Rachel Goodwin, a makeup artist in Los Angeles, thinks we're living through a rare makeup moment. “It hasn't been this experimental since the 1980s,” she says.
This modern make-up is characterized by an adventurous spirit. Bright eye-liner is applied in doodles or at sharp angles far away from the lash line. Crystals and glitter are layered on top.
The origins of the trend are many. Though social media is criticised as a study in conformity, it has given a platform to those who are creatively inclined. Moreover, the “be yourself” aesthetic of Gen Z is an increasing influence.
The makeup on the HBO teen drama “Euphoria” is all anyone could talk about. On the show, make-up conveys mood and character through looks like bright watercolour eye shadow, black-lined red lips and gold-foiled eyebrows, temples and lids. Now its styles have entered the mainstream.
Goodwin describes a tension that she says has almost always existed in make-up: Polite looks meant to make the wearer conventionally “pretty” to others contrasted with makeup that functions primarily to express the mood, ideas and tastes of the wearer.
“They're being playful,” she says of the latter, “and not necessarily looking for external validation, just expression of a sense of identity.”
It's a sensibility that all of us, from boomers on down, should be able to get behind. Here, in celebration of the holiday season, Goodwin shows us how to join the make-up party.
Despite (or maybe because of) the festive spirit of the season, you may still need a little boost to get out the door. Make-up can help. “This kind of make-up creates a feeling of wonder,” Goodwin says. “It's rainbows and sparkle and has a childlike quality. You start to embody that.”
She covered the lid with a mix of gold and iridescent Lemonhead LA glitter gel and scattered a rainbow of Swarovski crystals on and just outside the lids.
“I amped up the look with a bright color on the water line,” she says. “You can use any color — purple, green, blue — but it's an easy way to add color for women who are overwhelmed by eye shadow all over the lid.”
An Artist’s Eye
This pink and yellow neon eyeliner channels the colour layering and experimental shapes in abstract art, Goodwin said. Liquid liners create sharp lines that are long-lasting.
To replicate her shapes, start at the inner corner of the eye and continue up into the crease, angling your liner toward the tail of your eyebrow. Connect that line back down to the lash line, coming in about a third of way.
The second pink triangle layers right on top and follows the crease of the lid and finishes past the outer corner of the eye. Connect that line to the outer corner of the lash line.
It's not about perfection, but wobbly lines do happen. If that's not the look you're going for, use a Q-tip with a little foundation for clean-ups. Wakeup remover will erase all of your other work.
Goodwin added Lemonhead LA glitter on top of each line. She said that “avant-garde” eyeliner like this, and unexpected makeup in general, gives its wearer an opportunity to create a look that’s emotionally expressive. “As long as it feels how you want it to feel, you’ve been successful,” she said.
Beauty Beyond Makeup
There is playfulness inherent in using non-traditional materials. “I wanted to showcase that here,” Goodwin says. “It's not always about eye-liner, lipstick and eye shadow.”
She cut a sparkly fabric found at a craft store into triangles, then used eyelash glue to apply them as cat-eye “wings.” Multicolored Swarovski crystals line the lid crease.
Lips Can Be Fun, Too
Much of adventurous makeup happens on the eyes. Goodwin wanted to show that the lips can be unexpected, too.
She lined the bottom and top borders of the lips in gold and topped that with gold glitter. The line is wider in the outer corners and narrows toward the centre of the lip, when it ends. Its a modern take, rather than a stark ’90s-inspired lip liner.