I hated — hated! — Nicole Richie in her “Simple Life” days. I mean, didn’t you? She was bratty, annoying, and entitled with crusty hair extensions and a tiny dog, whining and generally acting despicable alongside her equally (if not more) horrible cohort, Paris Hilton. That’s why I love Nicole all the more now: she was that girl, and now she’s … kind of the antithesis of that girl. She’s a mother, a wife, a designer, a TV show co-host, and an all around cool, normal-seeming person, with great style to boot. I just love how drastic her transformation was in the most positive way possible; Nicole is a real testament to the fact that you can be whoever you want to be, provided you’re ready and willing to make the change.
It’s no secret that she’s also really, really pretty: it’s all in those gorgeous deep-set eyes. My
way too far away West Coast-dwelling coworker Winona (also gorgeous) has a really similar almond eye shape, so emulating Nicole’s makeup is a good look for her. She wanted to know how to get the star’s ubiquitous soft yet still defined eye, which she’s been wearing on Fashion Star and her other TV appearances as of late. This eye is different because, rather than harsh black, which can make eyes look smaller, it’s done in soft shades of brown with touches of shimmery gold. It’s beautiful and versatile, perfect for day, night, any time, anywhere. I’m breaking it down to the nitty gritty, after the jump!
What you’ll need:
- Eyelid primer. If you have translucent lids with visible veins, try a tinted base like Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials; for everyone else, a sheer primer is fine — I like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original.
- Three shadows: a pale, shimmery gold, a medium shimmery brown, and a matte dark brown. If you’re fair, it’s important to use shadows that don’t have too much warmth in them, which can read orange on paler skin. You can use individuals or a set. For individuals, I love Urban Decay eyeshadow in Midnight Cowgirl (warm sand with multicolored glitter), Lost (medium metallic brown), and Secret Service (soft cool dark brown).
- A soft, fluffy shadow brush like MAC 275 Medium Angled Shading Brush; a super-fine liner brush like MAC 211 Pointed Liner Brush; a smaller, thinner brush for blending into the crease like MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush.
- Eyelash curler and mascara of your choice; I like Shiseido Eyelash Curler and NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara.
- This isn’t technically necessary, but because you’ll be using a brush to line the eyes, I first like to fill in the gaps between lashes with a regular black pencil. Just smudge it up between your lashes so that it defines the eye but isn’t visible on the lid. If you get it on your lid, wipe it away with a q-tip or tissue.
- Prep your lids with a strong primer. For best results, begin using your eyeshadow immediately after so that it holds better.
- With a fluffy brush and a light hand, sweep the medium brown shade over your entire lid from inner to outer corner, up into the crease and to the brow bone.
- Using the same fluffy brush, apply the lightest shadow over the medium brown on the entire lid to give it a lighter, soft-focus effect.
- With the smaller, more tapered brush, focus the lightest shadow at the inner corners, blending the edge into the darker shadow on the lid.
- Again with the smaller brush, concentrate and blend the medium brown up into the crease and toward the brow bone for definition.
- We’re going to use the darkest shadow eyeshadow as liner for this look because of how soft it is; a liquid or gel liner would create too sharp and crisp of a line. When doing this, I recommend blowing on the brush before you apply the shadow so that it won’t crumble or create fallout. Using the tiny liner brush, create a very thin line following your top lashes. Begin in the inner corner and sweep outward, thickening the line in the middle as you would a liquid liner.
- Using the same dark shade, pull the shadow gently through the lower lash line. You don’t want a harsh line here, so make it light and soft: if you need to, tissue away excess.
- Before applying mascara, I recommend using a setting spray to seal your shadows in place, as powder liner tends to fade more than other formulas. Urban Decay has the absolutely fantastic All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray; close your eyes and spritz gently on your entire face.
- Carefully curl your lashes so as to not disturb the liner, then apply mascara to your liking. Nicole’s lashes are very defined, so I recommend holding the brush at the base of your lashes and wiggling it up in a slight side-to-side motion before sweeping outward. And there you have it!