Makeup artist Lauren Cosenza supports trying anything in the quest for self-expression. Each month she pushes our cosmetic boundaries beyond the beauty comfort zone. In this edition she invites a friend to try a little sparkle on for size.

Of all the makeup looks from the spring 2013 ready-to-wear shows, none was more ooh- and ahh-worthy than Pat McGrath’s “techno butterfly” creation for Christian Dior. The makeup master herself spoke of bursts of Swarovski crystals adorning each model’s eyelids. (For the house’s spring 2013 haute couture show, she added them to lips.) The effect was fresh and futuristic. But could face jewels that look striking on the catwalk really work elsewhere?

To get the answer, I enlisted a brave subject also well-versed in cosmetics, makeup artist and DIVAlicious beauty contributor Denise Del Russo.

Denise and I agreed we’d have to reinterpret the look and tone it down a bit. We wanted it to be cutting-edge, not costume-y. We played around with several options—some with color, some with loose crystals and some with bejeweled lashes. We finally struck what we considered the right balance of glamorous and bold.

Here are the steps we took for Denise’s transformation.

Face

Step 1: I created a blank yet beautiful canvas with YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation.

Step 2: I canceled out any of Denise’s redness and imperfections with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer.

Step 3: I set her face with the semi-luminous MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder.

Step 4: I tapped a sheer layer of Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Pink Frosting on to the apples of Denise’s cheeks.

Eyes

Step 5: I tightly lined her upper lash lines with Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner.

Step 6: I plumped her top and bottom lashes with Maybelline Volum’ Express The Mega Plush Mascara in Blackest Black.

Step 7: I glued on Mattese Elite Lashes Glamour—1175, which are adorned with crystals and amped up with green iridescence.

Step 8: I added a single stand-alone crystal by Body Jewels to the outer corners of Denise’s eyes.

Step 9: I finished with Estée Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick in Magnetic Magenta, topped with Rimmel London Stay Glossy Lipgloss in Jewel in the Crown.

We both loved the final look. It was over-the-top but in a playful way. Denise headed out, and I followed up the next day to find out if the dare was a success:

How do you typically wear your makeup?

During the week I wear very minimal makeup: mineral face powder, a little blush, mascara and lip gloss. If I have an event or go out on the weekend, I amp up my makeup by doing some contouring and playing up my eyes, usually with a liquid black liner and something smoky.

What did you think of Pat McGrath’s bedazzled Dior eyes that were the inspiration for this dare?

I loved the Dior inspiration. I love crystals and anything sparkly.

Have you ever worn crystals on your face before?

I’ve never worn crystals myself before, but have used them on different makeup projects. They’re so fun!

What are your thoughts on taking a look straight from the runway?

There are definitely some looks that you can reinterpret straight from the runway, and I also believe there are some trends that should stay on the runway. The jewel look is one that you can bring over to real life because there are different shapes and sizes of crystals, both loose and on lashes.

What did you think of the rest of the makeup, which was dramatic in its own right?

I loved my skin—the foundation gave me such a smooth and flawless finish. And that lip color was very fun, especially compared to the nude lip gloss I usually sport.

How did people react to the dare?

I got a lot of looks and a lot of attention. When I was at a lounge, a few girls in the ladies room said, “Wow, nice eyes!” One guy said, “Whoa, cool eyes.” And my sister, Dawn, who is a style expert and author, agreed my eyes looked very cool and felt it was not too dramatic to wear out in public.

What is the appropriate time and place to wear a look like this?

There is a time and place for everything. I think you can definitely wear crystals for a night out on the town—or if you’re just feeling it. Go for it!

Photos: Courtesy of Denise Del Russo (before); Aisha Singleton (after)