Chanel's Negative Space Smokey Eye Is The Mask-Friendly Make-Up You Need In 2021

George Driver
·2-min read
Photo credit: MARIE ROUGE
Photo credit: MARIE ROUGE


The setting is the imposing backdrop of the Château de Chenonceau, aka the 'Château des Dames' or 'Castle of Ladies', once frequented by the likes of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici.

The clothes are an eclectic mix of sequin checkerboard print 1960s mini skirts, floral knit dresses echoing the arts and crafts era, and moody all-black ensembles of feathers, floor length velvet coats and mullet hem party dresses.

The honoured attendees are Kristen Stewart and... Kristen Stewart.

And the make-up is yet another Lucia Pica game changer - a matte black cat eye with a signature Chanel update. Or, what we're dubbing, the 'Chateau smoke' - a rounded smudge of jet black eyeshadow with a retro Twiggy cut crease twist.

The event? None other than Chanel's bi-annual epic - the Metiers d'Art.

An ode to French artisan craftmanship, Chanel's commitment to technical brilliance transcended the tweed two pieces storming the runway to the beauty backstage. Referencing the past while creating an eye make-up look that felt very much appropriate for a mask-wearing present, was Chanel's Global Creative Make-Up and Colour Designer, Lucia Pica.

Pushing the possibility of what can constitute a classic cat eye, Pica saw the iconic make-up look through a 1960s futuristic lens - switching the signature sharp flick for a smokey sci-fi petal-shaped powder.

Photo credit: MARIE ROUGE
Photo credit: MARIE ROUGE

Where an entirely matte black eyelid might stray into grunge territory, Pica side-stepped it for a more elegant alternative, contouring models' eyes with a curvy negative space cut crease that hugged the outer corner and left the centre bare.

'The collection embodies the Renaissance spirit. It is a very modern interpretation of strong women owning their power,' Pica said of the Metiers d'Art make-up look. 'The make-up is graphic and strong, it exaggerates the eyes into a bigger, wider shape. The look emphasises black and matte on the eyes with clear shiny lips and a blurry matte skin.'

Photo credit: Chanel
Photo credit: Chanel

The key? Balancing boldness with wearability thanks to a diffused finish courtesy of a double-ended Chanel blending brush.

Paired with fashion week's favourite barely-there skin and sheer balmy lips, Pica's look was all about letting the eye make-up do the talking.

Note for your next Zoom meeting.

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