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This Impressionist Painter Is Behind the Latest PFW Makeup Trend, and Even Rihanna Is About It

Picture of Jill Di Donato
Fashion Editor
Updated: 7 March 2017
Georges-Pierre Seurat, the French post-Impressionist painter noted for devising the method of pointillism—a technique where the artist applies paint in small dots to form an image—is summoning the latest in beauty trends more than a century after his death. In fact, in yesterday’s Rihanna’s Fenty for Puma collection in Paris, models were spotted on the runway rocking a pointillism-inspired eye.


Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte Georges Seurat, 1884-1886 @karly/Flickr

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte Georges Seurat, 1884-1886 @karly/Flickr

In the late 1800s, Seurat, along with painter Paul Signac, developed a technique called pointillism, by which tiny dots of paint illustrate the canvas to form a cohesive image. Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (pictured above) represents Seurat’s foray into pointillism, a technique that displays the artist’s dedication to detail. This move marks a departure from traditional sweeping brush strokes popular amongst the Impressionists in the 1880s, but also heightens the effect of luminosity when the painting is seen from afar.

Over a century later, makeup artists are adopting Seurat’s method on the eyelids of the fashion elite, and pointillism is finding a resurgence—this time on skin, as opposed to canvas.

A post shared by Mary Keane (@marykeanemakeup) on

Too bold a look? Try the pointillism technique on the eyelids and brow:

Or, apply to the lips:

A post shared by Liz Merritt (@makeuprx) on

Beauty rebel Kat Von D used this technique in a video a couple months ago:

But the Twitterverse is buzzing about Rihanna’s Fenty for Puma show that went down March 6 during Paris Fashion Week, where the models rocked pointillism eye makeup accents: Mandatory Credit: Photo by PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (8471161p)Model on the catwalkFenty Puma by Rihanna show, Autumn Winter 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France - 06 Mar 2017  

Leave it to bad girl RiRi to prove one of fashion’s ironclad adages: to be ahead of the curve requires stepping back in time, and using techniques from the masters of yesteryear.