Is Julia Fox’s dramatic winged eyeliner here to stay?
Prepare to go to the dark side
It took Julia Fox and her dramatic winged eyeliner to remind us that a showstopping beauty look can be served up on the front row as well as on the catwalk. While it’s not perhaps the best eyeliner for beginners, the Uncut Gems actress has set our pulses racing with her heavily-kohled looks during this year’s inaugural fashion shows.
The media frenzy started at Kenzo men’s autumn/winter 2022 show when Fox debuted her exaggerated winged eyeliner. Dreamt up by celebrity makeup artist Daniel Kolaric, using products exclusively from Pat McGrath Labs, the look featured a super long wing to the temples before sweeping under her bottom lashes and flooding her waterline with inky pigment.
Later that day, Fox switched up the look with a different shape (rumored to have been created by Kanye West) by extending the kohl above the brow for a completely blacked-out eye, fuelling a flurry of superhero-meets-Black Swan comparisons.
And just like that, dark, imperfect eye makeup is everywhere. Cut to the spring/summer 2022 haute couture shows in Paris, and Chanel’s Virginie Viard sent models down the catwalk with black-rimmed eyes as an antidote to the ethereal lightness of the collection. Some models sported sharp double-winged eyeliner; others smudgy, asymmetric smokey eyes. Meanwhile, backstage at Schiaparelli, McGrath coined the phrase “graphic winged glamour” to define her creation. All of which means one thing: graphic winged eyeliner is making a comeback.
How to recreate Julia Fox's dramatic eye makeup
Pat McGrath Labs has shared all the details for how to recreate Fox's statement eye makeup. Kolaric used the PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black, teamed with the Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner and FetishEyes Mascara.
But what of wearing black eye makeup in real life? The good news is, 2022’s interpretation of graphic eyeliner doesn't require the precision of a surgeon. A-list makeup artist Hannah Martin says: “Anything goes with graphic liner. But do sketch out the liner placement first, either with a shadow or a pencil eyeliner to make sure both eyes look even. Then go over the top with the liner of your choice.”
Makeup artist Liz Pugh, who trained under McGrath and has created catwalk looks for Isabel Marant, adds: “To keep the intensity, start by filling in the waterline and then work outwards with your chosen shape, be that a double-wing as seen at Chanel or a more simple single winged-out look. I always find it easier to work with a pencil rather than a liquid liner as it has a softer finish. A couple of my favorites are by Makeup By Mario and Victoria Beckham as these allow you some playtime before setting, and are great in the waterline as they don’t wash out.”
Time to take some of your best eyeliners out of the drawer...
Fox’s look is fierce by anyone’s standards. To make the look more wearable, Pugh recommends creating the look with black pencil and then applying an iridescent gray eyeshadow over the top. She says: “Something with a little sheen works well as it will give light reflection to the eye. Keep the brow area clean and avoid applying product too close to the bridge of the nose as this can draw the eyes closer together.” Pugh recommends keeping a Q-tip dipped in micellar water close to hand to tidy up the shape for a clean, modern look.
Keeping the skin fresh and the rest of your makeup pared back is key to pulling off graphic eyeliner. Martin explains: “Don’t be tempted to have too much going on. Graphic liner can be a real showstopper so there’s no need to pull attention away from it with eyeshadow or too bold a lip. The coolest graphic eyeliner looks tend to be paired with little else – a slick of mascara and a glossy lip are the perfect partners.” Pugh seconds this, adding: “Use a dewy foundation and opt for blush instead of contour powder to liven up the face.”
Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years + of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.
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