Makeup artist Charlotte Willer was out of line backstage at the DKNY fall 2011 show—and rightfully so. Rather than sketching one of the same ol' eyeliner looks we've seen a thousand times before, the Maybelline New York global makeup artist came up with her own version of "lined eyes"—one that defies conventional description. So to better understand it, let's start with the inspiration: "Jane Birkin," Charlotte cheerfully told me backstage. Ah ha! So Jane Birkin used to wear quirky eyeliner like this? "No," she immediately corrected me. "She's more the mood of the look than a literal reference." Mm hmm. Okay so exactly where did this unusual idea originate from then? "It just came to me like that," said Charlotte with the snap of her fingers. "We wanted to do something graphic but also young, and... well, I had this shape in my mind, so, we went for it!" (Another person who went for it: designer Donna Karan, whom I overheard praising the look to Charlotte.)
As for how Charlotte created this distinct shape, well, that's fairly straightforward, too. Using products by Maybelline New York, she drew Line Express eye pencil in Ebony Black in a thin, clean line along the crease of the lid, extending it just past the outer corner of the eye and cornering it off, then brought the line back down towards the corner but stopped about a centimeter short of it (click here to watch a video of Charlotte drawing the look on a model). She then lined the bottom lashes from corner to corner along the inner rims and used a cotton swab to cleane up the line along the crease so it was nice and neat. "We're not connecting the top and bottom lines because then the look would be too dramatic," she said. "And we're piling on, like, 15 coats of Falsies Mascara on the top and bottom lashes because we want the makeup to feel young and cool. That's what this collection is all about."
With that in mind, Charlotte kept the rest of the makeup clean and minimal. "You only need four products to create this entire look," she assured me. The other two (in addition to the eye pencil and mascara) were Fit Me Concealer to even out the skin and Color Sensational Lipstain in In The Buff for a pouty, natural mouth (after applying the stain, Charlotte patted a bit of the concealer on top for a true nude finish). With hairstylist Eugene Souleiman fashioning loose boho waves and manicurists coating the nails in a whitish-beige lacquer (a custom shade by Knock Out created just for the show), the models looked like the kind of girl we all want to be: Cool, effortless, and with that one distinct element that sets her apart from the crowd.
TOP PHOTO FROM ELLE.COM