private icon: an homage to aaliyah

an homage to the one and only aaliyah

Illustration by Kelly Shami

When you do it impeccably the first time around, you go down in history forever. The late but never forgotten Aaliyah paved a permanent path for women when it came to music, character, style, and beauty. Whether you grew up watching her music videos after school on television or discovered her in this day and age from all the attention she still deservingly receives, her cool and collected vibe was always effortless, especially when it came to denim. From 1996 to 1997, she was cast in a Tommy Hilfiger campaign alongside the likes of baby faces Mark Ronson, Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie, and her longtime friend Kidada Jones. This patriotic jean-statement is still an iconic denim moment of the last century thanks to the logo overload combined with Aaliyah's glowing skin, sharp brows, and glossy lips.

A natural beauty, she had that "no-makeup makeup" look every girl wants. You can see it in videos like "4 Page Letter," or everyone's favorite song to drive their yacht to: "Rock the Boat." But Aaliyah was not shy about donning a badass dark makeup look, as seen in the music video for "Try Again," or, my personal favorite, when she was dripping in jewels in Queen of the Damned. Her power to own every look possible is something I will always admire. And it seems that new, emerging talent admire it as well, because every now and then someone is "pulling an Aaliyah”—which is completely OK in my book, because we will always be missing her.

Click through the gallery to see how to get Aaliyah's classic beauty look.