It should come as no surprise that Pretty Little Liars has earned the fanfare it has — after all, it contains the formula for cult success: a murder mystery, a cryptic villain who has yet to be revealed, and a group of four best friends with dark secrets that cannot be spilled at any cost. Not to mention what is arguably some of the best hair on TV. It’s sort of like Scream meets Jawbreaker meets a little bit of Mean Girls on a weekly basis.
At the helm of the phenomenon is the doe-eyed ingenue Lucy Hale, the 25-year-old actress who's amassed almost 7 million followers on Instagram, a beauty contract with Mark cosmetics, and a budding career as a country singer. (Her first album dropped last year.) A star has been born — and she’s gone viral.
Now that PLL is celebrating its fifth season finale (tonight at 8/7C on ABC Family), we thought it might be fun to show Lucy as she’s never been seen before. "I love to experiment with different looks and try a smoky eye" on the red carpet, she says. “But, I love getting the chance to try different things at photo shoots. It feels like playing dress-up."
The star’s longtime makeup artist, Kelsey Deenihan, reveled in this opportunity: “No bronze eyeshadows!” she said with a laugh. Instead, Deenihan and photographer Robin Black, the mad genius behind R29-fave blog Beauty Is Boring, decided on an all-black-everything theme, inspired by the runways. Graphic eyes (and even a bold lip) gave Lucy an edge we'd never seen before — quite fitting for the star of a murder mystery, don’t you think?
Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes All Over Face Palette
What A Line Max Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Shrunken Moto Jacket
Marta 3 Station Diamond and Trillion Ear Climber
First up was a shooting-star liner, inspired by the recent Anthony Vaccarello show. “Lucy normally rocks a classic smoky, so going with a bare lid and focusing on a statement below the waterline was a big change,” Deenihan explains.
Deenihan actually created the design using quick flicks of Mark’s liquid liner, but she recommends starting with an application of your favorite eye kohl at home. “Grab some Q-tips to define the shape, then layer it with your liquid liner to seal it all in place,” she says. Doing just one eye keeps it modern and cool, giving it a club kid vibe that carries it into edgier nighttime territory.
Next up? “A black-plum pout inspired by the Giles show, with soft, luminous spring skin,” Deenihan explains. “Lucy normally focuses on her eyes, so leaving them bare with a very dark lip is definitely uncharted territory for her."
First, Deenihan filled in the entire lip with a black eye pencil, then she layered that application with a slick of Chanel Rouge Allure Intense lipstick in Rouge Noir. “That adds a plum dimension and a hint of shine,” she explains. After, she sharpened the outline of the lips with a bit of concealer and a tiny brush. “Though a lip as black as this may be daunting to wear in real life, you can still achieve a dark pout using a deep burgundy pencil instead,” she adds.
Surprisingly, this was the look Lucy loved the most. “It was so far-fetched from what I’m used to,” the actress says. “I love being daring and trying things that scare me.” It's hard to beat black lipstick for that.
Finishing it all off was what Deenihan calls “Batgirl Liner,” a graphic shape inspired by last season’s Cushnie et Ochs show. “Usually, if Lucy does a liner look, it’s a slight flick or a flattering cat-eye. But, this time, I started with a cat-eye, and I didn’t stop…"
Essentially, Deenihan flattened out the top of the liner as she approached the crease and kept on layering while slightly tapering the corner upwards. “You need a product that has a great brush that allows you to outline and fill in,” she says. (She had Mark’s On The Edge liquid liner on hand.) “You can create the same look at home, but for a subtler effect, don’t bring the liner as high, and focus more on filling in your lids."
Or, you could just go for it — after all, isn’t that what’s so damn fun about this shoot? If Lucy can break her makeup mold, so can you. Oh, and as for that season finale tonight? "It's the craziest episode we've ever done, and there are a lot of big reveals that will make fans very happy," she says. We can't wait.