8 Game-Changing Guyliner Moments in Pop Culture History

You weren't the first, Pharrell.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
21284
You weren't the first, Pharrell.
Pharrell rockin' kohl-rimmed cat eyes and a Swarovski crystal mesh cardigan. FANCY. Photo: Swarovski

Pharrell rockin' kohl-rimmed cat eyes and a Swarovski crystal mesh cardigan. FANCY. Photo: Swarovski

That Pharrell, always keeping us on our toes. First he brought back the '80s-era Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat (and turned it into a meme) and now, based on his recent appearances in London, he's making "guyliner" a thing. But actually, the trend-making musician/producer/designer/influencer isn't necessarily ahead of the game this time. Guyliner has been a way for artists to make a statement throughout history -- from the silent movie era in the 1920s, to punk, to, yes, hair metal. Even though Nirvana quashed the glam metal genre by ushering in the age of grunge, Kurt Cobain still wore guyliner. 

Let's take a look at eight more man-makeup moments in history:

Rudolph Valentino (circa 1920s)

Silent film actor Rudolph Valentino was known for his "Latin Lover" hunkiness (hey, that's what they called him) and his penchant for wearing eyeliner on-screen. His guyliner moment was especially smoldering in the non-talky romantic thriller, "The Sheik." 

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust (early '70s)

Before settling down with supermodel/beauty mogul Iman, David Bowie spent some time around 1972 adopting an alternative persona: Ziggy Stardust. Bowie was groundbreaking at the time for re-imagining rock as everyone knew it with straight up androgynous glam. And 50 years later Ziggy is still the Halloween costume that just keeps on giving.

Robert Smith, The Cure (1970s to present)

Before Johnny Depp did the stuck-my-finger-in-a-light-socket hair, imperfectly applied red lip, and messy guyliner in 1990's "Edward Scissorhands," the lead singer of The Cure, Robert Smith, had the look on lockdown. In 2014, Smith's jet black hair has turned to a distinguished (yet still electrified) gray, but he's still holding onto that guyliner.

Duran Duran (circa 1980s)

These five Brits are icons of MTV's golden years -- you know, those old timey days when the channel actually played music videos. Along with their catchy synth pop songs, Duran Duran's glorious bouffant mullets, fashion-y outfits, and perfectly-applied, full faces of makeup (guyliner included) personified the New Romantic era. Keyboardist Nick Rhodes was even known to favor Clinique products. Three decades later, four original members of the band are still recording and touring, but the guys (except for Nick) have nixed the guyliner. Fun fact: model/socialite/DJ Atlanta de Cadenet is bassist John Taylor's daughter. Think he gave her some makeup application tutorials during her teen years?

Poison (circa 1986)

Ah, Hair Metal. There wouldn't be enough space to list all the members of this sometimes-maligned, guyliner-embracing genre of rock. But I think the band Poison really personifies just how much these bands frequented the beauty aisle. (And the hair products section, too.) Three decades later, lead singer Bret Michaels toned down the lip gloss, blush, and possibly foundation and tamed his sprayed out waves with a bandana, as viewers of MTV's "Rock of Love" well know.

Bret Michaels in 2014.  Photo: Stephen Lovkin/Getty Images

Bret Michaels in 2014.  Photo: Stephen Lovkin/Getty Images

But, Michaels still can't give up that guyliner, which he's now pared down to a touch of soft brown around the corners of the eyes. Old habits die hard.

Billie Joe Armstrong in 2004. Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Billie Joe Armstrong in 2004. Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (1990s to Present)

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong's look is like one part Sid Vicious (the hair and the leather) and one part Robert Smith (the mega-guyliner). He's been punk rocking since the late '80s and has changed his hair (a tad) here and there, but even at age 42, he's still proudly drawing on the guyliner.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Adam Lambert 2005 to (Almost) Present

The "American Idol" runner-up turned Grammy nominee (and "Pretty Little Liars" guest star) gained legions of adoring "Glamberts" for his winning stage presence, powerful voice, and possibly his mastery of the flawless smokey eye. While he still wore kohl-rimmed lids for his tour with Queen earlier this year, he has been spotted as of late with a youthfully fresh and completely naked face. Boyband auditions, maybe?

Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Jared Leto, the Musician (2006)

Not that the Oscar winner even needs cosmetic enhancements for his so, so pretty face -- but when fronting his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the former Jordan Catalano really likes to layer black eyeliner around those big, hypnotic eyes. And then there was that one time he experimented with an electrifying shade of lilac shadow that really brought out those dreamy blues. It's as if he's looking right into your soul, isn't it?

Your turn. What are your favorite guyliner moments?