How Lil Nas X Got His Glimmering Grunge Eye Makeup for the MTV VMAs


When Lil Nas X hit the red carpet at last night’s MTV VMAs, it was hard to know where to look first. The Montero rapper’s fanned-out headpiece and tiered skirt look by Harris Reed was an utter show-stopper. But above his bare chest, razor-sharp swoops of metallic blue eyeliner furthered the head-turning drama and marked his turn as YSL Beauty’s new brand ambassador.

“The Harris Reed look is like a piece of art, so we knew we wanted a pop of color against all the black,” says makeup artist Grace Pae of her and Lil Nas X’s shared vision for the graphic eye look. “The sequin trousers, along with him going shirtless, reminded me of all the famous rock ‘n’ rollers, so we decided on a grungy-type eyeliner look, but with a twist.”

Photo: Getty Images

Enter: Glitter, in a twinkling nod to glam rock. After tracing a spiked graphic eye design with YSL Beauty’s Crushliner in Noir, Pae misted a setting spray onto an eyeliner brush, dipped it into Sequin Crush Mono Eyeshadow in Bold Blue, and layered it over to iridescent effect. Subverting classic punk eyeliner with an unexpected megawatt finish? It’s a fitting move for Lil Nas X as rap’s reigning beauty rebel.



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