Call us rebels, but there are times when we don’t feel like playing by the rules, you know what we mean? An example: when ITG-fave Alana Zimmer popped by last month for a shoot, our makeup concept became less about a technique (“Apply this shadow under the brow bone, this one to the crease, this one in the center of the lid... Now, do it again exactly the same on the other side!”) and more about a feeling. So, throw out your beauty manuals, because we're talking about an overall vibe here rather than following a tutorial. Earlier this year, Alessandra got the chance to be made up by Stephane Marais on a shoot (that we, err, can't talk about yet) and was blown away when she saw what he could do with two minutes and seemingly a whole lot of nothing-too-special-looking products; he’d managed to make her eyes look not only like they were a different color than usual, but somehow, magically, multi-dimensional. (Or, maybe from another dimension...one with inhabitants whose eyes change colors like a mood ring.) Alessandra asked Stephane how he did it, and because he’s wonderful and very French, he basically said he couldn’t explain it without demonstrating — and she'd have to have her eyes closed in order to do so, and she wouldn’t be able to duplicate it anyways. BUT, he did say that the idea was to make the eye sexy and smudgy, and not too perfect. There was a lived-in, sort of bronze glow to the look, like she'd had the makeup on all day and had just been rolling around on a beach à la those '90s Calvin Klein Eternity commercials. It's an imperfect, sexy, smudgy, glossy eye that you can’t quite put your finger on (though you quite literally put your finger all over it) — you see, Alana is not wearing a whole lot of anything in these photos, and yet she's nailing that I-made-an-effort- or-did-I? thing that we are loving for 2013.
The 'concept,' if you can call it that, is to first and foremost keep your skin clean and fresh, highlighting everywhere the sun would naturally hit (we used Burberry Fresh Glow) before playing around with the eyes. For those suckers, all you’ll need is a brown liner pencil (really, whatever you’ve got; we used CoverGirl Brow and Eye Makers in Soft Brown) and something to shine it up (we used a super-light dab of Eight Hour Cream). Line under the eye, and along the upper lash line, add some gloss, and smudge it around with your finger. Keep adding liner and smudging it with your now-glossy finger until you reach your desired tint and opacity (and smudge-circumference). It should look a little wet, a little undone, and a whole lot of sexy. The point of this eye is that it can live and move with you and get a little weird (e.g., settle into the crease, shift around during the day); it’s about fast, strategic smudging, much like how you would apply a potted lip balm with your finger. Top it all off with a few grazes of black mascara on your lashes (we went with YSL Shocking Volume Effet in Black Bronze) and you’re good to go. Oh, and an aside: eschew the brown pencil and try a complimentary color to your eye (a burgundy/purple pencil works nicely with green and brown eyes; a warmer, orange-tinged brown hue for blue eyes, and so on). Then, watch those babies snap/crackle/pop.
Alana Zimmer (in a Creatures of Comfort top) photographed by Emily Weiss in New York.