This Is the Secret Behind Billie Joe Armstrong's Guyliner

Billie Joe Armstrong Guyliner - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Billie Joe Armstrong Guyliner - H 2015

Elizabeth Cook, the makeup artist behind Armstrong's favored look, explains how to achieve the ideal smudge.

On April 18, Armstrong’s 29-year-old band, Green Day, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 30th annual celebration of the ceremony, held in Cleveland. Armstrong, donning a tuxedo, complete with cummerbund, ruffled shirt and floppy bowtie, wasn’t remiss in rocking his signature guyliner, although it was toned down slightly for the event, according to makeup artist Elizabeth Cook,who was charged with prepping Armstrong and 10 of his family members, including wife, Adrienne.

Cook, who’s worked with other music maestros such as Coolio, Billy Corgan and The Misfits, says Armstrong told her he just needed eyeliner for the night, nothing else. “I could tell he didn’t want a heavily lined look like he usually rocks for shows and music videos,” Cook notes. “Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a huge deal and I think he wanted to keep the guyliner low key but still bring that little bit of punk rock into it.”

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To achieve the understated liner look, Cook opted for a charcoal shade, rather than a true black. Using Ardency Inn Modster Eyeliner ($19) (“It glides on effortlessly”), Cook worked quickly before the liner could set, drawing a line along the top then the bottom lash lines and followed by smudging the pencil with her ring finger to soften the line. “The key is this smudging—you want to diffuse the line for a more rock and roll, slept-in look,” says Cook. “The amazing thing about eyeliner on men is when it’s a bit messy, it’s better.”

Cook’s other goal was longevity. “We did his eyeliner after he was in his tuxedo, right before the red carpet. The event ran extremely late into the night, so it was important for the liner to stay put and defined.”