Collins' pro explains exactly how to score the look the actress wore to the Vanity Fair Oscars party

By Jackie Fields
March 02, 2017 11:59 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

When it comes to fashion-forward makeup ideas, Lily Collins gives us all the feels. Her latest makeup triumph: negative space eyeliner, which she put on display at an Oscar after-party. Lucky for us, Collins’ pro Fiona Stiles answered all our pressing questions about the crazy-cool look, which she has us convinced we can re-create with the right tools and a can-do attitude. Read on for her killer tricks.

“Lily is such a classic beauty with these incredible gamine features that merge so beautifully with that Old Hollywood glamour aesthetic — but in real life she’s a really modern girl who likes to take chances with her red carpet looks,” says Stiles of her client, a Lancôme spokeswoman.

John Shearer/Getty

Working with the avant-garde actress affords Stiles the opportunity “to approach her looks differently than any other client I’ve ever had,” she says. “So when I saw the dress a week or so before the Vanity Fair party, I understood that it’s decidedly art deco vibe would be supportive of a look with a modern edge to it.”

Inspired by a “desire to find a way to give her look a slightly futuristic edge,” Stiles created this cat eye, which she did not fill in. “I kind of love the subversive blink and you’ll miss it element to the look. Like, if you aren’t really paying attention, and looking her in the eyes when you’re talking to her, you’ll miss the whole point.”

The modern look called for a deep berry rather than a traditional lip.”That made it feel a little noir and extra glamorous,” says Stiles, who fleshed out the look with Collins’ hairstylist Gregory Russell before pitching the idea to the star. “It’s all really wonderfully collaborative.”

Of course Collins adored the look. “She said it was maybe her favorite look ever, which just makes my heart feel so full and proud,” says Stiles, who aims to please. “Ultimately the goal is to make your client feel incredible, strong, beautiful, invincible and wildly confident. So when I hear feedback like that I feel really good about my job.” Below, Stiles reveals her goof-proof method for achieving the look.

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

1. Get steady… “Looks like this are exactly why I don’t drink coffee,” Stiles says. In addition to a steady hand, “you’ll need a good magnifying mirror and a table or surface to rest your elbow on.”

2. Sketch it out… Even glam gurus like to get an outline down first. Stiles starts this look “by lightly sketching out the shape with a very freshly sharpened traditional black kohl eyeliner. Then I went over it with a liquid liner.” Stiles relied on this one-of-a-kind wand, but if you’re on a budget, try this and this drugstore buy.

3. Clean it up… Stiles stocks up on “itty bitty” cotton buds from My Kit Co. for moments like this. “I dip them in BioDerma then use them to get the lines even and sharp.” For an even more precise line, “I use a tiny brush with a touch of concealer on it to sharpen the liner further.”

4. Take your time… Even pros slow it down when they need to. This liner took Stiles “about 15 minutes” — so so don’t flip out when your negative space winged look clocks in at close to a half hour the first time.

5. Be a perfectionist to a point… “Liquid liner can smell your fear,” warns Stiles, who admits it’s okay if your line isn’t exactly parallel. “They will never ever be perfectly even, I always have one side that is a touch different than the other. But I embrace the imperfections — as long as I’m the only one who can pick them out!”

What do you think of Lily’s fashion-forward eyeliner? Share below!