When Kristen Stewart hit the Cannes red carpet with her eyes dripping in pearls, we assumed the look (along with her killer Chanel wardrobe) was way out of our budget. But after talking to her makeup artist Beau Nelson, we might have just cracked the code on the coolest and cheapest makeup hack of prom and wedding season: pearl liner.
Nelson dreamed up the idea after seeing the star’s dress for the night: a strapless Chanel number with pearl detailing. It sparked an idea in Nelson: Why not carry the vibe to her makeup look, too? “It’s so important that the makeup be part of the overall look and not just makeup,” he says of finding inspiration in her gown.
He dug into his kit and pulled out some flat-back pearls that he had picked up in a jewelry supply store ages ago. “I couldn’t tell you the cost, but they were relatively inexpensive,” he says. Before sticking them to the upper lash line with Duo Eyelash Glue and tweezers, Nelson laid the groundwork with a blend of matte taupe shadows on her lid.
For the actual cat eye, Beau skipped liquid liner and instead swept concealer on her upper lashline. In order to keep the concealer from migrating, the makeup artist set it with a pearlized beige-white shadow, which he swept on with a wet brush to dial up the intensity. Finally, after sticking the flat-back pearls to her lid in a tidy line, he finished the look with clear white glitter shadow on the very inner corners — something that provides continuity and shine where the pearls end.
For those of us already thinking of duping the look for summer soirees, Nelson notes that a white or pearlescent beige pencil or liquid eyeliner could work in lieu of the concealer trick. As for getting our hands on the baubles themselves, packs of 1000 flat-back pearl beads can be found for about five bucks — which means you can afford to trick out a whole damn wedding party in the rad look.