Ten years ago, New Zealand born make-up artist Michael Ashton was introduced to an English singer named, Adele. They instantly clicked, played around with some liner - and well, the rest is history. Fast-forward a decade and the duo have created one of the most iconic and distinguished celebrity make-up looks known: Adele's winged eyeliner.
The Marc Jacobs Beauty ambassador and celebrity make-up artist was in Sydney recently for Adele's world tour. And in between getting the Grammy-award winning singer ready for her stadium-sized concerts, we sat down to chat all things make-up. Here's how it all went down:
How did you and Adele start working together?
We were introduced through a mutual friend just before her album 19 came out, and she needed her fringe trimmed. So I cut her fringe and she had an event to go to and she was like, "can you do eyeliner?" So I did her eyeliner and it got the seal of approval! Its funny cause at time I was just meeting a really nice girl where I did a little liner. Little did I know what was to come...
Did you ever think the eyeliner look was going to become so iconic?
I think it has just grown really organically. If you look at images from all those years ago there was eye liner there, but the liner has just become bigger and the flicks have become a little longer. But it was never that thought out - as her career evolved, the eye liner evolved!
Besides this signature look, is there another make-up look Adele loves?
When Adele's off duty she doesn't wear all of that much make-up. For instance, she was interviewed when she did her performance at Glastonbury, and it was a really nice interview where she has only a tiny bit of base on, her brows are groomed and she's just wearing lip balm. I mean, she's a very beautiful woman and she has fantastic skin and great bone structure. So even though she's known for this "iconic beauty look" - without make-up she's still very stunning.
What is your biggest advice to master the winged eye liner look?
The thing to remember is even when I look at the work I do it's never, ever perfect! But just remember to take your time, be patient with it, and to build it up. I personally start it in the middle, then do the inner corner and then do the flick last. I find that's the easiest way to work. The trick is to get it as close to the root of the lashes, build up the thickness and flick it up to a 45-degree angle. What a lot of the people tend to do is follow the downward shape of your eye at the end, but you need to remember to bring it up. Another great trick is if you get a cotton bud, dip it into some micellar water and drag it up at and you'll get that great 450-degree angle lift.
What are your must-have products in your kit?
Obviously eye liner! And several different formulations too; I love Marc Jacobs' highliner, the magic marc'er (it has a fantastic tip), and the new matte liner. I also love mixing up with browns and black tones to add dimension.
Who is you're your ultimate makeup icon?
Basically anyone from that golden era of Hollywood - your Laruen Bacall, your Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Hutton etc. I just love those classic beauties. And I find everything is referenced from them, and is just reinterpreted in a new way. They have such an element of mystery and femininity that I love.
What is your biggest makeup advice?
Be open to experimenting! It's so important to remember there are no rules. Try something new with your make-up, whether it's a new pop of colour on the lip or eyeliner; it can really change the way a woman sees herself or feels about herself. And it's also a very inexpensive way to update your look. I believe make-up is a way for a woman to present the best version of herself - and that's what I'm all about.