03/26/2013 12:57 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

Pat McGrath's Tips For Recreating The 'Sophia Loren' Look Backstage At Dolce & Gabbana (VIDEO)

We learn from the pro.

Liquid liner is many things: sleek, sexy, mysterious. It's also pretty tricky to apply. But leave it to the brilliant Pat McGrath to break it down for us laymen.

Backstage at Dolce & Gabbana's FW14 collection, the Sicilian design duo continued with a variation on a (now familiar) theme: Sophia Loren's timeless sexiness. Yet this time they injected inspiration from the Cathedral Monreale in Palermo, Sicily. The basilica is filled with gleaming tile mosaics -- and the sparkling clothes they sent down the runway certainly reflected that. For the makeup, McGrath centered the look around a stained burgundy lip and that mesmerizing cat eye.

First, however, she prepped the model's skin with a matte foundation. By using a foundation bush, McGrath was able to maintain a light touch and avoid over-coverage. "The skin is still alive," she notes.

To get the perfect precise eye, McGrath employed a black pencil liner to create the desired shape. After cleaning up smudges with a cotton ball, she goes in with liquid liner and draws over the existing line. This trick not only ensures a super dark base, but makes it much easier to apply since you are effectively tracing over the liner.

To get the rich lip stain effect, she first built a base with a lipstick pencil. The beautiful burgundy color is a product of blending two reds, Dolce & Gabbana's Ruby and Amethyst shades. The final step, finger blotting, is essential for capturing the look. "I love to apply stain with my finger, that way you don't get a very hard feel," she adds.

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Pat McGrath knows best.