Britney Spears has given us some major beauty inspiration over the years via her dozens of music videos. She's never been one to go all flamboyant and loud with her face like, say, Lady Gaga, but Britney Spears' makeup has been the kind that's inspiration for even a regular girl's perfect night out or for a special occasion.
There's nothing like a music video in the early 2000s to give us some extreme close up shots of Spears' face. As I scoured the Internet watching her early videos to decide which of her video makeup looks I wanted to try, I kept coming back to the video for "Stronger." One of the hit singles from her second album Oops!... I Did It Again, it was one of my favorite songs by the artist.
As I'm only two years younger than the mega-star and was a freshman in high school when ...Baby One More Time was released, I consider myself as having "grown up" with Spears — and I'm sure tons of my peers feel the same way. I was a sophomore when "Stronger" came out, and have to admit that I loved the empowering lyrics.
So here I am, 15 years later, duplicating Spears' heavy-on-the-eye makeup look from the video, in case you ever get a case of the early Britney vibes and want to try it out for yourself. I must say, it definitely put me in mood to lip sync along with the song as I watched myself in the mirror, trying to recreate her intense singing face in the video. (There are no photos of that, though.)
First, here's my bare face before beginning — a blank canvas to transform into my own version of B:
Now, let's get into the process. Here's another look at the close ups of Spears' face, which I used along the way to guide me. There are tons of pictures of what I did each step as well.
First, I prepped my face by moisturizing my skin with Artistry Soothing Cream and my lips with Nivea Soothing Lip Care. Then, I applied Artistry Light Foundation all over to even out my skin tone.
I noticed that Spears' face seemed to glow in the close ups, so I applied Covergirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow in white to my T-zone (even though B's glowing effect is probably due in part to the lighting of the video shoot).
Next, I used LA colors medium grey in the "Trendy" palette to make the base shadowy shape, applying first just to my eyelids' natural shape. One of the best makeup hacks I have ever learned is to wet my eyeshadow brush and dip it in the color while dampened. This helps you get a slightly darker and more even application of powdered products.
Next, I winged out the shape of the grey eyeshadow from my outer lid up to halfway between there, and the end of my eyebrow.
Then I used the same Covergirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow in white to lighten and blend the look from the inner eyelid as I traced the shape up to my eyebrow and out as far as I had winged the grey shape.
Now, for the lower lid, I added a grey and white blend with more white in the inner lower lid — which is hard to see here — and truthfully, I could have added even more.
Next, I used a combination of Claire’s black liquid eyeliner and Collection 2000's Intense Colour black kohl pencil to line my lids. I made sure to go in as far as I could in the inner lids on both the top and bottom, but the look does not call for winging out your liner, so I followed the natural shape of both lids.
To finish off the eyes, I would have liked to have applied some fake eyelashes as it appears to me that Spears is probably wearing them in the video, but alas, I did not have any, so I put a copious amount of Collection 2000 black mascara on. Like three layers. Overall, I think the eyes look pretty close to the photos of Spears. Now, onto the lips.
First, I used Rimmel London lip color in Amythest Shimmer as a lip liner.
Then, I filled my lips in with the same color.
Finally, as I noticed Spears' lip color was a bit lighter than the lipstick I had available to use, I added the trusty Covergirl Eye Enhancer in white (thanks, mom!) with a brush to lighten the color. I used my lip balm interchangeably with the eyeshadow and lipstick to keep it from clumping until I got the exact shade I wanted.
And voila! my completed Britney Spears "Stronger" makeup look. Cue lip syncing session now!
Images: Christie Drozdowski; BritneySpearsVEVO/YouTube