It was clear from the gothic, royal-inflected clothes-floor-sweeping black coats! Voluminous tweed capes! Chessboard sequined miniskirts!-that creative director Virginie Viard was drawing from the estate’s rich history (it was once home to Catherine de’ Medici, the former queen of France). “The collection embodies the Renaissance spirit,” says Chanel’s global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica, who crafted yet another graphic smoky eye that merged the drama of the past with the mood of the moment.

An evolution of Chanel’s spring beauty look, which hinged on lids shaded in a matte charcoal, Pica set out to evoke the vigor of powerful ladies past by exaggerating the eyes even further with a “bigger, wider shape,” she says. It was one that, whether intentional or not, winked at the ’60s with a graphic feline shape accented by negative space to modish effect. “It is a very modern interpretation of strong women owning their power,” says Pica of the vibe she was trying to create.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Modern Glamour

Chanel Stylo Yeux in Noir

Chanel Retractable Dual-End Eye-Contouring Brush

Chanel Flat Eyeshadow Brush

For application, she used a flat brush to blend matte black shadow from Chanel’s Les 4 Ombres palette in Modern Glamour into the lids and crease, then used a round brush to smudge out and soften the edges for a diffused effect. Heavy-handed swipes of the Stylo Yeux pencil in Noir Intense were administered for extra definition. Clear, shiny lips and blurry, matte skin offset the kohl-smudged eyes for a fresh yet edgy-elegant equation. Given the backdrop of this year’s holiday season, having a decidedly dark and gritty alternative to festive glitz and sparkle feels, well, right. Plus, there’s always some comfort in returning to a too-cool classic.