How to Wear Runway Make-up Trends – Part 3


The runway trend here is fairly simple in concept: the look of messy perfection. You can use any colour as the eyeshadow base or even go bare and just go straight for the gloss, but black or charcoal shadow seem to be most popular at the moment. Obviously, not a look for a clean-cut office environment, (unless you go “nude” and/or just gloss and keep everything else very clean, minimal, matte, and neutral), but easy and fairly quick to achieve for a night of entertainment and socializing.

Factors to consider:

  • Use any clear gloss or petroleum-based product, but beware of any products with ingredients like fragrance/parfum, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, menthol, camphor, etc., since you’re placing it on your eyelids and not only are your eyes going to suffer, the very delicate and thin skin there will as well. Be sparing with the gloss; place tiny smidgens of it strategically such as on the center of your upper lids and into the crease. This way, you’ll experience less travelling of the gloss in unintended areas, like well under your eyes, in your eyes, around your eyebrows or smudged around your temples and cheeks.


  • Again, if you have long eye-skimming fringe/bangs, or are the type of person who constantly blinks, squints, rubs your eyes or fidgets and touches your face a lot, this probably is not the look for you. Especially if you plan on having a few drinks while wearing this look and have a tendency to touch your eyes/face:  there’s messy perfection and then there’s a perfect mess. You may just end up looking like a 1930’s coal miner at the end of the night.


  • You will have to layer eyeshadow primer, powder-based eyeshadow (a single colour ideally; don’t overwhelm with more than one tone or colour family since it’s the glossy effect that is the star of this look), work the shadow around the lash line and blend up into the crease, no need to be perfect in applying it.  To me, it looks as though the make-up artist used a metallic bronze-coloured pencil along the model’s lower lash line, with a light touch of the charcoal shadow layered underneath it. It’s up to you if you want to go with heavier layers of eyeshadow on the upper eyelid for added drama and edginess, or whether or not to wrap the shadow underneath and along your lower lash line, as in the above pic. You can make it a more stark and simple look too by forgoing the blush/contour and highlighting under the eyes and browbone, keeping the brows brushed and lightly filled-in but not as dark, and going with a less pink and more neutral matte lip. I highly suggest not to apply the gloss anywhere but on your upper eyelids:  if you place it on your lower lash line you’ll have less control over where the gloss ends up.

glossy nude eyes

  • Glossy “nude” eyes:  the outer cut-creased golden brown shadow is kept almost gloss-free while the model’s upper eyelids are lightly glossed over from her lash line to her crease. It appears as though a slightly shimmery champagne-coloured translucent gloss was used instead of a plain clear gloss. A generous amount of foundation is kept softly matte with barely there highlighting down the centre of her face, on top of her cheekbones and in the cupid’s bow, and there’s a hint of contour and blush.  Coats of mascara on her upper and lower lashes and her lower water line is quietly highlighted from the inner third to the midpoint. For a more subtle and monochromatic look, skip the mascara on the lower lashes, pare down on the amount of foundation and setting powder, and instead of lined red glossy lips go unlined matte and neutral.


  • Caveats with this look:  it favours people with a fair amount of space to work with on their upper eyelids, from lash line to brow bone.  Those without a lot of space will probably find that the gloss will end up all over their lower lash line or smeared too high into the brows as the night (and make-up) wears on. Another thing to be aware of is that the lashes must be fairly robust with at least a couple of coats of mascara. If you curl your lashes, make sure that the lashes do not curl back and end up resting on your eyelids, or touching your eyelids but away from them–otherwise the gloss will end up breaking down your mascara and you’ll end up having black mascara lash marks smeared around your eyes. When curling lashes always do so before applying mascara. If you do choose to curl them after mascara application, make absolutely sure you do so only when the mascara is completely dry, since wet and tacky lashes adhering to the lash curler when you’ve disengaged and are pulling away can result in you accidentally ripping out your eyelashes.
FOR REFERENCE THIS MODEL IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE NOT WELL-SUITED TO THE GLOSSY EYESHADOW LOOK:  her deep-set eyes with little space from lash line to brow, long lashes that curl back and touch her upper eye area, and strong brow bone would end up in raccoon-like smeared chaos.  However, she just flipped the look and made her glossy black lips the focal point instead (her dark full brows and thick long lashes help balance out her features, without stealing her lips’ thunder).


  • You can make the glossy eyeshadow look glamourous and sultry, innocent and sweet, or rockin’ and rollin’, which is its greatest feature:  its versatility. It is also fairly easy for anyone of any skill level to execute and master.


If you noticed something in my blog posts up to this point, it’s that I like to advocate for less make-up and more simplicity, even with more complicated looks (not that any of the looks thus far have been complex). Trends like these, that focus on one area of the face (like the cheekbones, eyes, or the lips) help not only by cutting down on the amount of products and steps used to reproduce these looks–saving you money in the long-run, but also saving you in time spent trying to achieve them. That means more time to spend doing things you enjoy doing with people who care about you and love being around you–for being you, and not because you’re just another pretty face.


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