Michael Ashton, the man behind Adele’s signature eyeliner, recently sat down with Lisa Eldridge to give a step-by-step guide to Adele’s makeup look. He delivered a few helpful beauty nuggets, including the fact that a fan brush is responsible for Adele’s perfectly painted lashes (who knew?). Read below for the most helpful tricks from his makeup tutorial.
1. Gel is key. Ashton draws Adele’s trademark winged eye with Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel liner. Using a MAC eyeliner brush, he starts by swirling a small amount of the gel onto the back of his hand so the formula dries slightly and becomes easier to draw on skin. Tracing from the middle of the upper lash line and flicking upward to a 45-degree angle, he begins the line and swoops down to the inner corner. Ashton traces over this line a few times for a super-black finish.
2. Black lash glue is better than clear. Who knew? Instead of the clear false-eyelash glue lauded by many a makeup artist, Ashton prefers Duo’s black version, which dries to a matte black that seamlessly blends into the lash line.
3. For bottom lashes, a fan brush is essential. Using an old tube of Diorshow (because “older [mascara] tends to dry out a bit more, and I find that I can get the product on faster with a thicker application,” says Ashton), he smudges mascara with a tiny fan brush onto bottom lashes. This gives the illusion of eyeliner and thickens bottom lashes in one fell swoop.
4. Brush brows with a clear gel first, and follow with a brow pencil. This backward approach to brows actually makes sense. The gel not only constructs the initial shape of the brows, but the thin layer of product lends to a textured grip for the brow pencil to better adhere in the following step. He then sets brows with a matte eye shadow using a flat brush for a soft, not scary, brow look.
5. Two foundation brushes are better than one. The first brush should have shorter bristles to buff the foundation into skin, like Cover FX’s Cream Foundation Brush. The second, used after the initial layer of foundation is thoroughly blended, should have a head with fewer bristles for an airbrushed finish.