Even with everything that happened during the January 20 inauguration — the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, two A-list celebrity performances, and a slew of high-octane fashion moments — there was one question I heard far more than any other: Who the hell did Michelle Obama's hair? The former First Lady's silky, bouncy curls were the center of attention across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, thanks to Yene Damtew. The hairstylist, who's worked alongside the Obamas for quite some time, just revealed how she achieved the look, which, much to my surprise, was achieved with a flatiron.
“Again, thank you for the love & kind words today. Here's a video to show how I achieve my signature, bouncy curls on a client at my salon,” Damtew captioned a video of herself styling a model's hair with a 1.25-inch flatiron. She places sections of hair (which appear to be about two or three inches wide) inside the flatiron, keeping the tool parallel to the ground as she twists it toward herself. While she does this, she takes the length of hair hanging from the bottom of the flatiron and loops it above and to the right of the rest of the hair.
The specific flatiron Damtew likes to use, as she later mentioned on Twitter, has been discontinued. She did, however, link to a similar one in the same size: Hot Tools Professional Wide Plate Digital Salon Flat Iron for Reduced Frizz. After every section is curled, Damtew rakes her fingers through everything, tousling it a little bit for good measure. So, if you've got a flatiron at home (and I know you probably do), you can have First Lady-worthy hair, too. Just be sure to have a heat protectant and some shine-inducing products at the ready.
Obama's makeup artist, Carl Ray, also gave us some tips on achieving the former First Lady's classic inauguration day makeup look. “Unlike inaugurations in the past, I knew that the majority of people would be watching this from TV at home so I kept that in mind and played up looks that I knew would pop on camera,” he says. "My goal was to make this look daytime chic."
Ray achieved her smooth, contoured base with foundation, Fenty Beauty Match Stix, Iconic Liquid Highlighter, and Laura Mercier setting powder before filling in her eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills pencils and gels. Then came the most important part: the eyes.
“I was going for a dramatic, glam eye that would really play well to the camera,” Ray explains. “I chose the Viseart 01 eye shadow palette for neutral matte shades that blend and build effortlessly; [I added] a little pop in the center of the eye by applying Pat McGrath Eyedols Eye Shadow in Divine Mink to the center of the lid for high impact." For added drama, he applied a small wing with a gel eyeliner pencil followed by a liquid pen eyeliner. Lastly, Glossier's Lash Slick mascara and a pair of big, fluttery falsies served as the cherry on top.
More on the inauguration:
Now, see some of Michelle Obama's other iconic looks:
Originally Appeared on Allure