By Devon Abelman. Photos: Courtesy of Instagram.
Three years ago, one of the most iconic beauty memes was born. By now, nearly everyone and their mother has seen the picture of a model with glitter covering her under-eye area. The hilarious caption reads, "How to cover your dark eye circles." Several of my friends tagged me on Instagram after scrolling past it, I've tagged others in it and sent a screenshot to my mom. As someone who lives for looking like a disco ball and has impossibly dark under-eye circles, I feel almost spiritually connected to the How to Cover Your Dark Eye Circles meme.
So what was the story behind the glittery meme pre-internet fame? Professional makeup artist Lottie posted the picture on Instagram after a photo shoot, captioning it simply: "Falling stars." Of course, she had no intention of inspiring one of the most relatable beauty memes. When I reached out to the New York-based MUA, who's worked with celebs like Ruby Rose and Willow Smith, to find out the true story behind the meme, she laughed. "I'll be honest, this is really funny to me!" she tells Allure. "I'm thankful that you know it's my work, though, considering how much it's been posted and altered over the years."
I don't blame her. In this golden age of social media, trends and memes spread like a wildfire during a draught. I've seen it posted on Pinterest with about 5,900 repins. And that's just one pin. It's basically all over Pinterest. Instagram is no different. Some people have put their watermark on it. Others have posted screenshots of a screenshot, so the original picture looks so grainy that it could be mistaken as a look from the seventies. (Lottie's even reposted it herself.) With each post, Lottie's name, and the story behind her artistry, has been all but forgotten.
So here's what really happened. Back in 2014, Lottie was on the set for a Nasty Gal campaign. She was inspired by the space-inspired imagery on the shoot's art director's mood board, and she "took it to the next level," she says. That's where the glittery stars come in. First, she kept the model's complexion fresh and clean to keep the focus on the stars. Then, she swiped eye gloss onto the model's under-eye area. Next, Lottie stuck on the glitter stars with precision. "We wanted it to be more intentional-looking rather than random star glitter on the eye lid," she explains. This arrangement helped the look be visible from a distance during the shoot.
A whole month after the shoot, she posted the iPhone picture she'd snagged, kickstarting the meme seen around the world. A month later, her friends started tagging her on Instagram whenever they saw the viral meme. That's how Lottie found out about it. "At first, I was a little insulted," she says. She can't put her finger on why, but she believed it was a knock on the makeup. "But then I laughed it off," Lottie adds. Over the past three years, she says basically every person she knows in the industry has tagged her when they see the meme. "They have my back so to speak," she says. These days, her response is “people are still posting that?" Yes, they still are. Most recently, another makeup artist was inspired to create a floral version of the look. It's also helped spawned the glitter tears trend that celebs like Suki Waterhouse have tried out.
So next time you see the How to Cover Your Dark Eye Circles meme come up on your feed, think of Lottie. You can follow her on Instagram, @lotstar, to catch some looks before they possibly become yet another meme. As for us? We're throwing out all the double taps to Lottie, for conceiving of this genius-ness — without even trying.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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