Glowing in Chanel… Gana Bayarsaikhan

When Sheridan Ward (a frequent collaborator and brilliant hairstylist) sent over a snapshot of his friend Gana Bayarsaikhan (taken casually on an LA hike but looking like a magazine cover) and suggested I shoot her, I couldn’t stop staring at her amazing bone structure. Of course I immediately replied “YES!”. When she showed up at the studio a few days later, I felt like I had seen her before. Turns out, she is incredibly humble and aside from being a model, Gana has recently begun to act. She was in ExMachina (as one of the ridiculously gorgeous AI’s) and has recently finished a foreign action film – I got to see some fun clips of her looking deadly with a bow and arrow!

She is truly beautiful in an other worldly sort of way so I wanted to keep the makeup minimal to emphasize that. Glowing skin, flushed cheeks and lips, a bit of brow gel and just the tiniest smudge of soft brown liner under the eyes.

Note:Gana naturally has lots of baby hairs around her temples and I absolutely love what Sheridan did with them!  Plus the sleek texture and low ponytail adds a modern edge to the slightly romantic minimalism of the makeup.

MODEL // Gana Bayarsaikhan
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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NARS Spring 2017… Giannina Oteto

So when I was downloading these photos of the stunning Giannina Oteto, I realized that I went totally mad with the highlighter and applied at least five coats around her eye/cheekbone. However Giannina’s skin color and texture make pretty much everything look amazing. Which is one of the many reasons she is so fantastic to shoot – the others include things like: She is charming, shy and ferocious all at the same time. The camera loves her. She is always willing to try something new. And even after a few drinks, she can sit perfectly still in the makeup chair.

In the past I’ve shot Giannina in minimal, editorial styles (you can see our previous looks by clicking here and here) so for variety, I decided to do a very pretty and somewhat more classic spring look using several of the latest NARS colors. Well it started more classic and then some disco inspiration snuck in and the eyes got a bit more dramatic. Recently my life has been filled with disco imagery because Nick is editing “Antonio Lopez 1970, Sex Fashion & Disco” – an incredible documentary directed by James Crump. Click here for a taste of the amazing 1970’s  film footage and photos that have been floating around our creative space for the past six months. It’s impossible not to be inspired!

Note: I deliberately applied the NARS Numéro 3 Eyelashes slightly above Giannina’s natural lash line, leaving a tiny bit of space in between. I filled in that space with black liner to create the look of a fluffy, “lifted” lash.

Note: This is a little off topic but I recently discovered one of the most influential makeup artists of the 70’s is on Instagram! You can check out Corey Tippin’s account by clicking here.

MODEL // Giannina Oteto
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Pink… Brooke Candy

I love collaborating with musicians so when Brooke Candy first reached out about doing a shoot for Beauty Is Boring, I was absolutely thrilled! Her visuals are always stunning and she has a chameleon-like look that works with almost any makeup style. I was also just really curious to meet her.

Brooke did not disappoint. It was such a pleasure having her in the studio, our whole team fell in love. She is not only incredibly creative and inspiring to work with but also a genuine, kind, thoughtful woman who is going through a sort of personal renaissance. Her music is evolving, her image is evolving, she is evolving and it’s an exciting thing to see.

And that is why I wanted to create a look that was totally different to anything Brooke has done in the past.   Subtle washes of the prettiest pink and groomed brows, very minimal and rather romantic.  Midway through our shoot, Ryan (who is a brilliant hair stylist) wandered off with a pair of scissors and came back with a bunch of camellias from my garden which he used to decorate Brooke’s hair.  It’s always the most fun when everyone in the studio is inspired, click here to see Regina Yazdi’s videos of her illustrating the looks during our shoot!

Click here to watch Living Out Loud, Brooke’s new video featuring Sia!

Note: Early in my makeup career, most of my paying clients were musicians. The best part about working with them (aside from free concerts!) was their willingness to experiment with outrageous looks.

MODEL // Brooke Candy
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Ryan Taniguchi

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Tom Ford S/S 2017… Tyrie Rudolph

I am always excited when new makeup collections arrive at the Beauty Is Boring studio but there is no box quite as thrilling as the seasonal Tom Ford delivery.  For starters, the packaging is always swoon worthy (white and gold, très chic!) and the colors… well Mr. Ford hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Everything in the Spring and Summer collections is gorgeous but it is the new blush and bronzer shades that I am the most interested in.  It’s been a while since blush was in the spotlight (thanks to the endless taupe contour trend) but nothing brightens up your face and says “hello warmer weather” like cheek color.  There are both cream blushes (Spring) and powders (Summer) in shades that suit a wide range of complexions.

Also noteworthy, there are two new shades of one of my all time favorite Tom Ford products, Cream and Powder Eye Color.  It has a whipped texture that applies easily with fingers or a brush, it blends like a dream, stays put without creasing for hours and looks like satin on eyelids.  For the above image, I used just the cream part of Naked Bronze. It’s actually a shade from Tom Ford’s main collection because the new shades were just a bit off for Tyrie’s coloring. If you have fair skin and want a similar look, try the new Sun Worship.

Note: Yes, Tyrie’s eyes are really this color!  She won the genetic lottery and has one of the most striking eye colors I have ever seen.

MODEL // Tyrie Rudolph
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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In Bloom… Maia Shibutani

I was so excited that Maia Shibutani stopped by the studio again and this time, she brought her ridiculously good-looking (forgive the Zoolander reference) brother Alex!  You may remember Maia from our shoot back in January or more likely, you have seen her on the ice.  Maia and Alex are Olympians, 2016 & 2017 US Champions and 2x World Medalist Figure Skaters.  Aside from being incredibly talented athletes, the Shib Sibs (as their fans call them) are two of the nicest, funniest people to spend a studio day with.

One of the things that I love about collaborating with Maia is that she is always willing to experiment and try new looks. Our first shoot together was very dramatic and dark so this time, I wanted to do something completely different. I was inspired by all the blooming flowers in my neighborhood and the gorgeous spring makeup collections.

Note: The bottom lashes are from a Japanese company that I can’t find online. I source them at a local beauty shop in Little Tokyo.

Note: I actually used the Sisley Paris Photo-Blush Twist in Papaya on both the cheeks and eyelids. Although it applies as a cream, it dries into a powder and you can build up the color by using a translucent eyelid primer under it.

MODEL // Maia Shibutani
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Not-So-Classic Glamour… Jesi Le Rae

I rarely do vintage makeup looks (although I love how Adele Mildred, the brilliant milliner and artist, has made it her signature) however I enjoy working with classic makeup color combinations such as gold and red.  In the image above, I wanted to create a glamorous look that was modern enough to wear with jeans but could double on the red carpet with a gown.

Note: I am crazy about Jesi’s natural curls and perfect tooth gap!

MODEL // Jesi Le Rae
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Atomic #47… Nicole Zimmermann

I’ve always liked mixing warm and cool shades. Done correctly, it creates a contrast that can be both subtle and eye-catching. It’s also a great way to transition your makeup between seasons. In the above image Nicole is wearing warm nude lips, bronzed skin and icy silver eyelids with a thick fringe of black lashes. I added faux lashes to both the upper and lower lashlines to play up her doe-eyed look.

Note: The scientific symbol for silver is Ag, it’s atomic number is 47, it has 61 neutrons and a cubic crystal structure. Hence the somewhat obscure title of this post.

Note: I didn’t list the bottom lashes in the product section because I haven’t been able to source them online. They are by a Japanese brand that doesn’t seem to sell in the US.

MODEL // Nicole Zimmerman
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Chances are you’ve seen Maia and her handsome brother Alex gliding across the ice but just in case you are not up to date on figure skating, the Shibutani sibs (as their fans like to refer to them) are one of the top ice dancing teams in the world. Here are just a few of their impressive accomplishments:

2016-17 Grand Prix Final Bronze Medalists
2016 World Silver Medalists
2016 U.S. Champions
2016 Four Continents Champions
2011 World Bronze Medalists

If you would like to see them perform, the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships are happening January 14th – 22nd in Kansas City. Check your local listings for tv coverage or visit the official website for viewing options. The Beauty Is Boring team will be cheering for them!

Now back to beauty… Both on and off the ice, Maia always looks flawless. She has mastered the perfect black cat eye (her signature style) and occasionally pairs it with a classic red lip. She may also have the most perfect skin I have ever seen. It’s hard to believe but Maia is not wearing foundation or concealer in the above image!

For our shoot together I wanted to try something editorial and totally different from her usual style. We looked at quite a few new colors and products before deciding on these dramatic deep reds by Chanel. I am enamored with red and this almost brick version has the added allure of a subtle 90’s tribute.

Note: This marks the first time an Olympian has been on Beauty Is Boring!

Note: Maia is not only talented and gorgeous but she also showed up to the studio with Zingerman’s brownies from her home town of Ann Arbor. The entire beauty team is now addicted.

MODEL // Maia Shibutani
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Bobby Eliot

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Bonne année! And good riddance to you, 2016. It’s been a complicated year, one with high highs and low lows, a roller coaster of epic proportions. However rather than dwell on all the details of the past, let’s celebrate Beauty Is Boring style with two new looks for you to consider for New Year’s Eve.

First up is a look inspired by the amazing pale green wig that Bobby Eliot casually pulled out of his kit. I have always been crazy for the 2011 i-D Magazine cover featuring Stella Tennant. Her hair is a bit more blue in those images but there is that same sense of artfully faded color. In a happy coincidence, a box of Lemonhead’s Spacepaste arrived the morning of our shoot, including an aqua colored glitter called Private School which paired perfectly with the wig. I wanted the look to be more futuristic ocean punk than glam mermaid so I skipped mascara, eyeliner and just blotted a warm rose color over the lips / cheeks for a slightly deconstructed vibe.

Look two is straight up American glamour à la Jerry Hall at Studio 54. Bouncy brushed out curls, lacquered red lips, blush on the cheekbones and temples, exaggerated lashes and of course, a liberal wash of Pat McGrath’s Metalmorphosis 005 gold around the eyes. Perfect for a night spent on the dance floor (extra points if there is a disco soundtrack!) or anyplace where champagne is sure to be involved.

Note: While we were in the studio, Emily Ruhl (the stunning model in the images above) let slip that she had just finished filming a major part in a upcoming movie… keep an eye out for her debut role!

MODEL // Emily Ruhl
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Bobby Eliot for L'Oréal Professional US

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Holidays are for spending time with your family, vacationing to exotic locales or just cozying up by the fire with a great book. Time is what is really important this season so rather than spend an hour in front of the mirror applying a full face of makeup (you could be out throwing snowballs or sipping a glass of champagne while nibbling on fancy chocolate treats!), so why not opt for a look that is both chic and practical. Coco would approve!

Pair velvet skin with bare eyes and a slightly-darker-than-classic red lip for a flattering, modern look. Curl your lashes for extra oomph. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to achieve.

Note: If you are one of the lucky sorts that vacations in the tropics during the winter, then swap the velvet finish skin for a dewy glow and the satin lip for a hydrating lip shine in a similar shade.

MODEL // Vasilisa Pavlova
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Ryan Taniguchi

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