Dewy Eyelids Bring on Holiday Magic: Stuff My Stocking, Stuffer 18
By Gigi Anders
The ancient Roman goddess Juno, mother of Mars, the god of war, was a woman’s guardian angel. Her divinity symbolized all aspects of the feminine principle of life. Though the father of Mars was a magical flower, Juno herself was no shrinking violet. Indeed, she’s usually portrayed as a fiercely beautiful and well-armed deity.
Perhaps that legend of female strength inspired Shakespeare to write in The Winter’s Tale that “daffodils … [are] sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes.”
This isn’t an ideal time of year for daffodils and you can argue about Willy’s feminism.
But I can get you there, to eyelid magic, and it involves exactly one product: The Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss by Kevyn Aucoin ($38).
Let’s take a contextual step back first. The glossy-patent leather-dewy-wet eyelid trend has been around forever; check this photo of Max Factor with Jean Harlow from the 1920s. See her eyelids? All that heavy, shiny “greasepaint”? That was The Look.
These days, an evolved version picked up steam at many of the New York Fashion Week shows back in September. Either on naked lids or eye shadowed-first lids, the reflective quality looked cool, pretty, fresh, clean, and mysterious. For about 15 minutes, or, the duration of the show. Once the hot lights and the warmth of the models’ skins affected whatever product was used to create the effect – Aquafor, Vaseline, Rosebud Salve, plain old lip gloss, lip balm – all that dew-kissed poetry melted into one hot mess that migrated all around and even inside the eyes, creating a sticky, icky oil slick whose backstage release came by way of extremely welcome makeup remover cleansing towelettes.
Not exactly magical.
But those NYFW designers and makeup artists who cleverly used Kevyn Aucoin’s Eye Gloss created lasting, stay-put looks with all three varieties on models’ eyelids — and sometimes brow bones, cheek tops, and upper or lower lips:: Moonlight (a silvery yet dimensional crush of shimmering starlight), Galaxy (an initially terrifying pot of the blackest black you’ve ever seen sparked through with tiny golden flecks, but really a gorgeous, translucent smoke with beguiling twinkles), and Cosmic (the elegant iridescence of luminous and golden molten pearls).
Afraid you’re gonna want all three, kids.
The texture is a silky, slidey, smooth hardened gel that directly transfers to your fingertip or silicone shadow brush bristles upon touch. It’s buildable once you tap or sweep it across your eyelid, so you can go light or heavy. It also will not move until you’re ready to remove it. It feels un-tacky and weightless on, as if it’s not there at all.
Now. Let’s discuss application a little bit more because I’ve seen some incredibly misguided comments online about how it creases, destroys eyeliner, and looks like you have oily eyelids.
This is when I want to jump right through my laptop and scream, “You’re using it wrong! What is the matter with you? Did you even bother going to the Kevyn Aucoin site to learn How To Use, and see Pro Tips? No. Of course you didn’t. Hence!”
Okay. The Ativan’s in and I’m calm now.
Here’s how it goes for all-out fancy festivity:
After cleansing your face and applying eye cream – and btw, can I just say how impressed I am by this one? – cover the entire eyelid with eyeshadow primer. That ensures zero creasing, no eyeliner destruction, or the appearance of oily lids. How hard was that?
If you love and need eyeshadow, apply a creamy one on the lid and OVER the liner. The liner will still show. Trust.
With your fingertip or a slightly stiff shadow brush dab the complementary Eye Gel on top of the shadow, from the crease, all the way to the eyelashes’ roots. Start with a teeny bit until you get the hang of it and feel as confident as Jean Harlow pretended to be.
Take a Q-tip and fine-tune anything extraneous.
Follow up with the world’s best mascara, finish the rest of your face, and get ready to rumble like Juno and Mars on a Roman holiday.
Here’s how to wear it if you’re under 30, want a quickie je ne sais quoi, and have the privileged tenderness of youth, perfect skin, perfect eyebrows, and perfect eyelashes:
Go upstairs to Number 1. Then apply your Eye Gloss of choice from your lashes up to just under your eyebrows. The end.
Or, if Amy Winehouse continues to be your makeup icon – in which case we really have to talk -- look at Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Director of Education Jen Evans’ video tutorial for an updated and infinitely more sophisticated iteration. Kevyn himself would smile from paradise, where daffodils and other magical flowers are always in bloom.