M.A.C.’s makeup artists were frantically gluing Swarovski crystals to fake lashes the night before the IIFA Rocks Fashion Show last week in Toronto, just in time for the dancers to, well, rock them on stage.
“The inspiration starts with Bollywood, it starts with glitter, it starts with theater,” M.A.C.’s senior makeup artist, Caitlin Callahan, explained. “The theatrical elements of this makeup are obviously the crystals the glitter, the color. But the shapes we use were from trend.” The “zipper eyes” (which refers to the technique were you have dark shadows on the inner and outer edges of the eyelid, and a lighter or glossy color to middle) is a nod to jazz influences that were present in many of the songs performed that night. “This makeup is very retro, it’s a throwback to the 20s when they would do black all over and add a gloss right to the center of the eyes,” said Callahan. For the show, artists used a gorgeous Electric Eel shadow that they darkened by layering it with the smoky Contrast on the outer and inner edges, and topping it with M.A.C.’s Silver and Reflex Pearl glitter pigments right through the middle of the lid. Finally, they used a TechnaKohl liner in Auto-de-Blu on the waterline to round it out.
Want to translate the “zipper eye” look from the stage to real life? Callahan suggests using the same shape but taking away the glitter and crystals (keep the long lashes though!). “You can do a dark all over color like a smoky eye, but then go back and bump it up and make it more trendy, with a reflective, lighter color in the middle,” she advises. “You can use any color combination but the effect you get is that you make your eyes come out more…it’s one of those rare makeup techniques that actually makes your eyes look bigger.”
Try colors like in the burgundy family or dark cherry browns like M.A.C.’s Sketch, Embark, or even a softer brown like Woodwinked for the edges, and a gold like Motif to apply right to the middle of the lid. “But it’s really about looking at the colors you already have finding a dark and a medium (you don’t really need a light) and have them work for you.” she says.
For the cheeks: A mix of M.A.C.’s Coppertone and Gingerly (“These are really good colors to really cut [and shape] the cheekbones because they have a lot of brown to them,” says Callahan).
For the brows: M.A.C.’s Dipdown Fluidline (“We’re carving out that top line of the brows,” says Callahan. “Such an important part of stage makeup are the eyebrows and how expressive they are. No pencil, no powder.)
For skin: The prepping process was minimal, using only some Studio Fix Powder Foundation and Fix+. “Normally we moisturize, do a lip conditioner, we do eye cream…[but for tonight] hell no…it will just slide off.” Instead, the artists scraped some Studio Fix powder into a pan, sprayed some Fix+ setting liquid, swirled it all together with a makeup brush and applied, thereby waterproofing the makeup. “It’ll look like a face lift.” To keep it fresh when the dancers get off stage, instead of applying more powder, the artists took dipper a piece of muslin cloth in water and just press the foundation back into their skin.
Check out the videos below of Caitlin prepping the dancers’ makeup backstage:
To change the look four times throughout the evening, instead of doing a whole new face, Callahan said the artists simply wrapped a M.A.C. Wipe around their finger to neatly remove the lip color from the dancers, and change it to increasingly bolder colors (from beige, to pink, to magenta, and finally to red).
And how did they keep all that glitter from getting all over the dancers’ faces? Some good ol’ Scotch tape.
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