strat investigates

What Was the Eyeliner on the Queer Eye Guys?

Antoni’s grunge-inspired eyeliner. Photo: Courtesy Netflix

Perhaps, while watching episode five of the second season of Queer Eye, in which the Fab Five worked with their first trans makeover subject Skyler, you noticed the black eye makeup sported not just by design expert Bobby but also food expert Antoni. And perhaps, like us, you thought, That looks kind of fun. We wanted the lowdown on the guyliner, so we called Queer Eye groomer and Atlanta-based makeup artist Marina Fisher Soto for the story behind the look — and how to do it at home.

Bobby’s more subdued eyeliner. Photo: Courtesy Netflix

“I don’t remember how the conversation started, but the idea was that since Skyler was the subject, we wanted to play with their looks a little bit more this episode. So with Antoni, the idea was to do a Kurt Cobain/River Phoenix ’90s grunge look, and then after we did that, Bobby came in and said he wanted it, too. The first thing I did was put moisturizer on the guys because when you put makeup on without moisturizer, it tends to cake up. This is the one I use because it’s light and you don’t need that much in this Georgia heat.”

“Next is just a bit of concealer. You basically pat on a tiny dot with your middle or ring finger under your eye until it blends in. The concealer part is pretty necessary so that you get the contrast with the actual eyeliner — Antoni especially needs it because he has rather dark under eyes. I used the N medium deep on him and the P medium on Bobby.”

“Then what you’ll want to do is groom the eyebrow, which gives them some color, so they’re just more prominent. This part isn’t absolutely necessary, but since Bobby’s eyebrows are so light — almost blonde — it just needs a bit more emphasis, so the eyeliner doesn’t look so harsh on its own.”

“Now comes the actual eyeliner part. You take the pencil and lightly draw along on the waterline, which is the ‘wet’ part of your eyelids right where they meet your eye (top and bottom). For something a bit more dramatic, you could also draw just underneath your lashes at the bottom of your eyes. I like using the Urban Decay 24/7 glider because it doesn’t get dry, and it smudges really nicely.”

“The last thing is smudging, which isn’t totally essential — in fact, with Bobby, we didn’t smudge it at all because it would’ve been too much — but if you really want your eyes to pop like Antoni’s, then you can go in with the brush just along where you drew under your lashes and start smudging it downward, maybe about a half-centimeter.”

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What Was the Eyeliner on the Queer Eye Guys?