Lashes & Luminosity with Kathleen Hou

My memory is a bit patchy but I’m reasonably sure that Kathleen Hou and I met backstage at Mugler Paris around four years ago. Kathleen is the beauty director of The Cut and it was such a pleasure having her over to the studio on her recent LA visit!

Kathleen is as passionate about beauty as I am so her studio visit turned into a late night makeup party! We tested products, debated new formula innovations and chatted for hours about the beauty industry. One of our conclusions; Burberry is the most underrated of the beauty brands. Their Fresh Glow Gel Stick and Luminous Fluid Base are so good (see above)! I am also a big fan of their Face Contour Pen and Lip Color Contour.

When it came time to do Kathleen’s lovely face, I wanted to do a look she hadn’t tried before – always tough with beauty editors because they try everything! I used a shimmery teal cream to create an exaggerated cat eye (this style works particularly well on almond eye shapes) and then added Dark Swan of Denmark’s incredible fluffy lashes. The combo is eye catching and fun but still wearable.

Note: To see her eyelids closed, click here to check out the fun animated gif on our Instagram.

MODEL // Kathleen Hou
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Electric Purple Mascara… Elliott Sailors

I remember the first time I saw colored mascara. It was a bright blue shade in the late 80’s and I instantly fell in love. Ever since then, I always have my eye out for mascara in unusual shades. Summer 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in recent memory for colored mascara with brands such as Dior, Urban Decay, Tom Ford and more launching bright lash shades as part of their summer collections.

The Dior Pump’N’Volume Mascara comes in four stand out shades – a bright blue, intense coral, a pretty pink and the electric purple featured above. It’s the perfect summer look when paired with bronzed, glowing skin and a warm nude lip!

Note: Elliott is so inspiring! Check out her Instagram to learn about her activism!

Note: I mixed two Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks to create this nude lip, see the product bar below for the exact shades.

MODEL // Elliott Sailors
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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Metallic Highlighter… Meng Meng

I have mixed feelings about the highlighter craze that has swept the beauty world for the past few years. Just like most pro artists, I have always added light to the high points of the face (usually with a moisturizer, serum or very sheer shimmering cream) but the heavy application of metallic pigments is a whole new thing.

My first experience with highlighter was watching Laura Mercier. Laura would tap her wonderful serum called Secret Finish (which has since been discontinued to the dismay of pro’s everywhere) on top of cheekbones, over the peak of the lips, on the browbone and ridge of the nose to give the skin a youthful glow. This was  meant to bring light to the face and break up the look of heavy makeup. It’s one of my favorite techniques and you can see it in most of the Beauty Is Boring looks.

The new highlighting trend (not really new since it’s been around for a few years now), focuses more on adding shimmery, metallic powder with distinct colors to the high points of the face plus the tip of the nose. While it looks interesting on Instagram (with a tilted head angle, a few filters and some Facetune), I find it bizarre in daylight. Bizarre isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I am actually a bit fascinated by women walking around in what I have started calling “android chic” – shiny metal streaks proudly displayed on their cheekbones.

In the look above, I tested one of the more unique and popular new highlighters, the Farsali Jelly Beam Illuminator. It has a strange, pudding-like texture and transforms from a cream to a powder in a matter of seconds. The glow it gives is rather muted in regular lighting but when you hit it with a flash, it looks like wet, molten gold.

What do you think about metallic highlighters?

Note: Everyone should wear their makeup in whatever style makes them happy however, I really don’t understand the sparkling tip of the nose thing? I had a well known influencer explain to me why she likes it but I am still confused?

MODEL // Meng Meng
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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1960’s Ingenue… Lilliya Scarlett

Lilliya‘s youthful gaze, pouty lips and flawless, freckled skin remind me of the fresh faced ingenues of the late 1950’s – 1960’s. In particular, young Brigitte Bardot. I took inspiration from the exaggerated lashes and peachy shades of the era but updated the look with a spiky bottom lash, highlighted skin and full brows.

Lilliya’s skin is so good that using foundation is practically a crime! Instead, I mixed a tiny bit of concealer into moisturizer to create the world’s sheerest base – more of a dewy tint than any actual coverage. Then I dotted the same concealer (NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer) over any areas with redness.

Note: The color in her eyelid crease and cheeks was created using the same product, the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Color Stick in Blush N24.

MODEL // Lilliya Scarlett
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Red Carpet Glam… Elliot Sailors

It’s been several years since I actually did a celebrity for the red carpet (I no longer freelance for makeup) but seeing all the beauty looks at this years Cannes Film Festival inspired me. Luckily, Elliot Sailors happened to be in town this week and was kind enough to make time in their busy schedule to play makeup with me! The result was a modern take on a glamorous red carpet classic – bronzed eyelids and scarlet lips. Glossing the center of the eyelids and keeping the skin ultra dewy softens and updates the vintage Hollywood vibe.

If you are just discovering the brilliant Elliot Sailors for the first time,  they are a model, actor, activist, speaker, co-creator of @tomisnotaboy and the founder of @beyoubetrue.movement.

Note: My frequent collaborator Sheridan Ward gave Elliot these perfectly done / undone waves. I am absolutely crazy about the “almost vintage but just textured enough to feel modern” style… trying to recreate it in my hair but so far have only managed to make a mess of uneven curls.

MODEL // Elliot Sailors
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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Bitten Berry… Jesse Somera

Lip oils are having a moment, no doubt in reaction to the past few years of painfully dry, matte, liquid lipstick. And while I confess to loving a bright red matte, my lips are really really excited about the moisturizing potential of oil based tints! Of all the lip oil products, my favorite are the Tom Ford Lip Slicks. They come in four flattering shades that work on just about every complexion and are perfect with a nude face or a dramatic berry eye like the one on Jesse above.

Note: Yes, Jesse is incredibly handsome and yes, he looks equally attractive in a full face of makeup or with a 5 o’clock shadow.

Note: I layered two of the Tom Ford Shadow Extreme colors to create the shimmering berry shade around his eyes, see below for product details.

MODEL // Jesse Somera
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Poppy Lips… Lilliya

 

Lilliya Scarlett, Beauty Is Boring, Robin Black, Estee Lauder by Violette

A bright red lip works for any season but paired with a soft pink-hued glow and completely nude eyes, it’s the perfect look for Spring. In my opinion, every woman ought to try a version of this style (bright lip / nude face) at least once. It’s incredibly flattering and easy to do! The secret is to find the perfect statement lip color so if you haven’t already discovered yours, this is the season to experiment!

Note: This was the first time I  got to play with products from the new Estée Lauder by Violette Poppy Sauvage collection. Really lovely textures and colors, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Violette!

Note: Lilliya twisted her hair up into this lovely messy chignon in about three seconds flat! A bit jealous!

MODEL // Lilliya
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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80’s Supermodel glam with Sophia Panych!

Amazing bone structure, great brows, piercing blue/green eyes and flawless skin… it’s easy to mistake Sophia for a descendent of the 80’s supers. In real life, she is not a model (gasp!) but the Deputy Digital Beauty Director of Allure. Brains and beauty! I can’t remember exactly where we first met but it may have been backstage at the Mugler Paris runway show? Or perhaps it was during one of my visits to the Allure offices? Regardless, we have known each-other for many years and I was thrilled to finally get her in front of my camera.

Sophia’s striking look and the fact that the entire Dior Summer 2018 Cool Wave Collection had arrived a few days beforehand inspired me to do a mash up of late 70’s disco with early 80’s glam. The warm coral, orange and rust shades are perfect with her eye color while the pop of blush brings in that disco vibe. And while I’d like to take credit for Sophia’s perfect brows, in truth I just lightly groomed them.

Note: The cheek color is not listed below because it’s a new formula I am secretly developing! Shhhh!

MODEL // Sophia Panych
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Pastel Goth… Alex Boldea

Periwinkle blue lipstick for Spring 2018? Why not!

To be honest, right after I applied this color to Alex, neither of us was sold. The intense pale blue with a lavender undertone (i.e. periwinkle) just didn’t look quite right as a lipstick shade. I decided to take a few shots anyway and the moment I saw it on camera, I changed my mind. Alex and I both fell in love with it. She dubbed it “pastel goth” which might just be my favorite new category for spring makeup looks!

Note: The Fenty Mattemoiselle in Ya Dig?! insists on being the star of the show. Wear it with a nude face or perhaps a touch of matching periwinkle shadow but let it take the spotlight.

MODEL // Alex Boldea
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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SHINE BRIGHT… Tifeny Moreira

Why not adorn your eyelids with sparkling crystals?!

This look is not only simple to create but it’s a high impact, low maintenance style if you are heading to Coachella this weekend. I purchased clear Swarovski crystals at a local craft shop and applied them using Duo Brush On Adhesive – it’s an updated version of the classic Duo Lash Adhesive and is ideal for gluing sparkly bits to your eyelids or any other part of your face. Simply dot the back of each crystal with the adhesive and press it gently on your eyelid. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers or better yet, grab a friend and do eachothers!

Note: It’s best to curl your lashes after you glue on the crystals. If you curl first, you will find that the lashes wind up getting stuck under the crystals.

MODEL // Tifeny Moreira
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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