gemstone corsets at Dolce & Gabbana, the tiaras at Louis Vuitton and the crystal chandelier earrings and glitter heels almost everywhere, bedazzled make-up seems to fit right in: It is another way to twinkle and shimmer right now.

'The bedazzled look is going to be big for spring,' said Ms McGrath, who also piled on jewel tones at Dolce & Gabbana's spring show using the brand's Khol Collection jade and silvery burgundy eyeliners.

'After a few seasons of really pared down, minimalist looks, we are yearning for a touch of drama. I think the trend for colour will only grow, with women becoming more excited by distinct pigments and strong textures.'

Celebrities, and not just Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, have begun to try eye bling on the red carpet. Most notably, Emma Watson's eyes were lined with metallic shadow and glued-on gold leaf for the New York premiere of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in July last year.

Anne Hathaway wore crystal-accented false eyelashes to host the Academy Awards last February.

'We've seen red lips, smoky eyes and lots of glowing skin,' Ms Goodwin said. 'I would love to see women experiment and be slightly more risky. It's been a little bit of a bore for a couple of years. It's like, 'Come on, ladies'.'

As a practical matter, however, do you really want to walk around with pave lids? Maybe not. 'It kind of messes with you if you're out having cocktails,' said Mr Ricky Wilson, a Dior make-up artist.


There are subtler ways to put a glint or two around your eyes and still look sophisticated.

The trick is keeping your glitter level on the right side of Johnny Weir. Don't try to outshine the average showgirl. Instead, use a few rhinestones or a sweep of glitter shadow to put together an avant-garde look.

'You're creating art with it,' said MsSarah Lucero, a make-up artist at Stila, whose gleaming cat-eye for Alice + Olivia's spring runway show was done by using sparkly teal eyeliner as if it were shadow.

'Don't throw it on or pack it on. It's like using the watercolour version of sparkle or sequins. It's very ethereal and angelic if done in a beautiful way.'

The make-up artists interviewed admitted to prowling craft shops such as Michaels for embellishments or scooping up stones online at sites like

'It's like 99 cents,' Ms Lucero said. 'If it doesn't work, throw it away.'

They suggested cutting a sequin in half and using an eyelash glue such as Duo adhesive and tweezers to stick one half on each upper lash line or the corners of your eyes.

'It's a neat way to add a little glam,' MsLucero said. 'If it's silver or metallic, it picks up on some type of weave or fabric in the clothing, like with a tweed dress.'

Another option is a strip of false lashes with the base lined with gunmetal studs, such as Faux (Plus) DEV lashes, or black rhinestones, such as Shu Uemura Dazzling Black Diamante lashes (replicas of the Shu Uemura pair made for Madonna with 0.75 carats of diamonds).

'The way to make it understated and high fashion is to keep it monochromatic,' said Ms Raychel Wade, a make-up artist who gives lessons through her company, Cheek To Chic, and likes the look of three stones placed at the top of the cheekbone.

'Do a cluster of sapphire or emerald green. It's a big place to go less-is-more.'

For the glue-shy, another option is a glitter shadow, such as Stila Jewel Shadows in citrine or golden topaz. Or, for more razzle-dazzle, the black with gunmetal shimmer in the Nars Arabian Nights trio. Use it all over your lid. (A tip for removing stray glitter is to blot it with sticky tape.)

'It allows you to have a piece of the trend and still look really approachable,' Ms Lucero said.

Or, to downgrade to a face that would look sexy at the grocery store, take a glitter eyeliner, such as Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliner, and swipe it over a black or brown shade.

For balance, keep the rest of your face almost free of make-up. You wouldn't wear Miu Miu glitter pumps with a gold lame dress and you shouldn't try to top sparkling eyes with heavy foundation or intense lipstick. Try transparent, glossy skin and a stained lip.

'If you overdo it, it's so teeny-bopper,' MsLucero said. 'They overdo everything.'




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