Boy, times are tough, huh? The world feels like a pretty weird and frightening place right now. Luckily, I’m not really qualified to talk about that. What I am qualified to talk about? Makeup (kind of). So let’s do that instead, okay?
Doja Cat’s “Say So” video has been filling the gaps in my brain with beautiful images of retro makeup goodness. And my favorite of the bunch? This stunning aqua cat-eye. Want to escape reality and play with makeup? Well, you’re in luck!
Okay, let’s begin. As ever, priming of the skin is key, and an acid toner gives that perfectly smooth and glowy canvas we all crave. A recent rediscovery of mine is the Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. It’s simple but very effective, super cheap, and comes in a huge bottle. Apply to the skin on a cotton ball.
Follow up with a moisturizer of your choice. My choice is the Dr. Jart Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer. This is a really weird formula—it feels almost like a solid water that melts into the skin. But after it sinks in, skin feels super plump and juicy—and ready for makeup to apply beautifully.
Start with a liquid highlighter like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. Hear me out—by putting something uber glowy under your foundation, you can achieve a “lit from within” glow without looking like you’re wearing a ton of product. Focus on the high points of the face, then blend with fingers.
Now for the base. Another rediscovery of late has been the Covergirl Outlast Long Lasting Makeup. It’s a pretty basic foundation, but it’s super affordable and really gets the job done. I like to apply with a Beauty Blender or similar damp sponge for a more flawless finish. Work quickly, because it dries and sets quickly and then becomes immovable.
To add brightness and conceal any areas use the HourglassVanish Airbrush Concealer. Affordable, this is not—but it works beautifully in tandem with the Covergirl foundation for a flawless-looking base with amazing longevity.
To add structure to the face without contouring, a matte creamy bronzer is perfect. I love the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer for its ease of application and blendability. It also comes in a few shades to suit a broad range of skin tones, and melts into the skin to leave a naturally tanned finish. If you want to add more highlight—and I know you do—the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand is exceptional. It has very little base pigment, meaning once dabbed in with a finger it leaves pure sheen, giving a stunning, almost glossy effect. It doesn’t look like she’s wearing blush, but if you can’t resist, go for something with a subdued hue and a creamy texture. The Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in “Werk” is my personal favorite.
Fill in brows using a cool-toned powder like your shade of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo and an angled brush. If you want to define individual hairs to give a more natural, fluffy appearance, set in place using a clear pomade like the Glossier Boy Brow in “Clear,” brushing outwards rather than upwards.
Now for those fabulous aqua-blue eyes. Start with a primer. I’m a broken record, but the Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hr Eye Primer will never do you wrong. You’ll want a blue-toned eyeshadow palette for this look, and the Colourpop Blue Moon Eyeshadow Palette is a great (and affordable) choice. Start by taking the baby blue shade “Moonlight” all over the eye and into the crease. Once this base shade is down, take the matte aqua shade “Starry Eyed” and deepen the crease. Use a detailer brush to add the deeper royal blue shade “Fine China” into the deepest part of the crease. Take the same shade and smoke out the lower lashline. Then blend your three matte shades together using a clean, fluffy brush.
On a small, flat brush, take the shimmery aqua shade “Tide Pool” and work into the outer V of each eye to add some brightness. Finally, liberally apply the shimmery white highlight shade “Lumi” to the inner corner and brow bone. Finish the look with a thick black wing—the Essence Waterproof Eyeliner Pen has a nice tip to create coverage.
Falsies are a nice bonus for a dramatic look like this. If you want to go hard, the Charlotte Tilbury The Hollywood Glamour Lashes are fantastic, but a more affordable alternative are the Ardell Demi Wispies. Final thing on the eyes (I swear) is a pale kohl pencil in the waterline. I think the NYX Faux Whites Eye Brightener in “Baby Powder” would work perfectly thanks to its subtle blue tone.
Lips are (comparatively) simple and exceptionally ‘90s. Start by lining with the Morphe Sweet Tea Lip Liner—the perfect dark nude shade. Fill in with the MAC Lipstick in “Blankety,” which is similar in tone but lighter, to give a slightly dimensional feel. Finally, apply a clear gloss like the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in “Glass Slipper” right to the center of the bottom lip for maximum poutiness.
Finish with diamanté hoop earrings, a deep side part, and hair flicked out using straighteners. See, wasn’t it nice not to think about anything except makeup for a few blessed minutes?