Vert Profond… Bryana Holly

When the new Chanel Vert Profond Inimitable Mascara (a deep, slightly desaturated green) arrived at the studio, I just couldn’t wait to play with it! I have an affection for colorful mascara, perhaps because I was a kid in the 80’s – the decade of electric blue lashes. However this particular shade is definitely not an 80’s bright, it’s elegant, surprisingly subtle and I imagine it would be an excellent (and unexpected!) substitute for those who prefer brown mascara. I paired it with a slightly brighter green smoky eye, nude lips and red nails… to be fair, Bryana showed up with the red nails so that was a happy accident.

Note: Those are Bryana’s amazing, super long, real lashes!

MODEL // Bryana Holly
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Warm pink… Jessi M’Bengue

Another look with the super talented spoken word artist, songwriter, musician and model Jessi M’Bengue! This time I did a monochromatic (seriously though, monochromatic makeup forever!) wash of warm pink to complement her glowing skin. While it might not be the usual Fall makeup, it’s a great pairing with denim and the camel color trend that is sweeping fashion this season. I actually used a mix of two Tom Ford Cheek Colors (Flush and Wicked) on both her eyes and cheeks. His blush has such amazing pigment that it works equally well as an eyeshadow, particularly when layered over the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.

Note: Click to hear Jessi’s latest music: Acoustic Sessions, Vol.1 

MODEL // Jessi M’Bengue
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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The Last Days of Summer… Maja Elmstrom

It’s still scorching hot in LA but the last days of summer are upon us. However, before I break out the Fall color collections, I wanted to do at least one more carefree summer look. No foundation, no mascara, no fuss, just Maja’s gorgeous face with some minimal enhancement. To create the warm glow on her eyelids and cheeks, I used the Bite Beauty Multistick in Creme Caramel. Love a multi-tasker!

Note: Maja is from Stockholm and aside from being genetically gifted with stunning looks (That skin! The hair! The eyes!, The lips!), she has a down to earth cool girl vibe. We talked endlessly about Stockholm (which I have fond memories of) and she pretty much convinced me to move there. Ha!

MODEL // Maja Elmstrom
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Paint it black… Ella Flood

Afternoons in the studio with Ella are always inspiring. In part because it’s hard to take a bad photo of her (Ella’s mom is gorgeous model Jenny Brunt, which seems like an unfair genetic advantage.) but also because she is an incredibly talented fine artist.  Her work has a level of sophistication that is well beyond her years and don’t even get me started on her excellent taste in music.

On this particular day, Ella had just finished packing to leave for a prestigious art school. Very exciting but also quite sad since it meant leaving behind Gabe (click here to see their prom look), her family and of course, her ridiculously cute dog Buns. Her mood reminded me of what it feels like to be young and have the whole world stretch out in front of you with limitless possibilities.

Note: The glitter is one of LemonheadLA’s Spacepaste shades. If you haven’t tried Spacepaste yet, it’s worth an order!  It’s a vegan jelly-like substance filled with high quality cosmetic glitter that stays put with zero fall out, totally addictive!

MODEL // Ella Flood
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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SISTER ACT… Isabelle & Crystal van Commenee

You may recognize Crystal, she was featured in our past collaborations with Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora. Plus she is hard to forget with that flowing red hair, perfect complexion, stunning blue eyes and full brows. To top it off, Crystal is smart, funny, kind and a gifted baker. During one of our previous shoots, she not only brought along some delicious vegan muffins (seriously the best!) but also her younger sister, Isabelle.

As soon as I saw Isabelle, I knew we should do a shoot with the two of them! Isabelle is two years younger with a mane of coppery red hair (to her waist!), a flawless complexion, gorgeous green eyes and similar full brows. She is not a model (yet) but rather focuses her free time on kickboxing – which has to be one of the coolest things a 16yr old girl has ever said to me.

Note: All that shiny red hair got me thinking of Guy Bourdin’s images so hence the late 70’s / early 80’s makeup vibe.

MODEL // Isabelle van Commenee, Crystal van Commenee
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Summer Heat… Kristin Hoppe

What better for the scorching days of August than a traffic stopping look inspired by the heat! Kristen went platinum blonde a few days before our shoot so I wanted to play with the incredible contrast between her icy hair and fiery makeup shades. For her eyes, I used the new Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Palette in Scandalust – which appears less intense in the product photos on their site but has a ton of color payoff. To add balance but not compete with the strong eye look, I did sheer washes of monochromatic colors on her cheeks and lips.

MODEL // Kristin Hoppe
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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CREATIVE things to do with liquid lipstick.. Meng Meng

Suggestions for off label use of your favorite liquid lipstick…

1: Why not wear your lipstick completely off center like in the image above? Similar concepts were used for kabuki and greek theatre masks to convey multiple personalities or sometimes a character’s “double” face. Plus Comme des Garcons sent models down their Fall 2004 runway show in this exact style and since Rei can do no wrong, it’s at least worth a try.

2: Liquid lipstick makes for a great eyelid stain. Choose the color wisely and start by dabbing on a tiny amount and blending quickly. Nudes, pinks and reds work best for this experiment, purples tend to wind up looking like a bruise.

3: Rouge your nipples! Throughout the 1600’s – 1800’s, extremely low bodices were all the rage in Europe. So low that nipples were often exposed and to make sure that they were properly appreciated, women would apply rouge to them. This trend started among high born ladies but quickly spread to prostitutes since it helped highlight their wares.

4: Create the chicest personal stationary by applying a matte liquid lipstick and gently kissing blank note cards. Once the lipstick is dry, mist over it lightly with an acrylic setting spray (check your local art store) to set it.

Note: I used the new NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in the image above.  It’s ideal for the more creative uses listed above and also for creating a perfectly lovely matte lip. 🙂

MODEL // Meng Meng
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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The Perfect Red-Orange… Amber Jones

I have been crazy for red-orange lipsticks ever since I tried on my first, NARS Heatwave. It’s been well over a decade since I bought that first tube and the Heatwave is still one of my summer staples. In my quest for the perfect red-orange or perhaps orange-red, I discovered Tom Ford Lip Color in Flame. In certain lights it looks like a bright red but add a camera flash or sunlight and the gorgeous orange undertone shines through. It’s a true statement color so you don’t need much else with it.

For this look I paired Flame with glowing skin, lightly groomed brows and thick faux lashes. It’s the perfect look for a summer night out – striking and simple but with a nod to old Hollywood glamour.

Note: Amber’s skin is ridiculously perfect. I barely touched it because I wanted her charming freckles to shine so I just used a tiny bit of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Foundation mixed with Sisley’s fabulous new Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream (if you haven’t tried this, do so immediately!).

Note: I layered two sets of the Velour lashes to create some fluffy drama, then coated them with mascara.

MODEL // Amber Lauren Jones
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Summer Colors… Sammie Yochelson

This face! Sammie reminds me of the emotional looking actresses of the 1920’s and 1930’s, a modern version of young Bette Davis with just a touch of Clara Bow. It was tempting to do a vintage makeup look on her but with all the gorgeous summer colors in the studio, I decided to stay in this decade.

Note: The bright pink lip is by @thelipsticklobby. The Lipstick Lobby represents a social justice movement for change, progress and equality with 100% of their net profits going to Planned Parenthood!

MODEL // Sammie Yochelson
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Lagoon Blue… Jessi M’Bengue

Back in the studio today with the lovely Jessi M’Bengue! Jessi is a model but also a songwriter / spoken word artist. She is currently working on her first singer songwriter project with composer Andrew Hale (from Sade). I asked her a few questions about makeup (I always ask because it’s interesting to hear different views on beauty, favorite products, etc) and she mentioned that makeup artists rarely use bright colors on her. That immediately made me want to play with color because Jessi’s complexion is an ideal canvas for a whole rainbow of shades.

I am still playing with new Shu Uemura and the perfect lagoon blue on her eyelids is from their limited edition collection with Ambush. It’s a liquid eye foil that you can smudge on with your fingers, the wand applicator or in this case, a brush. I layered several coats to get the intense color. I kept the rest of her face natural with just a touch of blush (the new NARS liquid formula!) and a pinky nude lip.

Note: Jessi, who has a charming French accent with just a touch of proper Londoner, told me the sweetest story about her parents. Her Algerian mother and Ivorian-Senegalese father met while breakdancing in Paris!

Note: You can see / hear some of Jessi’s music here:
Behind the scenes
Jessi x Andy Madeleine
Purpose

MODEL // Jessi M’Bengue
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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