On this day, April 25, 2002 the music world mourned the loss of one of the most charismatic female rappers of all time, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
ETI would like to celebrate the life and career of woman who put the “L” in TLC! May she continue to rest in peace!
“Let me give you something to think about,” rapped Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on TLC’s empowering anthem “No Scrubs.” And serving up idiosyncratic looks, most notoriously above the neck, was something she did without fail. One third of the groundbreaking ’90s girl group alongside Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lopes helped lead the trio both aesthetically and sonically as they disrupted the style space and broached taboo topics, such as female self-esteem and AIDS, with melodic R&B hooks.
Lopes, who the world lost tragically 17 years ago today, was by all definitions a beauty chameleon, yet always stuck to her signatures—sculptural updos, vivid gazes, and a graphic black stripe etched beneath her left eye—reimagining them with each combination more mesmerizing than the next. In the mid-’90s, having risen to global fame following the success of TLC’s second studio album CrazySexyCool, Lopes captured even more attention with high, asymmetrical ponytails and side-swept fringe, smoky cobalt lids, and chromatic lips. But it was when she struck out solo at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, hitting the red carpet in a jewel-embellished, barely there gold dress, her tall cascade of auburn hair punctuated by a gilded headband, that proved no look would ever be too bold. And after that night’s performance alongside Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, and Da Brat, her shape-shifting mane would only become more striking.
In 1999, for TLC’s meditative “Unpretty” music video, she framed a braided topknot with two waist-grazing plaits, her cheeks celestially swirled with frosty pink rouge, while at the Kids’ Choice Awards the same year, she secured two glossy pigtails with electric-blue scrunchies and slashed azure eyeliner across the eyes to monochromatic effect. And she continued to play with the balance between soft and hard in the early aughts, ushering in the new millennium with a fresh, micro-fringed bob and equally directional sweeps of pastel pigment on the lids. Here, to honor the late star and the indelible mark she left on pop culture, a look back at her most iconic beauty moments of all time.
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