Eyes might be the window to the soul, but much like curtains on a window, it’s the make-up around the eyes that truly expresses what a person is all about: Thick kohl eyeliner oozes sex appeal, a delicate feline flick embodies easy femininity, and bold colors signal true individuality. It’s something these eye make-up legends must have known. Here’s a glance back at the looks they have made their own over the years.
Delicate beauty was Audrey Hepburn’s vibe. If she was going to wear much make-up, it would be a thin eyeliner close to the lash line, which made her lashes look fuller. She often wore a slight flick of eyeliner on her upper lids, making her eyes look bigger and more feminine. Perfect eyelashes were key to Hepburn’s look. The movie star allegedly used a pin to separate each lash, which isn’t a technique we would recommend trying at home.
Blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot’s eye make-up amped up her French sex appeal. Her look was far less exact than Hepburn’s, and her eyes were most often ringed with thick black liner. This made her peepers stand out against her pale skin and tousled blonde hair, particularly as she kept her make-up minimal elsewhere. The heavy-handed nature of her eyeliner fed into her public persona as a wild beauty.
While Bardot was the epitome of French glamour, Sophia Loren represented Italian sex appeal. Her eyes were similarly ringed with dark kohl, but there was a lot more precision to Loren’s look – no smudges to be seen. More liberal with make-up than, say, Hepburn, Loren’s signature look involved a small cat-eye and dark, thick lashes. For her, it was all about sophistication, femininity, and glamour.
No conversation about lashes is complete without mentioning Twiggy. The supermodel burst onto the scene in the 60s and came to define a certain type of beauty – waifish, delicate, and with crazy long and thick lashes, both top and bottom. Her lashes, which are still idolized today, came to represent her childlike, almost alien-like beauty.
Everything about Grace Jones is bold and unique, and her signature beauty look is no different. From the 80s right through to today, the singer has favored extreme eyeshadow, either in black or electric colors like vibrant purples or blues. She tends to cover her whole eyelid (no subtle swipe of eyeshadow here), going right up to the brows. In keeping with her quirky style, Jones often paints the eyeshadow into geometric shapes around her eye for an extra dash of drama.
Dita Von Teese
Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese channels Old-Hollywood glamour in her fashion and beauty, taking inspiration from pin-up girls like Betty Grable. Even though she harks back to a bygone era, Von Teese has very much managed to make the aesthetic her own. Her classic look involves a delicate line of liquid eyeliner following her top lashes and culminating in a thin flick. Then she tops it off with a prominent beauty spot nearby.
Nowadays, it’s rare for someone to have a signature look they stick to for every red carpet. Instead, celebrities tend to play around with different styles, changing it up as they go. One person who has kept her eye make-up look consistent is Angelina Jolie — her style is classic and involves a delicate smokey eye, often set off with a subtle metallic eyeshadow near her brow bone and sumptuous lashes.
Amy Winehouse’s signature make-up style couldn’t be further removed from Jolie’s. Instead of delicate and classic liquid liner, the late singer was known for a bold, thick cat-eye which travelled almost up to her brow bone. Always thick and sometimes smudged, this – along with a towering beehive – became Winehouse’s signature look, and was just as full of personality as she was.