Maybe don’t tell anyone this, but we at ITG have soured a little bit on the bare-skin-red-lip look. (This is a beauty site for crying out loud! Where we celebrate all beauty! Alas...) It’s not that there’s anything wrong with fresh skin and some Lady Danger, it just feels like a trend we’ve ridden a stop too far. It’s high time for the pendulum to swing somewhere else.
If a red lip is your neon “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” sign, a small flick of eyeliner is your soft-launch—a little quieter, a little more contained for those days you don’t want to make a big show of it all. Think of that shimmery white dot of iridescence you’ve been using to highlight the inner corners of your eyes since middle school… Now really lean into it. A tiny little makeup gesture; big style impact. Something like that.
With that idea in mind, we asked makeup artist Stevie Huynh to dream up three looks on Alena Nurgaleeva. Red lipstick you say? Never heard of her…
The White Cat Eye
Starting somewhere safe because is there anything safer than a cat eye? Stevie explained: “I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner [ed note: unavailable] here. It has a really beautiful consistency. It’s perfect for sweaty summer weather and it’s very opaque. I’ve had problems with light colored liner before; sometimes it moves or it blends in with the concealer and it ends up looking smudged. But this was really slick and easy to use. Because you want to get it really white, you have to wait a little bit for it to dry to do a second layer. But I didn’t want it to look too alien, so we added a wink of prettiness with the mascara. Don’t add a crease or anything else too bold. When you’re using a matte white like that, it’s really faux looking already. Let it stand alone.”
Alena wears a Louis Vuitton sweater.
“I started with a base of Armani’s Eye tint eyeshadow in Spice Smoke. That helped me create a contrast with the white on top and gave me a little room to give her eye a little more shape and contour. Then I used the Lancôme White Kohl pencil in Alena’s waterline and all around her eye, but not connecting perfectly at the edge. Tapering it out instead. Lancôme is not waterproof, but it stays. I love those kohl pencils. The consistency is the perfect balance between powdery and waxy. It’s blendable; it doesn’t move around; it doesn’t really set in way that’s not going to move, but you can play with it and use it as an eyeshadow base, waterline, outer rim of the eye. It’s super versatile.”
Alena wears an Altuzarra sweater and skirt.
“I’m constantly inspired by New York. I’ve lived in the city for so long and I’m constantly inspired by the things I see on the street and even looking outside, the lines you see on the street: the constantly fresh paint because there’s constantly construction in the city. this could also be a little ‘60s, a little Twiggy, that comes from the graphicness of the broken lines. This was done with Kat Von D Ink Liner. Drawing multiple lines over each other to get this feel. There’s a lip as well, Mac Myth. I felt like I wanted to take it there with the ‘60s vibe and mute it out. I love that shade because it’s the perfect beige and pink mixture. It works for so many skin tones.”
Alena wears a Blumarine dress.
Alena Nurgaleeva (Wilhelmina) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Stevie Huynh. Hair by Clara Leonard. Styling by Harrison Karabaccio.
Looking for something else to highlight? Try lips. Click here.