Marlena’s Birthday Look

Post Updated: July 2012  – This look remains one of fan favorites.  It was originally worn by Marlena for her birthday in 2010 but remains a classic party look.  We have updated this post with alternate Makeup Geek eyeshadows and added a text tutorial to accompany the video tutorial.

Everyday should feel like a special day, and every birthday should be remembered as the most special one. But don’t wait until your birthday to try this striking and dramatic look. It’s perfect for a night out with friends, on a date, or on your special day, this look will have you not only looking, but feeling like the incredible Makeup Geek you really are! So whether you are looking for makeup ideas in preparation of a special day, or you just want to take your everyday makeup up a notch, this look is sure to become a quick favorite.

Face Products:

Eye Products:

Lip Products:


Get the Look

  •  Start by priming the eyes with your favorite primer.
  • This part is optional; using a gold eyeliner like Urban Decay’s Baked or NYX jumbo pencil in Gold, color the bottom portion of your eyelid making sure to stay under the crease.
  • Take a small piece of scotch tape and place it on the back of your hand and remove it. Do this several times to remove most of the “sticky” residue. This will keep the tape from pulling off your face makeup.
  • Apply the small piece of scotch tape to the outer corner of your eye and angle it upward to the end of the eyebrow.  This will help create the cat eye shape and a defined line at the outer corner.
  • Using a fluffy dome brush like the Makeup Geek Crease Brush, blend the shade Prune or Last Dance into the crease of the eye.
  • Wipe off that same brush very well.  Here Marlena uses the color NYX Dallas, which has been discontinued, a great dupe of this is our very own Makeup Geek color in Cinderella. Use the shade as your highlight and place it under the brow bone feathering out any harsh lines from the previous color.
  • With a smaller crease brush, like the Makeup Geek Outer V Brush, pick up the shade NYX Deep Brown or Makeup Geek’s Sensuous.  With the point of the brush, make a line along the edge of the tape on the outer corner of your eye.
  • Without picking up anymore color, use what’s left on your brush and begin to feather the color in especially into the crease area and upward.
  • Now switch to a flat stiff brush like the Makeup Geek’s Flat Eye Brush, go in with MAC’s Copper Sparkle Pigment.  Put a small amount into the lid and press the brush into the glitter.  Tap the brush to knock off an excess and prevent fallout.
  • Pat the glitter on the eyelid over the gold eyeliner. Be sure not to bring the glitter into the crease. This should be concentrated on the lower lid. Pat the color on the lid rather than wiping it on to keep the color concentrated and potent.
  • Remove the tape from the outer portion of your eye revealing a sharp, crisp line.  If you want softer edges, use a Q-Tip or fluffy brush to soften the edges of the line.
  • Next, take the NYX glitter liner in Passion and apply a fine line under the lower lashes to tie in the purple from the purple on the upper lids.
  • Curl your lashes and apply your favorite false lashes. Here we used Ardell’s Demi Wispies Lashes.
  • Using a fluffy angled blush brush like Makeup Geek’s angled blush brush, apply a soft peachy shade like NYX’s Pinched to the back of your cheekbones. You don’t want this color to be on the apple of your cheeks so it doesn’t compete with your eyes.
  • Last apply your favorite lip-gloss and you are ready to go.
Endless Possibilities

You would probably think there isn’t much more you could do to this look.  Add a darker purple like Makeup Geek’s Duchess or Corrupt to the outer v portion of the eyes for a deeper more intense look.  Also, add one of those shades under the eye before adding your glitter eye liner. Add to the outer 1/3 or to ½ way of the eye rather than the whole lower lash. Then place the glitter over it.  You could also add a dramatic winged out eyeliner for a more cat eye effect.

So, let every day be special!  There is no need to wait for just one day out of the year. Just make sure you are ready to be the center of attention with this remarkable look.


Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

Please put this kit together! This goes in my top 5 favorites. Its glam and wearable and i cant wait to try it!

I got so anxious about the look I forgot to wish you a HAPPY BELATED BEAUTIFUL AND FRESH FROM THE SURGEON BIRTHDAY!!! Prayers and Patron shots to you babe!

Could you do a Cameron diaz look or Victoria secret runway look for heidi klum? I’m blonde with green eyes & I’d like to try one of them.

Hey Nicola :) i have been waiting allllllllll :( day for the kits!!
the waiting is killing me!! comon gurl im dien here!!!!!

Instead of the copper sparkle pigment could I use rushmetal or copperized? Love what you guys do keep up the awesome work.

I’m going solely by sight (comparing how the NYX shadow looks vs. MAC on-screen), sooo…yeah. :)

NYX Dallas = MAC Yogurt
NYX Prune = MAC Cranberry
NYX Deep Brown = MAC Beauty Marked (or Sketch, maybe? I think Beauty Marked looks closer, though).

This look is beautiful. Two colors I wouldnt have thought to combine on a look on my own. Totally love it =) Thanks!

Hi Marlena I love this look. I would liked to know what color eyeshadow or eyebrow pencil you’re using in this look? I can’t wait to see you after you’re feeling better. You are a real life inspiration!!

damn girl you lookin fine!! haha(: do ya think ardell 305’s would like good with this? hope you’re doing better! best of luck <3

Well since I missed on the day, I’ll say Happy Birthday now, lol, if a little belated. I love the look and just might rock it on my birthday. Thanks for being you. :)

Yeah, you’re great to remember. I’ve been working with a cosmetics company selling skin care and make up, doing facials/make overs, so my freelance career has taken a back seat, but in my new line of work I do still make ladies up. I’m planning to be the artist on duty for a “vintage glam pinup” photo shoot, which I’m unbelievably excited about. I’m also excited to see you on the site again, which I’m taking to mean that you’re getting better :)

I wish so much there was a cheaper alternative :( I haven’t found any chunky copper pigments like this one… but we do sell them in the MUG store for pretty cheap if you want to try? It’s $3.89 I think :)

Ok thanks marlena!! Ur the best!! Iv been watching ur videos for about a year now or mayb jst a lil bit longer thn that haha and u really expanded my makeup emagination I love all ur videos!! And I will def wear this look on my bday its march 4 the day the aribic challenge ends!! :D

VS sparkly shadows are pretty cheap ($10). Even cheaper on eBay if you find one. I really like the 24K VS e/s.

I know for your tutorials you have one eye done so we can see it and you do the other eye. When i do my makeup at home is it better to go back and forth between your eyes or do them one at a time?

the look is stunning!
My birthdays next thursday, I know what im doing now!
& I hope your birthday was special & I hope your doing well recovering.

This is beautiful, Marlena! I hope you had a fabulous birthday and that you are recovering well :)
I do have a question for you. What other NYX (or MAC, or any drugstore brand) eyeshadows would you recommend in place of Prune? I don’t have Prune, but I have NYX’s Red Bean Pie and Purple, MAC’s Nocturnelle.. would any dark purple work? Should it be shimmery?
Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

Hi Michelle!
Any medium to dark purple should work, and it can even be matte if you like. Mac’s Nocturnelle or NYX Red Bean Pie should work- try it on one eye to see if it works :)

Great look as always ;)
Hope you’re feeling better today and maybe I’m late but… JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE ! :)

Hey Marlena… wish a belated birthday. Hope you had a great time and hope that you are recovering well :)
May you live healthy & wealthy long life…. :)
God bless…


Yay! How excited am I! It’s my birthday today and this tutorial pops up in my email! I’m def. going to wear it today—It’s a sign! Thx. Marlena! Hope your doing smashing darling! You look gorge!—-

wow !!!!! Looks great on you….you look like a model..happy brithday girl mi best wishes God bless you….hi from mexico

heyy marlena
happy belated birthday! well anyway this a great look! am a dancer so i would totally call this FIERCE
! work! this is so glam.. its so pretty.. one question would this look go with every thing well color wise? because this looks so pretty and now i really wanna try doing this look for next month’s competition…
thanks! :)

Happy Belated Birthday Beautiful! hope you are healing well,
love the look and definitely going to try this on my birthday! <3

Happy Birthday dear Marlena! Hope you’re better from de surgery! This look is really amazing, I’ll try it out someday for sure! :)

OMG, I love the last pic! I love your sense of humor! You are so beautiful and you don’t take yourself too seriously. I love it!

ppppllllzzzzzz put together the kit for this look, think should start putting kits together, with the looks you do on yt

Hi Marlena,
OMG, my computer has been down for a few months now, and boy have I missed out on a lot! Happy Belated Birthday! I am glad you made it through the surgery and are doing good. I have missed you.
Take “Special Care” of yourself and I look forward to seeing your beautiful face again soon.

<3 Vicki

Hi Marlena,

Hope your recuperating well. Just wanted to let you know me and daughter love your videos. She’s the one who got me hooked. I love that you put inexpensive products with high end products. I would have never tried NYX products if you did demonstrate them. I love them I work 12 hour shifts and they last for me. I also really like your store, have ordered many things and they are true too the description, wrapped securely and shipped fast. Thanks a bunch. Keep well and KEEP DOIN WHAT YOU do your fab. xoxo

Thank you SO much for that Karen!! Tell your daughter hi :) And, recovery is going ok- today was the first day I drove my car and it felt SO nice to feel at least somewhat normal again :)

what an amazing look! :) I wouldn’t have thought to do a cat-eye that way. I’ll have to try that tape trick! (I can’t do a winged eyeline/cat eye look every well- I have trouble get the lines even, and lots of trouble getting the angle right! lol) Happy, wonderful, love-fulled Birthday to you! I hope this year of life is the best one yet! :) Hope your doing well health-wise too. Safe healing!

Happy Birthday Marlena!! I really have been praying for your swift recovery :). I think this is actually my favorite look of them all! I would love it if the kit was set up! I don’t know why the other kits were taken off? Please put them back up. It makes it so much easier to buy!

Happy Birthday! I leave to Vegas in a few hours for my own birthday and I’m totally going to rock this look! You’re the bestest! ;)

Hi Marlena,

I want to wish you a very happy birthday!! I don’t know if you have other fans and makeup geeks from BELGIUM, (if you know the country) but I really like what you do and keep making these tutorials. 1 year ago, I had no make-up and I was not interested in makeup. But since I discovered your website (and some other websites) I am totally in love with make-up!!!

Greetz, Joke (my name means something different in English, but in Belgium, it is a normal name)

PS: I know that my English is very bad, but my second and third language are French and German. My first language is Dutch and so English is my fourth language!!

Hey Marlena! I hope you are recovering well. Quick question non beauty related….. where did you get that shirt from in the video… Your make-up was gorgeous but my eyes always went back to that shirt :p

Hi Marlena, happy birthday! pretty as always. but unfortunately in germany we can´t watch your last three videos due to the music. Please please can you upload the videos with another player, like you did in the past time. thanks <3 you

U’re just so so so so beautiful! this make up is gorgeous and very wearable!!! keep on making super tuto!!

Thank u so much

Heyy marlena
what’s up. i just wanted to say that we LOVE your makeup. you inspire us. so we was just wondering if you can send us some makeup or even brushes you dont want or use is fine because you are our idol. we have tried to convince our parents to buy us makeup but its just too expensive these days. if this were to happen it would be greatly appreciated. and we would always use your makeup ideas and tips whenever we do our makeup for competition, shows, and other events. and now since we have told you this when we do our makeup we would always think of you. thank you marlena and we love you!


I love this look. Beautiful! Hope that you are doing well and recovering quickly. I love your gold ring in this video, can you please share what type that it is and where you can get one? Thank you

This look is simply gorgeous. You look so pretty. I hope your recovery is coming along well and you will be brand new in no time. Thxs for doing videos for us. Marlena you such an inspiration you are amazing!

OMG, This look is amazing! I cannot wait to gather what I need to try it! Def looking for the kit in your store =)
Wanted to send you well wishes too…hope you are starting to feel ‘normal’….I am so inspired by the way you’ve put yourself out there. You have have helped a bunch of people. I know I am one! It’s so funny to not really “know” you, but feel like we do KNOW you!? You know? hahaha I found myself wondering the other day how you were feeling and thought that was kinda funny.

Thanks again for all you do!

Happy Belated Marlena!!!
I hope you had a great Birthday! I just wanted to say that you look fantastic!!! You must be very proud of yourself as well.
Thank you for this website and all you do. Empowering women of all ages to make them look and feel beautiful, Inside and out!!. I just think you are a very special person with a wonderful heart and talent. Thank you so much again. xoxo

I hope you had a very happy birthday!!!
This tutorial is awesome but all of your tutorials are awesome and so very helpful. I hope you are feeling better from your surgery.
Thanks for all you do.


Marlena happy b- day!
You look amazing! Im so glad that you are ok, and that recovery is going ok. You drove a car, that is so good! That means that you are stronger and that great!
Every video you made with nyx cosmetic, the product were with the “wrong” in shade. I remember in one video you used nyx lipgloss in shade nude, but in reality the lipgloss is pink :D
The same situation now with eyeshadow :D
So funny! But, I love nyx, especially their lipglosses and the eyeshadow quality is very good!

Have a nice day,

Ana. :)

hi Marlena, wish you the very best for your birthday. hope you´re good? take good care of yourself and recover soon :-) we all pray for ya.

pls do something about the tutorial, because i can´t watch it in germany! thank you so much!

hugs, kisses and love


Hi Marlena, I love this look. Oh and Happy Belated Birthday. I was wondering when the kits will be available because I can’t find anywhere in the Makeup Geek store.

Happy belated birthday Marlena! You look beautiful. I am so excited about this look, I did it for a party on Saturday and it was GORGEOUS. I really want to buy your kit though, but I can’t find it in the MUG store either.

Marlena, we send you very very big hug from Greece.
We wish you to be always strong, brave and gorgeous as you are!
Many kisses, your fun club form Greece.

This look is so beautiful! I bought EVERYTHING you suggested and absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing! You are such an AMAZING teacher! I hope you are feeling well and I’m anxiously awaiting your next tutorial! :)
Take care!!

Hey Marlena
Fantastic job on the makeup!, I was just wondering can I use an icing
Makeup kit mine is very big and it has lots of shades of eye shadow from light to dark.
Please reply ASAP

Hi Marlena i just love this tutorial I want to know if i can use nyx jumbo pencil instead of urban decay eyeliner “baked”, and if i can which one should i use… thank 4 u time!!!

Hi Marlena! Happy belated birthday! Hope it was great! Just wondering if you could give us MAC eyeshadow dupes for the NYX ones you used? I was hoping to get the copper sparkle pigment soon anyway and this look is probably my FAVORITE you’ve ever done!!! It is amazing!!! :) I’m excited to try the taping for the dramatic cat-eye line sometime too!!! Thanks!

Hi Marlena! Will you be posting a kit for this look soon? I am definitely interested in purchasing one. Thanks!

belated happy b’day….it’s gorgeous.
you r looking so so so prety..i am going to try this look for sure

Hey Marlena,
My name is Katarina and i am from one little country in Europe (Serbia) and this is the first time i’m posting a comment on your site cause i just registered after visiting this page for a year now lol
I love your work and all the tutorials and ive been trying them out whenever i go out and i’ve seen a couple of Jennifer Lopez inspired looks that you’ve done so far, so i just had to ask is there any chance you might do the look that she is wearing in her new video “On the floor”?
P.S. It’s so nice to see you are recovering from the surgery and i hope you are feeling better every day :)

This is by far one of the best looks i have seen! i <3 the way you do your hair and absolutely adore your makeup! you look fantastic!

OMG Marlena this is the best makeup i have even seen, i love it, thanks for the great ideas you show me…. Greetings from Venezuela ; )

Will there be more Birthday Look Makeup Kits available soon in the store? I missed this tutorial altogether when it came out somehow but it’s GORGEOUS!. I’d love to purchase the kit.


Hi Marlena!

I love this look, its gorgeous!

Btw, what music did u use in the video at the intro and around the end of it? It sound really good :)

Hi ! i love your tutorials ! :)
i was wondering if you know of anything to use for your
eyelashes to make them longer? it seemed that mine had
got cut on the tips. &they used to be very long.
:( so any suggestions?

THIS IS BY FAR MY FAVORITE LOOK YOU HAVE DONE SO FAR!!! You look AMAZING Marlena! Many blessings to you <3

hey marlena!!!
i love the whole look!! its just perfect for a birthday bash!! what i even like more is your pictures!!they are just perfect!! the right amount of glow and they look amazing!!! plz share what camera you use for your pictures and how do you get them soo perfect everytime!!

Love this look and you posted it on my birthday! An excellent present! Thank you……….. I’ve bought the MAC copper pigment to give it a go

Hey i’m a new fan ^.^ and this look is amazing! i love it, i will definitely buy the Copper Sparkle Pigment i’ve always been looking for the perfect copper color. I can’t help but notice your skin looks REALLY smooth! what do you do? i cant help but break at least once a month.
Hugs nd kisses from the big apple.

i love this look… i cannot wait to try it…. actually i love all your looks… thanks for sharing so much info

Marlena, how did you style your hair to make it wavy like that? I absolutely love it and would love to know how to do mine like that. Thank you, you have taught me so much!

Hey Marlena!! Happy Late Birthday!! I am going to get all those things when they are back in stock!! Its such a beautiful look! Question, how do you get your makeup to come out really well in your pictures..I always struggle with that when i do some new look I want to take a picture to post and it doesn’t look as great..

Would it be possible to use the Maybelline 24H Tattoo Cream Shadow, the gold one, as a base for this look?

Hi Marlena~
need your help with complexion issues and camoflaging dark spots or melasma..
what has been your experience on what make up to use.
and i think i would be a great candidate for you to try and give me a fake flawless look.
your instructions and good spirit are amazing !!

Hi Marlena
I have always loved this look and Im finally gonna try it this weekend. Is there any MAC colors that are close to the NYX colors that I can use? Thanks so much for all your help and tutorials. I really look forward to watching everyone you post. Keep up the great work!