Met Gala 2021: Makeup Artists Break Down The Best Looks

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The stars on the Met Gala steps interpreted the event’s theme, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” in countless ways, but one trend seemed to be a favorite among many of the star attendees: colorful and bold eye makeup.

Cara Delevingne rocked one of the most memorable makeup looks of the night, with a vibrant red eye. Makeup artist Clarke Crawford used a mixture of Dior products to create a distinct color that matched the political statement on the model’s corset: “Peg the patriarchy.” But her choice for a statement eye went beyond color matching.

“There’s a confidence and freedom in wearing a colorful eye,” Crawford explains. “It’s a bolder look that feels fresher than your usual smokey eye or a classic red lip.”

The English model and actress wasn’t alone in boasting a colorful eye on Monday night. From Emma Chamberlain’s popping neon to Barbie Ferreira’s bright purple, loud lids were used to enhance some of the best Met Gala looks. Below, celebrity makeup artists who worked the star-studded benefit explain how they achieved these vibrant eye looks — and how you can, too.

Cara Delevingne

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Crawford says her vision behind Delevingne’s bold look was a “twilight inspired anime.”

“I was into using reds on the eyes as I felt it would be less classic and a bit tougher with the cream suit,” she says. The vibrant red that she ultimately created came from a comprehensive mixture of Dior products, the base painted on with their Mono Couleur Couture in Trafalgar for a matte rouge color. On top, Crawford padded on more intense color with Dior’s Addict Lip Tattoo in Natural Red and the Dior Rouge Graphist in Crepescule (a limited-edition hue still available on their site). Finally, Crawford added a golden shimmer using the Copper Gold shade from Dior’s Backstage Glow Face Palette.

Barbie Ferreira

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“Barbie went for an America in the 20’s look,” Ferreira’s makeup artist Kali Kennedy says. “She’s a native New Yorker, which means the theme really hit home with the Long Island Jazz age.” Because Ferreira wanted a soft, cool tone color one the eye, they went for the Byredo Purple Stinger Colour Stick to carve out a soft crease, in a 20’s-inspired shape and packed Electric Love from the Byredo Sciomancer Palette on top. 

Amanda Gorman

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To create a shimmery base before applying the gemstones, makeup artist Jenn Simkin applied Gorman’s metallic shadows from two Estée Lauder Eye Shadow Palettes: Dark Ego and Pink Mink, both from the company’s Eye Sculpting collection. “This was to give the sparkle dimension without distracting with too much glitter,” says Simkin. “I love the reflection in these shadows, they caught the light without distracting from the stones.”

Next, she gave her a subtle winged eye using Estée Lauder Little Black Liner, featuring an extremely fine marker tip for precise application (“not to distract but to subtly enhance,” she says) and finished her eye with Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara.

Emma Chamberlain

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“The focus of Emma’s makeup are her gorgeous eyes,” says Chamberlain’s longtime makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan about the star vlogger’s bright green lids. She started by sweeping the Byredo Colour Stick in La Scène across the lid, and slightly above the crease, while adding depth and drama with the Byredo Colour Stick in Dravite on the inner and outer lids.

The real pop of color came with Byredo Colour Stick in Kumato, which she placed in the center of the lid,  doubled with two more green eyeshadows from Byredo’s color palette: Karma and Manila. For the pop of neon, she went with Syclla from Byredo’s Syren Palette.

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