Cop That Look: Liv Tyler As Corey Mason In Empire Records

Uncomplicated '90s beauty inspiration when you're pale and not starving.
Publish date:
April 5, 2013
How-To, 90s, matte, Liv Tyler, cop that look, empire records

Sometimes I wonder if this whole '90s throwback thing that’s been going on for a couple of years now is a bit of a backlash to the slowly festering and then messily erupting cystic mess of ridiculous beauty fads we’ve been experiencing since realizing that our computers were, in fact, OK in 2000.

I can trace my fascination with being horrifyingly tan and shockingly thin (the two most ridiculous) to the 2005 VMAs. I mean, I knew that I had to be a nice shade of burnt umber and have a decent amount of thigh-gap since the tail end of elementary school, but I didn’t start acting on it until I had a car to haul my ass (complete with the telltale never-tan undercheeks) to the cancer salon.

I think I spent a lot of time in high school focusing on these two things because they were so mind-numbingly stupid, and I needed my mind numbed in every way possible; high school was not fun for me (I know I’m not alone in this--I think one of my favorite all-time nugs of wisdom is, “If the best years of your life were in high school, then you must be a miserable f***.”) But we’ll save my tales of bullying and bitchiness for another post… and DEFINITELY on xoJane.

It wasn’t until, like, sophomore year of college that I realized how much I was trying to look like a complete idiot. It’s a weird feeling, kind of a bummer… followed by that low period of remission, as your skin slowly fades to one without undertones of fluorescence beamed into your pores from the tanning bed bulbs.

I gorged myself for an entire summer on DVD rentals--anything with those matte-skinned, raisin-lipped nineties hunnies. Reese Witherspoon in Freeway was one of the best, along with Laura Dern in Wild At Heart, any character with a vagina in Twin Peaks (duh), and Juliette Lewis… period.

Then there was Liv Tyler in Empire Records. She was so, so perfect. I've been marinating a storyline for a graphic novel in my head for a couple of years now about a superhero with the power to give embarrassingly raging hard-ons to bad guys. She basically looks exactly like Corey Mason.

The great thing about all of these actresses back then is that you could actually imagine knowing them in real life. They weren't so, sooo overdone and underfed. They had a little puff to their hair, no glistening bronze collarbones or too much contouring. It looked like maybe they even did their own makeup in their trailers or in some hotel bathroom with a only handful of products and sponge-tipped eyeshadow applicators that came in the compacts. Maybe?

Maybe they had a chicken salad sandwich on a buttery croissant from the craft services table for lunch instead of a green juice?

I called in some products from a line I'd been meaning to try for a while from FACE Stockholm to try to recreate Corey's understated, but stupid sexy look.

The Liquid Mineral Foundation went on super-lightweight, and had a nice, matte finish and didn't require powder. It set really nicely onto my skin. Props. So far so good.

I used their Créme Blush in Rhinebeck in the hollows of my cheeks. It layers really nicely, going on first kind of like a tinted lip balm, but with a second dabbing, the color got intense quickly. Again, it set really beautifully on skin. Definitely one of my favorite cream blushes.

Their Brow Shadow is VERY pigmented, and goes on strong, which I like. I used Storm to fill in my brows to mimic Liv's shape, but this could easily be used as a powder eyeliner. I brushed the Matte Shadow in Steel from the lash line to crease and mixed a couple of Lipsticks (Matte Bourdeaux all over and Joy in the middle) to make that nineties pouty reddish-purple-brownish lip.

Next time I'll dress in a slutty baby tee, wear way more mascara, and snap some pics in a strange man's four-door, like my idol Vanessa Lutz.