The eyeliner tricks behind Adele’s signature make-up look

Sonia Haria
·3-min read
dd - NBC/NBCUniversal
dd - NBC/NBCUniversal

Adele has made headlines the past few months with her dramatic weight loss, but over the past decade, one thing has always stayed the same - her signature winged black eyeliner. Of course, she stayed true to this look over the weekend, as the host of Saturday Night Live.

The make-up artist Anthony Nguyen applied Adele's make-up on Saturday, although her usual go-to make-up artist is Michael Ashton (who is based in New Zealand). We delved into our archives to bring together Ashton's complete guide to how he perfects Adele's spotlight-stealing look.

The 5 step skin prep

1. First you need a fresh canvas. Cleanse excess oils from the skin using Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, £10.80, on a cotton pad.

2. For eyes that look well rested, pat a small amount of Erno Laszlo Antioxidant Complex for Eyes, £83, underneath them with your finger and leave it to work its magic while you concentrate on the rest of the face.

3. To plump and even out your complexion, work a few drops of Decléor Aromessence Rose d’Orient Oil Serum, £27.95, into the skin in a lifting motion outwards from the centre of the face.

4. For flawless, cashmere-finish skin, start by massaging Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, £32, between the hands, then press into the skin to hydrate. Next, buff in your base using a foundation brush for a seamless application.

5. Add extra dimension to the face with Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick, £24, applying a sheer veil of product to the under-eye area, through the T-zone and across the high planes of the face, before creating depth with a bronzer dusted under the cheekbones and lightly around the perimeter of the hairline. To give your skin that beautiful lit-from-within glow, lightly apply a cream highlighter to the top of the cheekbones.

Adele's make-up on Saturday Night Live by make-up artist Anthony Nguyen

The 3 step eyeliner

1. The real heroes of Adele's go-to look are the feline eyeliner and dramatic, voluminous lashes. Use a black gel or pencil liner to create the initial shape – ideally choose one with a fine tip so you can get right into the base of the lash line and extend it out as you sketch the shape. You can do it in tiny strokes and build shape and thickness gradually.

Start at the inner corner of the eye and increase the width of liner as you extend towards the outer corner. Complete each part of the lining process on both eyes at the same time. So inner corner on the left, inner corner on the right. Mirroring what you’re doing will be easier than completing one eye and then the other.

2. Once you’re happy with the shape, go back over using Marc Jacobs BeautyMagic Marc'er Liquid Eyeliner, Blacquer, £23, to give a truly opaque flick. Turn the tip of the liquid eyeliner so that it sits horizontally on your lash line and gently press over the top of the gel pencil to create a fluid line.

3. For eyes that have a polished yet understated feel, build up lash density with a volumising mascara on both the top and bottom lashes. The trick when you’re applying is to start at the root, wiggle the mascara wand left to right and almost push it into the waterline. This creates a more seamless finish.