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The Man Behind Adele's Signature Liner Shares All His Winged-Eye Wisdom


Adele may be loved by most for her killer vocal strength, but in the beauty world, we’re also big fans of her signature cat-eye liner look. And while the singer tends to keep most aspects of her personal life private, including her beauty routine, her makeup artist, Michael Ashton, is opening up about the origin of the singer’s feline flick and how it’s undoubtedly become her go-to makeup move over the years.

Adele cat-eye makeup artist
Adele Album art

“The first beauty looks we did together were for a collection of images to coincide with the release of 19,” Ashton told
The Cut
of his start with the singer. “Adele has beautiful almond-shaped eyes and fantastic natural bone structure, which is the perfect canvas to work with, so at the beginning it was always about making the eyes a focus feature. We played around with different eyeliner looks, lashes and some dazzling dustings of metallic glitters.”

The makeup pro added that the secret to nailing Adele’s liner look is all about “product cocktailing” (and his extreme attention to detail), which he’s perfected in the many years he’s worked with the singer.

“I always start by outlining the shape of the liner, working from the inner to outer corner of the eye with a black gel liner. I then work the product right into the root of the lashes and then build thickness gradually,” he explained. “Once I’m finished creating the desired shape, I use a waterproof liquid liner with a precision tip to intensify and refine the line, finishing by winging the end of the liner last.”

Ashton maintains that Adele’s dedication to the look has made her a beauty inspiration to many.

“I think [Adele’s] beauty look resonates with people because it’s aspirational but also extremely achievable,” Ashton told The Cut. “It seems everyone is always wanting to try and wear the latest beauty looks from the runway or the high street and often it just doesn’t translate. Adele is known for her makeup, but what makes her a modern beauty icon is the strength of keeping things simple and classic so they stand the test of time.”

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Ashton told PeopleStyle in 2013 that while the liner and lash look has been the star’s staple from the very beginning, they switch things up slightly form time to time.

“I think we’ve turned up the volume a little bit,” she shared. “But to me, a liner and a lash is just so simple. But it can be really dramatic. You don’t have to go overboard on everything else.”

Read more on Ashton’s interview with The Cut here. Are you a fan of Adele’s signature eyeliner look? Can you nail a cat-eye like her? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen