Dot Your Eyes

Dot Your Eyes

Award-winning make-up artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis is famed for creating beauty looks that are influenced by abstract art, so we asked her how to achieve the striking graphic eyes that we’re going dotty for

It’s often said that fortune favours the brave, and that’s no less true when it comes to trying out a new make-up look – a certain amount of fearlessness is required to step out of a beauty rut. In fact, for Nguyen-Grealis, it’s key. “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes,” she says. “Mark out the shape that you want to achieve in a light-coloured shadow. That way you can easily remove it and when you feel confident, go over the shape with an eyeliner.”

One of the main rules to observe when going for a bold look like this polka-dot eye, is to keep the rest of the face pared back, allowing the statement feature to really shine. “The secret is to have one strong focal point,” she says. Which means that the rest of the face should be kept as natural-looking as possible, with a base that’s sheer enough so that any freckles show through. “Opt for a tinted moisturiser as this will keep skin looking fresh and dewy, and use a concealer to cover imperfections.”

“Blush should be kept to a minimum,” advises Nguyen-Grealis. “A light dab of cream or watercolour blusher will help to achieve a natural flushed look, while precisely placed highlighter will give a beautifully natural glow.” Use a stipple brush to delicately apply highlighter to wherever the light hits the face: above the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow. It’s best to keep eyebrows looking as full and natural as possible, and if you’re not blessed with bushy brows, just fill in the gaps with a fibre eyebrow gel. The same approach applies to lips and lashes, “Opt for a multi-purpose balm like Egyptian Magic, which will hydrate and add a natural sheen. And if you must use a mascara, go for a clear one,” she says.

With your base flawless, how do you go about achieving that crucial statement eye? “When applying detail, be it dots or lines, the best results are achieved when you keep your eyes open and follow the natural shape of your lid,” advises Nguyen-Grealis. And when it comes to the dotty look from our shoot, “Place a dot at each corner of the eye, then, following the outline of the socket, map out your shape before filling in the gaps.” A gel or liquid eyeliner is the best bet to ensure that the dots don’t smudge and she recommends using different tools to create the different sizes of dots. “Use anything with a small, round tip,” she says. “A liquid pen, a cotton bud or the end of a make-up brush are all great options.”

key products

All Purpose Skin Cream by Egyptian Magic

Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter by BECCA

Cloud Paint by Glossier

Light Wonder Youth Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation SPF15 by Charlotte Tilbury

Fiber Brow Gel by Tom Ford

Brushstroke 24-Hour Liner by MAC

  • Photography: Nick Thomson

  • Words: Miriam Bouteba