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The Glossy Eye

Kay Montano on the return of glossy eyelids.
The Glossy Eye

There weren't many accessible beauty looks during the years that grunge ruled-it was the era of ultra-dark wine lips and Jean Harlow-thin brows-but there was one relatively wearable trend we adored: glossy lids. Ushered in, somewhat unintentionally, by the stripped-down Kate Moss campaigns of the decade, the look was actually born in the '20s, when "movie stars wore Vaseline on their lids to create a glamorous-looking shine," says Kay Montano, one of the artists responsible for reviving the look in the early '90s. The legendary makeup artist worked with Moss and Steven Meisel on Calvin Klein's Obsession campaign and says, "We had no name for what we did; the media gave that period a title." "I didn't use powder for years during that time, skin was always dewy and would be called 'raw-looking' by today's beige, Photoshopped standards," Montano continues. Vaseline wouldn't fly with the supermodels of the '90s, though Montano says she used something equally slick: Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream ($19.50). "I did it on every shoot for years, on every hot editorial girl from Amber Valletta and Shalom Harlow to Carolyn Murphy and Ms. Moss."

Though the Arden cream looks great, Montano suggests looking elsewhere to replicate the look in real life. M.A.C.Eyeshadow ($15) in Satin Taupe "is one of the best eye shadows ever," she says. Armani's celebrity makeup artist, Tim Quinn, uses the brand's Skin Lacquer #515 ($38) for a sheer gloss, or layers it over black shadow or liner for a glassy version of classic smoky shadow. EF Studio makes an easy-to-mix clear gloss,Brillianeyes ($18), and Dr. Lipp's Original Nipple Balm for Lips ($14.50) is a 100% all-natural balm and gloss that can be used anywhere your skin's in need of hydration-even your eyelids.

When attempting glossy lids, keep your t-zone as matte as possible and load up on waterproof mascara (to avoid smudging). If you're feeling nostalgic, add Clinique's Black Honey Lipstick ($15) and a pair of Doc Martens.

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