I will never forget the summer of 2001, when I was just a teenager and spent all of my days lounging on the couch watching MTV. That summer, Aaliyah had just released a new album and music video for her single “We Need A Resolution.” I remember my first thoughts were that she was insanely beautiful and that her makeup was incredible. Her main makeup look through this video is a dark, vampy, mysterious smoky eye with extremely bright red glossy lips. It really is the definition of going all out, and it went perfectly with the vibe and beat of this song. Maybe this was the beginning of my love affair with makeup, but with today being exactly 15 years since Aaliyah passed away, I decided to recreate the look and show you how to do it yourself!
THE MUSE: Aaliyah in her “We Need A Resolution” music video. The makeup is a full on smoky eye with black, dark violet, and a hint of lilac and brown peeking from the eye socket. The lips are a very bright, true red with loads of shine and gloss on them. The rest of the makeup is kept light with the exception of the very sculpted, contoured cheekbones.
Let’s keep in mind, this was 2001, so getting high resolution photography stills from a music video is not the easiest to find. The look is all out glamorous and very seductive looking.
HOW TO GET THE LOOK:
- Use a lilac shade in the crease of your eye, blending it completely upward toward your brow-bone. I also mixed in a bit of an orange-based light brown shade with the lilac shade to create this transition shade. The two shades I used were Makeup Geek “Chickadee” and “Cupcake.” Also blend these two shades along your lower lash-line generously.
- Using a fine-tipped blending brush, apply a matte black to the crease of your eye only, working it back and forth and blending it only slightly upward. You can see in the photo of Aaliyah laying down, she has a darker shade right in the crease of her eyes. I used Makeup Geek “Corrupt” for this.
- Using a dark violet shade, apply it over your entire eyelid from lash-line to crease, and apply the same shade on your lower lash-line, blending it out really well to create a soft, smoky look. I used Makeup Geek “Drama Queen” for this, and I really like it because it looks like a flat dark grey in some lighting and purple in others. It has a super fine shimmer in a matte base, and Aaliyah had only a touch of shimmer on her eyelids.
- Using your favorite black eyeliner, line your upper and lower water-line. Apply mascara and add your favorite false lashes to really make the eyes pop. I used my favorite Ardell Demi Wispies.
The smoky eye has a lot of dimension to it thanks to the matte black crease and the pop of lilac and orange-brown that peeks out at the top of the socket.
For the lips, I used Urban Decay “F-Bomb” and then applied a clear gloss over top of it for extra shine. Aaliyah’s lips were beyond glossy in the video, so don’t be shy about adding that lip gloss!
Make sure you contour those cheekbones! Aaliyah had a gorgeous sculpted face naturally, but it was enhanced with some subtle contouring that really popped out in the look.
Aaliyah had the most gorgeous skin tone and I think after recreating her look, it’s proven that this makeup can look good on any skin tone and eye color.
This look is very dramatic and you’ll probably want to save it for nighttime, but I love recreating makeup looks that inspired me and have a story behind them. I will forever miss Aaliyah and her music, and I’ll always remember being that teenager, watching MTV on the couch, with a makeup dream.
[ALL PHOTOGRAPHY ON THIS SITE IS TAKEN BY REBECCA KAZIMIR. NO PHOTOGRAPHS ARE TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.]