You Know Those Makeup Trends You’re Hesitant to Wear? We Tried 5

Over the years, I’ve watched as the makeup routines of everyone around me have diminished and settled into almost nothing. One friend thinks lipstick just doesn’t work on her; another friend says eyeliner makes her look like a raccoon…everyone seems to have a growing list of rules. Knowing what works certainly seems to hold increasing value with age, but what if those rules are outdated? What if they’re remnants of our past lives when the tools sucked, tutorials weren’t aplenty and our faces hadn’t quite grown into themselves?

I’ve always been a little jealous of the beauty trial-and-error that comes with the territory of red-carpet celebrity. In an attempt to mimic that experience for five members of team MR (for the second time), I brought in New York-based editorial and celebrity makeup artist Alice Lane (you can click through her incredible portfolio here) to professionally break their makeup rules. Read on to see how it went and how it felt.


What makeup look did you try?
Smoky eyes

Who do you associate this look with?
I suppose supermodels and fancy actresses of the early 2000s? Smoky eyes were really popular around the time I was starting to wear makeup, and they always looked so great on Heidi Klum and Katie Holmes, but when I so much as dabbed a layer of eyeshadow across my lids, I looked like I was recovering from an altercation that left with me with two black eyes.

Why have you avoided wearing smoky eyes?
See previous anecdote about imaginary altercations.

How did you feel before and while getting it done?
I felt no particular way before getting it done. Certainly not scared (makeup is as easy to remove as it is to put on, which is what makes it so great), but I was excited to learn if there was a way I could participate in a trend I had heretofore eliminated myself from. During treatment, I felt like an alien growing new eyeballs, which apparently is normal when your eyelids are being prodded with various pencils and brushes.

How did it feel? Would you wear it in the future?
I expected to look like a raccoon, or like a person whose eyebrows start in her eyelid creases (this has always been the real problem with eyeshadow and me — my brows are thick as fuq), but I felt kind of sexy. Maybe “sexy” isn’t the right word, but it feels right because I looked completely unlike myself and sexy is never a word I use to describe any single permutation of how I feel. My eyes kind of popped and looked lighter, and I felt like the cool girl who shopped at Intermix that I aspired to be when I was a freshman in high school. But would I do it again? No. I’m 28 now and not trying to feel like an insecure 15-year-old.

Alice used NARS Velvet Liner in Black Moon, MAC Pencil Liner in Coffee and NARS Shadow Duo in Brumes on Leandra.


What makeup look did you try?
Drawn-on freckles

Who do you associate this look with?
Annie, Emma Stone, Lindsey Lohan. Fake freckles peaked a couple years ago in the makeup world and then showed up recently on Selena Gomez in her “Fetish” music video; people were talking about it.

Why have you avoided wearing drawn-on freckles?
I didn’t think that it would look natural and that I’d look a little clownish.

How did you feel while getting it done?
I loved hearing Alice’s approach to drawing freckles. She explained how the consistency of a brow pencil is better than eyeliner or other tools, to think about where the sun would hit my face and to be a little haphazard with placement.

How did it feel? Would you wear it in the future?
I was really surprised with how it turned out. It looked more subtle and natural-looking that I thought it would have. I was prepared to immediately wash my face after, but I enjoyed the different look for the rest of the day. I probably wouldn’t wear it in the future, but only because it’s an extra step to my make-up routine and I like to keep it simple.

Alice used Senna Sketch-A-Brow Brow Pencil in Light Taupe on Nikki.


What makeup look did you try?
Peachy eyes

Who do you associate this look with?
I keep seeing it pop up on Instagram and got ASMR tingles from a tutorial video of someone doing it. I also associate it with the red carpet or beauty editorials — rarely in real life.

Why have you avoided wearing peachy eyes?
I assumed I couldn’t possibly wear it myself. It’s somewhat clownish unless it is really intentional and well-done. It seems like it’s hard to do on your own, and that if I tried, I’d look like I’d been rubbing the hell out of my eyes instead.

How did you feel before and while getting it done?
I haven’t worn much makeup recently so I was excited to try something new. Actually getting my makeup done felt like heaven. Her gentle touch was the most soothing pleasure. I felt like a celebrity.

How did it feel? Would you wear it in the future?
I think I looked REALLY cool. I wore a pink striped shirt to make it extra clash-y. I disagree with my original stance; it’s a cool look!

Alice used Senna Cosmetics Slipcover Palette, Vivid Matte Blush and Lip on Elizabeth


What makeup look did you try?
Black lipstick

Who do you associate this look with?
Goths, Lorde, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna (<3)

Why have you avoided wearing black lipstick?
I’m down with lipstick and prefer darker shades of it, but once a shade goes deeper than a dark plum, alarm bells start to go off. Black lipstick seems like A LOT — like you really have to commit to it, and a little part of me always kind of regrets putting on a statement lip halfway through the application process.

How did you feel before and while getting it done?
The NARS liquid lipstick (aptly named “Paint it Black”) Alice applied felt positively heavenly. So smooth, so soft. But that Bob Ross bliss was short-lived. It was quickly replaced with a sense of foreboding because I couldn’t stop thinking about how much BLACK LIPSTICK was probably making its way onto my teeth. The horror.

How did it feel? Would you wear it in the future?
Looking in the mirror was exactly as alarming as I had expected. Louisiana put it best when she asked if I felt intimidated by myself. I was a little intimidated by myself, but simultaneously impressed at how easy it now was to intimidate someone (even if that someone was also me). I probably won’t add a black lipstick to my collection any time soon, but we’ll see. If people on subway platforms keep talking to me when I have headphones on, I may start using black lipstick to send a clearer message. 🙂

Alice used NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Paint It Black on Erica.


What makeup look did you try?

Who do you associate this look with?
The Kardashians

Why have you avoided contouring?
I personally wear very little makeup (a light skin tint at most), even at night, partly because I like a more natural look but also because I’d rather wear no makeup at all than wear makeup that suggests I’m trying to (unskillfully) alter my appearance. Contouring in particular is a risky category of makeup because I’ve witnessed it go wrong so many times. It usually comes off as “too much,” and I actually think it tends to mask what makes a face beautiful in the first place — its nuances and asymmetries.

How did you feel before and while getting it done?
I was pretty excited to get it done because I was so pleasantly surprised at the results of my “hair hang-up” transformation. During, it felt wonderful (thanks, ASMR), and there weren’t any mirrors nearby so it was fun to be kept completely in the dark about what it looked like until the end.

How did it feel? Would you wear it in the future?
It looked completely different from what I typically think of as “contouring.” It still felt like MY face, but more glam. I really liked it, especially the white liner around my eyes. I would definitely wear it again, in the right setting.

Alice used Bobbie Brown Skin Foundation Stick, NARS Eye Pencil in Mambo, Glossier Haloscope in Moon Stone, Kevyn Aucoin The Curling Mascara, Senna Cosmetics Cream to Powder Blush in Poppy, Senna Cosmetics Face Sculpting Kit, Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Retoucher’ Conceal & Treat Stick Wand, Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz on Harling.

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. 

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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