I'm Twice Lorde's Age, But I'm Going To Try Her 'Royals' Video Look Anyway

Voluminous curls and graphic black eye makeup are ageless. I hope.
Publish date:
November 4, 2013
blushes, eyeliners, eyeshadows, make, curling irons, Revlon, hair, makeup, curly hair, Lorde, music, music videos

What were you doing the week you turned 17? I was a student at Spanish River High School (go Sharks or something) in Boca Raton, spending most of my afternoons rehearsing Sweet Charity's "Baby, Dream Your Dream" with my friend Lindsay for our Duet Musical entry at the Florida State Thespian Competition. We were pretty cool, as you might have guessed.

Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor--stage name Lorde--turns 17 this week, which is also the 17th week her song "Royals" has been on the Billboard Hot 100; the fifth that it's been number one. There's a decent chance you've heard it. (There's also a decent chance you didn't have as awesome a 17th-birthday week, but it's all about perspective, right?)

I first heard "Royals" while watching VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown on a Saturday morning a few weekends ago. I liked the song pretty much instantly; not pay-for-it-on-iTunes instantly, but it didn't make me want to change the channel or anything. I dug the harmonies and the beat.

But I was definitely swayed to keep watching by her hair and makeup: deeply parted curls, pale lips and cheeks, bold brows, and graphic, black eye makeup that was somehow sharp and soft at the same time.

It wasn't until a few days later that I learned she's 16. That didn't deter me from wanting to try the look, however, even though I'm 17-and-a-half years older than her. I honestly couldn't tell how old she was before finding that out--I assumed mid-20s--so I took that as a sign that her hair and makeup in the "Royals" video is ageless.

I guess we'll find out.


You guys were unexpectedly gushy with compliments about how I curled my hair for my Zuul look, so I did basically the same thing here.

After moussing and blow-drying my hair to give it as much volume as possible, I used a 1/2-inch-barrel curling iron as a wand (wrapping my hair around the outside of the clamp), curling relatively small sections at a time to mimic a naturally curly look. I ran my fingers through some of it so it didn't look too Shirley-Temple-y.

I then deeply parted my hair in the opposite direction I normally do.


I started out with BB cream all over my face and concealer in the usual areas, followed by a dusting of mattifying translucent powder. Her skin is very uniform and fair, and also that of a teenager who doesn't have a single zit. Oof.

I followed this with a pale pink blush, Essence Silky Touch Blush in Sweetheart, on the fullest part of my cheeks.

Lorde has bold, angular brows that manage to still look soft because of their light brown color. I used a light brown brow powder to fill mine in, bring them a little closer together, and emphasize the angles.

The eyes are obviously the focus of this look, which scares the hell out of me. Anything requiring a steady hand to nail a look scares the hell out of me. (This is why I'm a beauty editor and not a makeup artist, among other things.) But I'm a trooper. You're a trooper, too. Troop with me.

I started with eyeshadow primer, followed by a shadow that almost matches my skin color, and applied it from lashes to brows.

Her lids are just a teensy bit light-reflective, so I added a touch of an off-white pearlescent shade to my lids, just up to the crease; I also traced narrowly along the bottom edge of my brows as a highlight. Don't throw it across the room when you're done with this part--we'll be using it again.

This is where things get slightly terrifying: the eyeliner.

Applying Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Gel Eyeliner in Stay Onyx (black, y'all) with a stiff angled brush, I lined my top lash line as if this were going to be a normal, everyday non-music-video look. I was careful to not overload the brush--heavy-handedness and too much product are my Achilles heels.

With the aid of a Post-it note to help me create a straighter line, I then I drew what I can only describe as a SUPERFLICK, starting from the outer corner of my upper lid and diagonally in the direction of the end of my eyebrow. I stopped just above where my natural crease starts.

I should note, Lorde has these gigantic blue eyes; her eyeballs are literally much larger than mine, so there's more space between her lash line and crease, creating a bigger canvas. I suggest following your natural features as a guide as opposed to trying to make the eyeliner shape take up as much space on your face as it does on hers.

Next, creating an angle, I drew a little more liner ever so slightly above my crease, about a third of the way inward.

At this point, we're going to tear a hole in the space-time continuum by going back to eyeshadow, which feels super-foreign to me.

After giving the gel liner a chance to set, I took my eyebrow brush and patted it in matte black eyeshadow--specifically Darkness from Make's New Medieval Palette. I hope I remember to wash the brush, or I will have Groucho Marx brows tomorrow. I patted it lightly in the the angle I'd created with the liner.

Then, I blended the black shadow inward with a stout little eyeshadow brush. Remember the off-white pearlescent shadow? I also layered a bit on top of the black to soften it.

Next, I lined my water line with the gel liner, added Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and used what was remaining on the eyebrow brush to lightly line my bottom lid with black shadow.

The final step was putting a super-pale lip color, Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee, on my pout. I'm not using "pout" as a synonym for lips--Jane would kill me. I am literally pouting because Lorde is ALWAYS POUTING.

Here's the finished look:

You know what's much more important to this look than being young? Having humongous eyeballs. I'm serious: the graphic effect of the eyeliner and eyeshadow has a much bigger impact on an enormous lid canvas.

But I don't think there's any intrinsic age restriction to this look, and I'm really starting to love the curls.

I'd love to see your attempts at the eye makeup! Let's see it on all different-size lids!