A while back, I posted a how-to on metallic gold eye makeup worn by actress Lupita Nyong'o -- and immediately got emails from readers in their 40s and better questionning its appropriateness for more mature faces. Completely understandable: High-shine shadows can emphasize fine lines and texture on older eyelids. But according to Stila global pro Sarah Lucero (she's Victoria Beckham's makeup artist too), the right eyeshadow formula and application is ageless. You'll see her technique in our video tutorial below. As well, in a video after that, Nars head New York artist Cindy Rodriguez demonstrates another option that also has all-ages appeal.
metallic shadow application tips for all ages
If you haven't tried the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow, you must. You can tell just by looking at them that they're amped up from your average metallic shadows -- "foil finish" is an apt description. And as Sarah shows in the video below, when you mix it with a drop of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Primer, the result is a slick, liquid metal finish that gleams smoothly on the skin.
"I love to pop a little bit of a light, high-shine shade like Kitten in the centre of the lower lid (between the base of the lashes and the crease). That's a trick that really opens up and widens the eye space," says Sarah. "Think of a diamond. The shinier it is, the more attention it draws. Using a Magnificent Metals shadow in a light colour is like adding jewelry -- think of it as eye art."
This liquid metal eye makeup is an easy, youthful way to wear the look. The key, says Sarah, is to use just the one shadow. "Let that single shade be the star. Don't overthink or overdo it or mix too many shades, or you'll lose that cool, modern vibe." Apply just one light sweep of mascara for polish -- more mascara will detract from the simplicity of the look.
Finishing the skin is also important in order to let the shadow take the spotlight. "This is a youthful look, not so made up, not so done," says Sarah. "You want to be less heavy-handed with foundation and powder. For an overall fresh complexion, keep it sheer, and brighten up any dark circles. Try our Stila CC Cream to tone down redness, blend a little Stila Convertible Colour on the apples of cheeks, and go for a light lip. Then you can really play up your eyes, and it's more wearable and more real."
three ways to apply stila magnificent metals
Each Stila Magnificent Metals eyeshadow comes with a tiny dropper bottle of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Primer and a disc to use as a palette. In our video, Sarah demonstrates three ways to apply the eyeshadow:
1) Intense finish: Put a drop on the back of one hand, and use a fingertip to smooth a tiny bit over the lid. While it's still wet, immediately use the same fingertip to pick up some shadow from the pot and dab-and-smooth it right over the primer.
2) Demi-sheer finish: Put a drop of primer on the disc, pick up some shadow with a fingertip, and mix it with the primer on the disc before transferring it to the eyelid.
3) Detail work: use the Stila Magnificent Metals Eye Shadow Applicator -- a spatula-like brush -- to transfer the primer + shadow mix from the disc to the lid. Sarah says the brush is particularly good for people with smaller lids, and for applying the shadow to the inner corners of the eyes.
sarah's tips for more mature eyes
You can absolutely wear high-shine metallics if you've passed your 40th birthday, insists Sarah. Colour, placement and the finish is key:
• use cool silver tones, or rose golds or warm golds
• try a universally flattering shade like Kitten on the mobile lid to make eyes look brighter and more awake
• don't apply metallic shadow above the crease; it's dated and aging
• stick to a single shade to keep the look modern and youthful
• if you're concerned about crepey lids, the liquid metal looks more like gloss than chunky shimmer or glitter, so it won't make the lid look crepier
• if you want to use an eyeshadow brush for a sheer wash of metallic colour, use one with soft, fluffy bristles to dust it on; a firmer, more compact brush, or a sponge-tip, will overload the lid with a dense, heavy application
nars dual intensity eye shadow + a defined look
These Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadows are gorgeous, smooth metallic shades that look good on eyelids of all ages too. (Canadian Living beauty and fashion editor Julia McEwen wears them all the time, and I geek out every time I see her -- the texture and shades are amazing.) Below is a tutorial video from Nars featuring the brand's head New York artist Cindy Rodriguez and a more defined eye-shadow look, one for day and one for night.
Do you wear metallic eye shadow? Or do you worry that it'll make your lids look old and wrinkly? Would you try these Stila or Nars metallics, and either of these applications?