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Beauty Look to try: inspired by Black makeup artists

Dec. 2, 2020
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In an industry (and, let’s face it, a world) that constantly minimizes the achievements of Black artists, it’s important to focus on putting a spotlight on them from time to time. And with incredibly inspiring looks like these, it’s never been more selfishly rewarding, either.

This look by Renee Garnes is the epitome of ‘70s, Studio 54 glamour. Muted tones pair perfectly with an array of different textures to keep it exciting. For this super dewy complexion, the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint is perfect. I apply this with fingers always, and the sheer texture can be built up in layers to give a more medium coverage. A luminous concealer can help cover up any more pertinent blemishes while keeping the texture light and the skin looking super glowy. The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is second to none for me.

Adding more glow is essential, and something like the Glossier Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate is perfect. Not only does it come in a range of different shades for different skin tones, but it gives the look of a gloss while actually setting and staying put. Apply on the cheekbones and the center of the forehead and nose for maximum dew. 

Gently sculpt the cheekbones with the contour end of the Uoma Beauty Double Take Sculpt and Strobe Stick. You can then add some extra warmth and color with a coral-toned cream blush—the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile is the perfect poppy ‘70s shade. 

For the eyes, apply a wash of shimmery olive green across the entire lid. The Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in “Vivid” is a perfect color and has genuinely one of the most beautiful textures I’ve ever seen. Blend it gently into the crease so the shade is visible when the eyes are open, too. 

Next, use a darker mossy green kohl pencil to define the upper lash line and create a subtle wing. The Glossier Colorslide in “Stable Relationship” is a good match, and the slightly waxy texture means it won’t smudge or transfer. Finish the eyes with a good amount of black mascara. I’ve been loving the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara for a dramatic lash look.

Finally, line the lips with a medium-toned nude pencil like the Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in “Nude Light Beige,” then fill in with a frosted peach lipstick like the L’Oreal Color Riche Lip Color in “Peach Fuzz.” Fluff up your hair and you’re ready to party.

Next, a more ethereal look from Beyonce’s makeup artist, Sir John. The skin is dewy, but less so than the first look, so something like the Physician’s Formula Super BB All In One Beauty Balm Cream smoothed on with fingers will work perfectly. A waxier concealer like the RMS Un Cover-Up can build coverage where needed.

Brows should be strong but not overly sculpted, so running something like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade through can help give them a little more intensity and add structure to the face.

Blue eyeshadow is often maligned as a difficult look to pull off, but I think it’s a classic, gorgeous look on everyone. The trick is to not overcomplicate it. A simple wash of a gently shimmery cream shadow across the lids is the place to start—and the Revlon Colorstay Creme Eyeshadow in “Peacock” is cheap and cheerful. Add some extra dimension with the shimmery side of the Stila Double Dip Suede Shade and Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in “Blue Jean” applied just on the center of each eyelid. Then take a navy kohl pencil like the Nars High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in “Ocean Drive” and smudge across your upper and lower lashline. Finish the eye look with mascara.

Cheeks should be pink and cherubic, and there’s nothing better to achieve that than the Glossier Cloud Paint in “Puff.” These apply best with fingers, and a little goes a long way—you have been warned! Dab a pink-toned cream highlighter like the Frank Body Illuminator in “Rose Gold” on the tops of your cheekbones to amp up your angelic glow. 

Lips should be stained with a deep berry tone. I love the Clarins Water Lip Stains thanks to their long-lasting formula and lightweight, barely-there texture. The shade “Violet Water” is perfect for this. Finish the look with a liberal spritz of the Elemental Herbology Antioxidant Hydration Mist to help skin look more natural and add a lit-from-within glow.

The final look is inspired by Madonna. Start with matte skin (the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint feels lightweight and never cakey) and comb the brows up with the Glossier Boy Brow. Add some slight contouring with the Nars Matte Powder Bronzer (I love the shade “Vallarta,” but there are many for different skin tones).

Next, take a warm neutral eyeshadow palette (the Huda Beauty Medium Nude Obsessions Palette is a good option) and apply a wash of a light matte brown across the lid. Build up more intensity with a slightly darker matte shade in the crease. Use a dewy highlight on the inner corner (the RMS Living Luminizer is a favorite) to open up the eye and give a brighter, more modern look.

Then, take a deep charcoal coal pencil like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in “Smoke” and create a soft wing. Apply a lot of a lengthening and separating mascara like the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara. Finish the eye look by applying a pale beige pencil in the waterline to brighten the eyes and keep the look feeling fresh. The Benefit Roller Eyes Bright Pencil is a nice light shade that’ll really make the eyes pop.

Lips should be matte, smudgy, and a soft berry shade. Line lips with the MAC Soar Lip Liner, then apply the Glossier Generation G Lipstick in “Jam” over the top. Mole optional.