Last New Year’s Eve, I had an entire ball. I partied at my favorite bar (ode to BABEL in Brooklyn), popped numerous bottles of Prosecco (I paid for it later), and danced until my feet ached. It’s made the already stressful stakes even higher this year, since I’m…*gasp*…hosting my first NYE shindig at the same venue.
Thinking about what to wear is half the battle. I work in beauty, so to give a true lewk, I have to think about my face, too. The catch? I barely put on mascara most days. With T-minus two weeks, I needed some help. Thankfully, when it comes to amping up the glam, no one does it better than Dior Celebrity Makeup Artist Ricky Wilson, who was kindly willing to pull me together. His client list includes Coco Rocha, Sharon Stone, Leighton Meester, Joy Bryant and Elizabeth Banks — so you know, no big deal. Just me and my non-celebrity eyelids, trying to create magic.
Together, we decided to create a modern version of what he and I dubbed “Peacock Feather Hummingbird Eyes,” a buildable look that is not as overwhelming as it appears, I swear. Scroll down to get the tea on three easy-to-execute looks, from beginner to novice to pro.
Start With Look 1: Mesmer-EYE-zing (Get it?)
Despite my 7.5 hours of sleep the night before, Ricky (politely) asked me if I used eye cream. I shared that I did. Apparently, however, the top of your eyelids are equally as important as the under eye area. He recommended that I start with Dior One Essential Eye Serum for the perfect base (I also like CeraVe Anti-Aging Eye Repair Cream for my drugstore queens).
“Depending on the shape of your eye, some people are more prone to transfer (a.k.a. smudging) and this trick really helps,” explained Ricky.
You know what else he told me? “I want to break the myth that eyeliner makes your eyes look small. It can actually make them look larger.”
I was shook.
Another beauty myth-bust: the notion that the cute sponge tip applications that come with products are trash. “You can create a nice eye with [them] — the only catch is blending becomes a bit harder.” Duly noted. Brushes it is. Or feel free to use your finger instead.
A few extra tips:
+ Always fill in your brows first (not last!) because it will serve as a guide for your eye makeup. e.l.f cosmetics Ultra Precise Brow Pencil is affordable and hard-working.
+ Post-eye cream and before you line, make sure your eyelids are completely oil-free and dry. The best way to ensure this is to use a primer or translucent powder. I’ve heard rave reviews about NYX Eyeshadow Base and Kat Von D. Lock It Setting Powder.
+ Angled liners are a beauty god-send for beginners (Maybelline Curvitude Liner is SO dope for this!). Newbie or not, don’t worry about drawing lines to symmetrical perfection.
+ Cat-eyes don’t have to be stressful! Use your brows to help serve as a baseline. Create a “V” shape with your eyeliner pencil to know how far to extend your “tail.”
If You’re Feeling Bold, Move on to Look 2: Violet Nights
Get the best color payoff by avoiding “sweeping” your shadow over the eyelid. Instead, pat or pack it on for a more intensified/uniform color. People, don’t sleep on Maybelline Eyestudio ColorTattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eye Shadow — it’s a best-seller for a reason.
After that, achieve a sick highlight by starting with the inner corner of the eye and extend to the beginning of the brow. This adds drama but also lessens intensity of a smokey eye. Fenty Beauty’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick is a no-brainer here.
I Think You’re Ready for Look 3: More More More
Just when I thought we pushed this look to the max, we took it a step further. Adding bedazzled accents transformed my look into a statement in less than two minutes. (These ones are great: Swarovski™ Create Your Style™ Flat Back Crystal Mix, AB Crystal.) I’m totally down for the cause, especially since it’s not rocket science to apply these tiny gems. Speaking of statement, forget that old rule about how you had to choose one bold thing (a bold eye or a bold lip, but not at once). “Now is a good time to redefine what ‘evening makeup’ looks like. It can be light, transparent [coverage] without a heavy mask, [and it can] feature eyes, lips, or both!” Ricky tells me.
A few extra tips:
+ If sharp/pointy/dangerous objects near your face scare the bejesus out of you, use the pads of your fingers instead. (But if you want a tool-tool, I like the Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezer.)
+ You should also know that eyelash glue is the only way to go. Don’t try any other adhesive because you can literally rip your skin off. I recommend Ardell LashGrip Eyelash Adhesive.
+ Dab glue on the back of the hand, dip the flat side of your crystal and place as desired. It helps if you slightly tip your head back to avoid sliding.
+ To remove, use a spooly or slanted tweezer to gently lift the crystal at the end of the night. Wiggle back and forth if it turns out to be a problem child.
And there you have it! Eyes so peacock-y, I’m no longer stressed about my outfit. (Also, I landed on a look by Autumn Adeigbo.) I’m much more curious to know what you plan to wear on New Year’s Eve, though. Tell or show me in the comments what you’re wearing, and then let’s talk makeup. Happy (almost) 2018!
Photos by Edith Young.