Saturday, April 26, 2014

Experiment of the Week: Pointillist, Seurat-Inspired, "Speckled" Eyes

Some of you may have seen the speckled cat eyes that have been making the rounds on beauty blogs & Instagrams sparked by Jkissa's tutorial, which I love. I decided to take that a step further and create a full-on pointillist-inspired eye look based the colors in Seurat's 1884-6 painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. I had so much fun doing this look; even though the basic technique is super simple (I think we can all make dots with liquid liner!) the approach I took was to create an overall sense of light on my lids with whites, yellow and greens and then create shadow in my crease with blues and purples, so playing with colors in that way was really the trick.

Photo source:
I don't have as big a collection of colorful liquid liners as I'd like, so I grabbed several of my gel liners and jumbo pencils to create the shades I wanted. Once I mixed the colors on a small palette (I just used a leftover mini plastic palette and spatula from a Jolen bleaching kit) I used pointed liner brushes to apply the dots. The dots applied in this way came out bigger and less neat than the liquid liner dots, so I applied the cream dots first and the liquid second so that the overall effect would look more polished. I also used the bright blue Sephora liner on both the lid and the crease so that the overall look would be more unified.

As a random side note, when I was reading about Seurat's technique as a scientific approach opposing the loose, Expressionistic style popular at the time, I couldn't help but think of how similar the pointillist approach is to pixels on a computer screen; the basic idea of tiny dots of color forming an overall impression of solid form is pretty much the same in both cases. What is it about dots, man?

Also, this is the first time I'm trying to do a tutorial at night and my lighting setup is still pretty DIY; sorry for the odd face shadow or blown-out highlight!

Products Used:
  • Revlon Photo-Ready BB Cream in Light 
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 
  • MAC Casual Color in A14 For Your Amusement 
  • NYX's Powder Blush in Taupe 
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in ECP03 Taupe/Ash 
  • Smashbox The Master Class Palette: Bare, Linen & Granite 
  • Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black 
  • Stila's Smudge Stick Waterproof Liner in Fuschia & Black 
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk 
  • Sephora Long-lasting Eyeliner in Fancy Violet & Fancy Blue (Ooh la la!) 
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Siren & Retrograde (great names, right?) 
  • Ben Nye Cream Colors in Yellow 
  • NYX Studio Liquid Liner in SLL 105 Extreme Green 
  • NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Heat 
  • Makeup Forever Smoky Lash in Dark Blue no. 5 
  • e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Natural

I've already applied BB cream, concealer, cream blush, highlighting and contouring (HAC) and brows. I've already got tutorials up for brows & HAC, but more of the Esssentials are in the works! Stay 'tooned.

I'm starting the eyes by gently defining my crease with gray shadow, since I'm using lighter dots on my lid and darker dots in the crease. This will act as my guide!

This is the DIY palette I mentioned with my Sephora pointed liner brush. Clockwise from top is the Stila liner in turquoise, NYX milk, Ben Nye cream color and NARS jumbo pencil. Stila is the only one that wasn't really creamy enough for this technique, I didn't end up using that.

Then, letting the dotting party begin! Unlike the speckled liner looks, the dotting here isn't random at all. So, just to sum up the approach for my lids: I'm focusing the lightest colors (white, light yellow, light green) towards the inner corner and fading them to the outer corner. Meanwhile I'll be starting the darker colors (forest green, blue) on the outer corner and fading them in towards the center. This just takes time; keep looking at how you're doing in the mirror and remember, you can always go back and add more dots! 

Now starting to add the green...

 The purple dots in the crease, and blue dots all long the crease and the outer half of my lids.

I decided to add some pinks on the lower lashline to draw in the colors of the people's clothing in Seurat's masterpiece. I mixed NYX milk with Stila's liner in fuschia to create these colors, and then added purple dots on top for more of a shaded effect. 

Dots are done! I added a few black dots in the crease as well, just for some more shadow there.

I then tightlined my upper and lower lashlines with black and added navy mascara on upper & lower lashes for definition. Aaaand that one little rebel hair at the tail of my brow is driving me crazy...

Kept the lips simple with a rosy nude matte shade from e.l.f.

This was so much fun; I couldn't bring myself remove this look for a few hours! I was mesmerized by this effect and hope you guys can have some fun with it too. Thanks for reading!


  1. Thank you so much for the follow.
    Follow you back on bloglovin.
    Btw,I'm also on Instagram,maybe you like my account?
    Lovely greets from germany ;-)

    1. Sure! My Instagram name is @ledbythemoonlight; what's yours?
      Greetings from NYC :)

  2. Ah I love this! I love how you marry art to your makeup! Maybe try a Van Gough or Mondrian? With Mondrian or Picasso you could try doing some cool 'art liner'? Oh and Kandisky would be another good one with all his expressive use of color :)

    1. Thank you so much! Yea, I've definitely got a to-do list for artists (not in a raunchy way!). I want to do Klimt's "The Kiss" so I can play with gold leaf :O :D

  3. Wow! This is amazing. I love the way you recreate the essence of the paintings! Totally digging this!! I wouldn't be able to stop looking at either! I would love to see a "The Kiss" inspired look!

    i can’t afford my lifestyle

  4. "The Kiss" is absolutely my summer goal! I want to get some gold leaf & gold pigment, and I feel like it could be bo$$

  5. This look is so killer. I absolutely love your interpretations of all the artists you've done but this one is my favorite thus far. Pointillism and Impressionism don't feel very avante garde to viewers these days but they look that way on your eyes. Love it.

    1. That's such nice feedback, thanks so much! That's a goal of mine with these artistic makeup looks: to bring the excitement of these incredible masterpieces to life, and hopefully to a broader audience.