“The looks I’ve been seeing have been really groundbreaking,” says Terrell Mullin, makeup artist to Cynthia Erivo. “I think people were so bored of being in the house that once they got a chance to actually do someone’s makeup for a carpet, it was like, ‘Let’s go balls to the wall.’ People are really taking chances and pushing the envelope this season when it comes to makeup.”
To complement Erivo’s Valentino Globes look, which Mullin describes as “a modern-day Jane Jetson,” he lined her eyes with liquid purple eye shadow. “Because she was in the neon-green dress with the beige gloves, I decided to play it up with some more color,” he says.
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For those looking to try a colorful liner, Mullin recommends Cushion Color by Danessa Myricks. “She’s an African-American makeup artist whose line has beautiful color pigments.”
Mullin has also been accentuating lashes. “With Cynthia, we’ve been really big on trying different eyelashes and eyelash shapes — a wispy lash, or like at the Critics’ Choice Awards last year, a few bottom lashes.”
Because of Erivo’s short hair, Mullin doesn’t have to worry about fighting against anything. “She’s normally a buzz-cut blonde, so we have more room to play when it comes to using a heavier lash and giving it a real Betty Boop feel.”
In addition to colorful liners, artists are using striking color on the whole eye area. When makeup artist Fiona Stiles saw Lily Collins’ patterned Globes gown, she envisioned a character with a strong face of makeup.
“The Saint Laurent dress had a definite ’70s vibe,” she says. “I felt like the woman who would wear it would have had a late dinner at Mr. Chow’s and then sped downtown to SoHo for an art opening. She was cultured, but also loved to take a few risks. Lily loves to play with looks and she’s always glam.”
Her advice on creating a colorful eye look is to limit the colors. “The trick is to keep it to two tones,” says Stiles, who used Lancôme Color Design in emerald and purple hues. “Use a darker version of the tone on the lid to add depth. Also, I love loads of mascara.”
For the Critics’ Choice Awards, Julia Garner’s makeup artist Hung Vanngo used Chanel’s Les 4 Ombres 312 shadow palette to create a bright eye look that matched the blue in her Christopher John Rogers sweater dress.
“At first, I thought maybe since the dress is colorful, I should keep the face really soft and natural,” Vanngo says. “But at the last minute, I decided to go with bold-color eyes.”
When using brightly colored shadow, Vanngo advises to keep the skin looking fresh. “Try softer blush and lips, so the makeup doesn’t look too heavy. Another tip would be having the color mainly on the upper lids and using a softer shade to blend out the edges.”
While awards events are a prime occasion for a bold red lip, Vanngo added a sheen to Garner’s Globes look. “Julia wore a Prada black-and-cream dress, so I kept the shadow pretty soft with a muddy black liner and made the main focus the lip color. Instead of matte or creamy, I chose to use a glossy texture. I think she looks fresh and youthful.”
For a high-shine finish, Vanngo loves Chanel’s new Rouge Coco Bloom lipstick: “It’s a glossy texture but very pigmented, unlike traditional lip gloss.” He recommends not applying gloss too close to lip corners. “The glossy texture will naturally move to that area when you talk and smile, so it’s best to avoid having too much product.”
Vanngo believes artists tend to go with cleaner makeup for awards events, “because it’s hard to predict the lighting.” However, he’s noticed artists embracing color. “They seem to be more open to different looks instead of just classic looks.”
At the Oscars, Mullin hopes to see Old Hollywood glamour. “That’s my favorite era, the Diahann Carroll and Dorothy Dandridge days, when the women really took chances,” he says. “I’m a makeup person who likes to see makeup. I want to see you do something that the average person can’t do.”