Makeup artist and Beauty Squad member 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 asks a best friend to shake up her rocker sensibility with a sultry songstress makeover.
YouTube sensations—one day you’ve never heard of them and the next they’re followed by millions, popping up all over blogs, swarmed by paparazzi and locking up lucrative national advertising campaigns. Not too long ago Justin Bieber opened this door of opportunity, and in the past year Lana Del Rey strut right through. I would go out on a limb to say even my mother knows her name.
If you don’t know what she’s all about, she’s a songwriter and chanteuse with a uniquely retro sensibility in both the way she performs and assembles her look. For fall she collaborated with Swedish clothing brand H&M in a series of TV and print advertisements that have gained her a whole new set of fans for its '60s-meet-now styling.
One woman who stopped in her tracks to stare up at a Lana Del Rey H&M billboard was my friend MJ Barton, owner and designer of Electric Picks jewelry. Barton typically wears a fresh, radiant and glossy face, but she was fascinated by Del Rey's matte complexion and extreme cat eye. When I asked her if she wanted to give the look a try, she was up for the dare.
Here is MJ, showing off her everyday beauty look:
To kick off MJ's Del Rey makeover, I prepped her skin with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm to create a matte porcelain canvas. I then applied Burberry Sheer Foundation in No. 05 Trench using a stippling brush. To really blank out the center of her face, I added It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Neutral Medium to the middle of her forehead, down her nose, over her cheeks and across her chin. I filled in MJ’s brows with Maybelline Define-a-Brow Eyebrow Pencil. To set everything in place, I dusted It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores setting powder over her full face.
The cat eye is key to this look. To create the modern take on it, I pressed Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Chestnut onto MJ’s full lids and popped Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench into her creases and along her lower lash lines. I dusted Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow in It List onto her outer corners on top and bottom, and slightly in her creases, for added depth. For the unexpected double wing, I ran Rimmel London Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black along her upper lash lines and split it at the ends. I filled in her lower waterlines with Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz. I then used L’Oréal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Carbon Black for an added touch to the outer corners only and tightlined eyes. Tip: Both the soft nude liner in the waterline and the jet-black liner in the tightline are essential steps to achieving this effect. To finish the eyes, I applied several coats of Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies in Blackest Black over MJ’s Mattése Elite Lashes in Flare Medium Black.
As a last step, I created a "non-lip" by coating MJ’s pout in a shade that matched her skin tone. Try: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in Satin Nude.
Here is MJ all decked out as Del Rey:
I caught up with her the next day to find out what she thought of the process:
You mentioned you saw this look on a billboard and it stopped you while walking down Sixth Avenue in New York City. What about the advertisement got your attention?
It caught my attention because Lana Del Rey is such a new artist and she already landed such an impressive campaign. I was thinking it’s probably because she has a unique style. I love a rocker girl who’s not afraid to be herself. And I thought the eyeliner was unique and eye-catching.
What is it about a beauty look that centers on lots of lash and liner and has barely any lip that you find so glamorous?
Eyes are always sexy! They’re the windows to the soul, right? In Lana’s ad, her eyes are very captivating.
In terms of clothing and overall image, how would you describe your personal style?
I would say rocker chic. I’m always running around in jeans, a white T-shirt, a blazer, 6-inch heels (even though I’m 5’10”) and a stack of Electric Picks bracelets.
Every time I see you, your makeup is fresh and radiant. How would you describe your usual beauty look?
For day I love to throw on the Garnier beauty balm and some YSL mascara—simple but effective. At night I like a natural earth-toned look and love to wear lashes for a little extra drama.
How did you like your transformation?
I’m definitely not used to wearing that much eye makeup, but I loved it. And I didn’t realize Lana Del Rey and I look similar! She’s new so I’ve never heard it before, but I really thought I looked like her dopplegänger after the transformation.
After your transformation, we met some people out and you randomly ran into an old friend. What did she think about the look?
She actually thought I looked just like Lana Del Rey—a dead ringer! It was funny!
What did your boyfriend think of the look when you got home?
He’s definitely a man’s man. I’m not sure he even notices my makeup. But I sent him a preview picture when we were out and he loved it. I think he was waiting in anticipation for me to get home. He thought it was sultry and agreed that I have some very Lana Del Rey-esque qualities.
Would you create this look yourself?
I think I could definitely re-create the eyeliner. If I was going to a fashion event or a concert, it would be fun. To translate this into an everyday (well, more every night) look of mine, I’d just add the eyeliner and nude lip to my normal makeup to keep it simple.
Photos: Courtesy of H&M (Del Rey); Tinamarie Clark (before); Courtesy of Lauren Cosenza (after).