I Tried 5 Refinery29 'Short Cuts' Eye Makeup Tutorials, & Here's My Honest Opinion

I’m constantly caught in the cyclone that is 20-second makeup tutorials. When I’m on Instagram or Facebook I’m so easily caught up in a stream of makeup tutorials. One page that always sticks in my mind is Refinery29. The online publication has an entire page called “Short Cuts” that includes makeup and hair tutorials. “Short Cuts” is unique from other beauty pages because their content usually skews more on the side of avant-garde. Their tutorials have always made me wonder if anyone would ever wear these makeup looks out. How hard are they to accomplish?

Well, makeup-obsessed collegiettes, worry no more — because I put these five looks to the test to see how wearable and how easy these “Short Cuts” makeup looks really are.

1. Met Gala

This look was inspired by Selena Gomez’s 2017 Met Gala look. The bright pink hues aren’t exactly easy to replicate. I personally didn’t have the products listed in each video, so I had to make do with what I had. I used the Jmkcoz makeup palette of 120 colors to recreate these looks. It’s an off-brand palette that I found on Amazon for $13.99. Difficulty-wise, this look wasn’t too hard. It takes a bit to build up to a bright fuchsia color, but in the end, you’re left with a unique, shocking look. Wearability-wise, I could see this look working for a party or a festival, but it may not be an everyday look. It’s an interesting take on the cut-crease style. I think it’s a good stepping stone to work up to more elaborate cut-crease looks.

2. Geometric Eyeliner

This one was more of a struggle than it needed to be. I made the mistake of trying to use the nail vinyls that the tutorial uses. I tried for a solid 15 minutes by myself before I enlisted my friend’s help – who also struggled for 15 minutes to try and get those nail vinyls to stick to my eyelids. I ended up just doing this look free-handed and I think it worked out just as well as if I had used the vinyls. This eyeliner is an innovative twist on the normal cat eye. If you’re handy with your eyeliner, I’d say give it a try. I personally won’t be rocking this look out, but if you’re feeling a little wild, it’s more doable to recreate than it looks.

3. Electric Blue

Bright blue eyeshadow compliments the “Short Cuts” model beautifully. Does she look like a 1960s mod style queen? Not so much. This eye look is a testament to how some colors look different on diverse skin tones. This was also the hardest look for me to recreate. Working up to the specific electric blue color took a lot of time and blending, and I still never got it quite right. A little tip if you decide to recreate this look: spray your makeup brush with setting spray after you’ve picked up your shadow. It creates a more vibrant pigment that will allow for you to get a similar effect as in the video. I think a lot of women would be able to rock this look at a club or a more formal event. Personally, I’m going to stay away from the blue eyeshadow for a while.

4. Sunny Eye

I really enjoyed recreating this look because it was easy to do and it’s wearable. Blending out this look took very little time because you’re working with yellow. Yellow tends to be lower in pigment, making it easier to create a seamless blend. Going into recreating these looks, I thought this look would be more on the quirkier side – but I really loved the outcome. I’ve been missing Florida summers, and this eyeshadow look gave me some sunset-on-the-beach vibes that I’ve been craving.

5. Electric Brow

Eyebrows have the power to make or break a makeup look. This look puts the brows on display and I loved it. This look was by far the easiest out of all the other tutorials to recreate. It also was one of the more wearable looks, as well. I could see this being worn at an outdoor festival or even a night out. It can easily be recreated with a multitude of other neon colors. There is an unexpected pop of color in this look that would get a few heads to turn.

All these looks have one thing in common: they were all created to incite reactions from people. These makeup looks are avant-garde and geometrically interesting. Most of the looks play with color and shape in a way that got me excited about makeup. “Short Cuts” sometimes gets a bad rap for being “too out there.” I’ve come to realize that their makeup creations may be experimental, but they have the power to push people out of their comfort zones.

It’s not a terrible thing to go against the status quo occasionally. You may find yourself creating something beautiful.

Michaela is a freshman at the University of Florida and is currently majoring in journalism. You can find her soaking up the Florida sun at the beach, shopping at a thrift store, or in the front row of a local band's show. Her friends, good coffee, her dog, and a book are one of the many things that keep her smiling everyday. 

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