Taylor Swift made her fan's eyes pop on Tuesday when she appeared on the April issue of Wonderland magazine without her signature black eyeliner (gasp!).
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The singer, 23, who channeled Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts in a red Christian Dior dress for the cover, told The Daily Makeover in 2010 that liquid eyeliner is the one beauty tool she can't live without. She confessed that she once resorted to extreme measures to obtain her smokey-eyed look. “I was on a plane to Japan about two years ago and I had no makeup with me, so I went into the bathroom and I used a Sharpie to line my eyes. From that point on I started using liquid liner because I realized it was obviously pretty easy for me to do! I definitely don’t recommend drawing on your eyes with a Sharpie though,” she said.
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Adopting a beauty signature—Gwen Stefani's platinum blonde hair, Jennifer Aniston's beachy waves, Christina Aguilera's red lips—is a common branding tactic for celebrities who want to stand out in a sea of famous faces. They're beauty mainstays throughout a star's style evolution, style deja vu's that we've come to love and associate with our favorite artists. We develop them in the real world too; whether it's bronzer, mascara, or freshly painted nails, there's always a beauty crutch women can't live without.
Fans were pleasantly surprised when Swift who rarely, if ever, has appeared on the red carpet or in magazines without smoldering eyes, opted for a more fresh-faced look. "Your eyes are perfect. OMG," tweeted one adoring fan. "I love your real eyes," wrote another.
Is black eyeliner over? If the most recent New York Fashion Week is any indication, the answer is, maybe. Models at Donna Karan walked the runway with only a smudge of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, which created a shadowy effect, but mostly laid off the eyeliner and mascara. Makeup artists at Theyskens' Theory emphasized clean and fresh sculpted faces by passing on eye paint, applying peach-toned concealer and not much else.
"Makeup trends come and go depending on what colors and fabrics are emphasized at that particular moment and in general we're seeing less eyeliner right now," says MAC Cosmetics Senior Artist John Stapleton. "Women can play with black liner to make their eyes look sultry and catlike, but traditionally the purpose of eyeliner is to make the lashes look thicker so in that regard it's supposed to be subtle."
To cop Swift's natural look, you don't have to forgo eyeliner altogether, says Stapleton; just trade in black for dark brown (a subtle hue that compliments most eye colors). To apply, place your index finger on the eyelid as close to the lash line as possible, gently rolling the skin back to expose the area under the lashes (if it's wet, you've hit the right spot). Then, place the pencil in the middle of the lid and gently swipe to both ends of the lid until you have a solid line.
If you have blue eyes, you can experiment with a rusty red or mahogany brown; green eyes pop with a plum or rich purple, and brown eyes look best with a navy or dark blue tone.
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