Adele's Makeup Artist Just Revealed the Secret Behind Her Famous Eyeliner

The key to her singing voice, sadly, not included.

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You might not be able to belt a heartfelt ballad like Adele, but you can at least copy her famous eyeliner the next time you need a confidence boost. Her makeup artist has just spilled the details behind the songstress's iconic look, and it turns out the secret is lots of gel eyeliner, an unexpected way to apply mascara and patience. 

Makeup artist Lisa Eldridge said her YouTube channel viewers were clamoring for an Adele-inspired makeup tutorial. So she brought on Michael Ashton, who has been working on the singer's hair and makeup for nine years. Ashton says Adele has "fantastic bone structure and beautiful almond-shaped eyes," so there's a good foundation behind those lashes. 

Here's how he creates the look. First, he applies Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner to the back of his hand to dry it out, and applies it with an eyeliner brush, starting towards the middle inner corner of the eye and brushing out, gradually building up thickness before winging out the shape and stretching out the liner toward the inner corner of the eye.

The key is to keep reapplying and reapplying it to keep the color solid and dense, and keeping the brush as close to the lash line as possible. And since even Adele's makeup artist makes mistakes, he recommends Bioderma Sensibio H20 with a cotton swab to slightly tweak the liner.

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Ashton uses a Tom Ford eyeshadow quad before eyeliner to create a golden bronze effect. And after the eyeliner and false lashes are on, he applies Diorshow mascara to the back of his hand, then applies it on the lower lash line with a mascara fan brush. "I find it almost gives you the look as if you've just smudged a bit of black eye kohl in there," he says.

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(Image credit: Archives)

At the very end, he uses a liquid liner with a "tar" consistency and a fine brush to do a final eyeliner swoop, then grooms the brows with clear gel, brow pencil, and eye shadow. Because it's not easy to look like Adele, the full tutorial is more than 22 minutes long, and features skincare and foundation tips to get the full superstar look. The eye-makeup tips start at 2:23.

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Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.