Makeup For The Brown-Eyed Girls

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Alice Lane’s one of those people who hardly needs an introduction, because when you meet her, you feel as if you’ve known her for years. She’s got this infectiously bright manner and wild, gorgeous red hair. She seems like all of the Alice in Wonderland characters at once—adventurous, deeply thoughtful, and maybe a tiny bit mad (in the best possible way). And she’s passionate, as you might expect, about makeup “Emotion in my work comes from the color,” she explains, just before she delves into a 4-hour exploration of eye makeup best suited for brown eyes.

But think she went straight for the palette? Nope—Alice’s take on modern makeup is a familiar one to ITG: It’s about great skincare with makeup used as an accessory. “Everything with makeup is ‘just a little bit ,’” just pops of color, she says. Alice started out by highlighting. Turns out, it’s not just a for-the-photo thing—Alice says the most important thing for any look is the prefatory highlight. “Go to the Met, and every painter from Picasso to everybody, they’ve all highlighted the face. If you look at a small child, they naturally have this,” she points to the points of light on the inner eye, the cheekbone, straight down the bridge of the nose, and at the cupid’s bow. Highlighting these points makes a frame for the color that comes later: “It’s a very specific formula that always looks good, just like the highlighting from the paintings.” She uses Medina sticks and RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on all these facial points, sometimes adding a touch to a collarbone, before she moves onto color.

Then comes the fun. First up is warm bronze, achieved largely by the new hero product Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow. “This product is ah-may-zing. It’s very easy to use,” says Alice. For under the eye, “I always use my finger. Clean up the shape of the eye with makeup remover [dabbed on a Q-tip]. You can never do makeup without Q-tips—it’s impossible. If they stop making Q-tips, I’ll quit.” She makes the outer edges sweep up to prevent any droopiness. She recommends also using a little concealer or highlighter to melt into the edge of the eyeshadow, just to soften and brighten the line between color and skin. Then she takes Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Coffee to the waterline. And she encourages messing it up a little: “You can take all that off, and whatever’s left on your lashes would be rad.”

Second, Alice takes on both green and purple in one look in an homage to Aaron de May, with whom she worked for years as an apprentice. Creamy shadows are easiest to work with here, and Alice draws inspiration from the Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Moss and Sudachi, on one eye; RMS Eye Polish in Imagine and Estée Lauder Pure Color Stay-On Shadow Paint in Neon Fuchsia; with some pencil work on the waterlines. Don’t let the boldness put you off—“If it’s a color found in nature, it will work. As soon as it gets pushed to the extreme, it’s harder to use—it’s not as flattering.” There’s a little blush there, too. Alice loves a creamy formula, but also has tips for powder users: “If you’re using a powder blush, you’ve got to use a powder underneath it, otherwise you get holes in the color. Then go over with concealer and haze out the line.” Blending and softening lines between color and skin is the order of the day.

Third, Alice brings out the blue mascara. It's amplified, even for Diorshow, which Alice used on Chantal here. The blue eyelashes could certainly stand as their own look, but Alice wanted to show the power of a pink lip, too. She used Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage, explaining, “A hot pink lip really brings out brown eyes. So it’s not just about eyes on eyes—the color you put elsewhere really brings out your eyes, too.” Alice used a little concealer around the lip to soften the lip line—“I’m not a big fan of an overdrawn lip,” she said. She stepped back to look at the face. “It looks great with a smile,” she said.

Lastly, Alice demonstrated a quick draw with Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Smokey Emerald For Hazel Eyes for a 5-second going-out eye. She drew a little caret at the corner of each eye, barely touched it, and the whole thing was done. A great option for anyone who wants a bold, easy-glide option. But there’s also a lesson in thinking a little outside the box—the description on the pencil states it’s meant for hazel eyes—don’t believe everything you read. This is downright gorgeous on brown, too.

And there’s no need to feel intimidated by or frustrated with a little experimentation gone awry. Alice says, “You’re never going to learn unless you accept that you’re going to fuck it up.” That’s what Q-tips are for. As we wrap up, the inevitable question of life advice came up. Alice got calm all of a sudden, and said, “Just smile and be happy and you’ll be fine.” As for the makeup, she finishes on a bright note: “Always, the last thing you do is re-highlight.”

Chantal Kammermann (Major Models) photographed by Tom Newton.

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