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Metallic makeup puts a gleam on your eye

Makeup artists Pati Dubroff and Autumn Moultrie offer advice on how to apply it.

February 22, 2009|Melissa Magsaysay

The metallic eye is ruling the red carpet this season as a fresh alternative to the smoky shadows that have dominated for so long.

"I am definitely seeing a trend in metallic makeup," says makeup artist Pati Dubroff, whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Biel and Megan Fox. "With people cutting back on overt jewelry, metallic makeup is a way to still have that shine."

Metallics aren't a good match for romantic dresses or bohemian looks, she advises, but they add a modern element to the classic dresses that are today's red carpet staples.

Below, Dubroff and makeup artist Autumn Moultrie offer step-by-step instructions for the looks they've been using this award season.

Pati Dubroff

"I was inspired by a picture from the late '60s of [supermodel] Verushka dipped in gold," says Dubroff of the metallic eye makeup she put on Fox for the Golden Globes. "Makeup was used as an accessory in the '60s -- it was really over the top. I also think this is a good look for an important event, and it's following trends in makeup; there was gold on spring runways."

Step 1: Impeccable skin. "Foundation is important, but use something light and keep the shine down so the eye pops."

Step 2: Sweep the eyelid area with a cream shadow in a light, neutral color. Dubroff likes the Dior 5 color cream shadow palette and stresses that the application of the cream shadow should be like a "haze," not too heavy. That creates a base and foundation layer for extra staying power. Then define the crease of the eyelid for contour. "Shadow in the crease should be matte, not shiny. Shininess in the crease ruins the contour, especially on older women."

Step 3: Be sure you have the right shade of metallic shadow. "Pick up the tone from the bag, shoe or dress. It should have that same feeling and just enhance it. For instance, if you go too yellow-gold and everything else in the look is more antique-gold, it will clash. You must keep the harmony in the tone of the metals."

Step 4: Apply the metallic shadow precisely and sparingly. "It should go on just the lid and inner area of the eye, not on [the] outside. The deepest spaces of the eye are what you want to have a spotlight on." Blend the shadows together with the tip of a finger for a seamless look. And avoid getting any metallic shadow in the crease of the eyelid.

Additional tips: Dubroff lays off heavy mascara or false lashes, saying that heavy lashes will obscure the metallic effect. For Fox, she did only a couple of sweeps of brown mascara. Another caution: "Don't do too much bronzer with this look. You don't want the face looking like a big piece of metal."

Autumn Moultrie

To complement Oscar nominee Viola Davis' rich goldenrod-yellow dress at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards, the makeup artist gave her what she calls a "glamorous spring" look in green and golds. "Very fresh," Moultrie says.

Step 1: A flawless foundation. Moultrie used Giorgio Armani's luminous silk foundation on Davis, mixed with a touch of Armani fluid sheer foundation booster, which enhances the glow.

Step 2: Eyebrows. "A well-defined brow really frames the face. The other stuff is just icing on the cake." Extend the brow slightly longer than the natural line to make eyes look bigger, using a light hand and accentuating the natural arch with a short-angled brush. Any dark brown powder works, but avoid using black.

Step 3: Line the eyes. Moultrie used a black gel liner by MAC and then went over it with a dark shimmery green liner from Chanel called Evergreen. "The green covers the black, but the black is there to define the eye and pack on the lash line, creating the illusion of a thicker, fuller lash line."

Step 4: The shadow. Apply a golden shadow -- Moultrie used Stila's Summer shadow -- as the base for the whole eyelid, up to the brow bone. Use a green shadow (she likes Swimming by MAC, which has gold undertones), from the lash line to the crease of the lid. Then apply a little bit of MAC Humid to the crease, creating definition. For a real pop of color, put a dot of a shade called Bio-green, also by MAC, on the center of the lid below the crease. Moultrie blended it all in together, so when Davis had her eyes open her makeup looked gold and when she closed them or looked down, there was a hint of springy green.

Additional tips: If you're not on the red carpet, subtle is better. Moultrie recommends leaving out the Bio-green and further defining the eye with some black eyeliner on the inside of the eye. Use a couple generous coats of black mascara to finish the eye.


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