The glossy eye is the Justin Bobby of beauty. Sexy, dangerous, fleeting; it's everything fathers hope their daughters avoid in life. And after Alexander Wang crowned an Advanced Style Daria with the look , you had to have it. Deep down, though, you know that seconds after being photographed with an actress in a magazine or executing an end-of-the-runway pivot with a model, it'll just shamelessly slide right off. But doesn't that make you want it all the more? You convince yourself that it can change—you can make it stick! And so you pine for him, and keep trying to make things work...
You could tap into the effect with as little as one product—just any shiny lip humectant on the eye, be it Aquaphor, Eight Hour Cream, Vaseline, or the lip gloss that launched Mandy Moore’s career, MAC Lip Glass. Or you could make it more serious by starting with black kohl along the top lashes, smudging the line up with your lipgloss. But neither will last for long. To get that warm, sexy, glossy eye with depth, you'll need five products and one tool:
1. Start with a thin, lash-defining swipe of black liquid liner, extending the line out and up as much as you’d like. Topshop Magic Liner in Engraved has the ideal fine-line applicator: an ultra thin, long, and firm felt tip.
2. Next up, imprecisely dab a brown kohl pencil, like Topshop Kohl Pencil in Sable, along the black line, and on the bottom lashes. Think of yourself as an impressionist artist painting on eyelashes.
3. Now add shine. MAC Mixing Medium Shine is a clear, wax-based mixer that will stay in place better than a true gloss (which you can add later as a top coat). Press it into the eyelid with your fingers, smudging the brown liner up into the lid and away from the bottom lashes. Add more brown liner as desired.
4. Get that layered dimension by going over the brown liner along the top and bottom lashes with a gunmetal liner or shadow. Stila’s Magnificent Metal Liner in Metallic Gunmetal already looks wet, so there's no need to cover it with gloss that would cause it to slide around. Using the thin rubber end of Stila's Magnificent Metal Double-Ended Eye Liner Applicator #36, concentrate more color on the outer corners of the eyes (both top and bottom), and, for more impact, draw the metallic grey in your waterline.
5. You can stop there if you want. But to go full throttle, top it off with MAC Gloss Coat in Clear. It's just like MAC Lip Glass but with an eye-friendly brush applicator. Dab it in the center of your lids with the brush, then blending it out with your fingers, stopping short of the gunmetal liner.
6. Wear it. You should know that no matter how you do it, this puppy is still going to slide around like jelly on peanut butter. But trust us, it's a good thing. The bleeding makes the look feel less calculated, and these products actually wear really well in comparison to just a lip balm and a liner. If you're the cautious type, check yourself in the mirror every so often, and rub any migrating shadow and liner out of eye creases. And you can always layer on more gloss.
[1-9] Photos by Mathea Millman.