Taraji P. Henson. Ciara. Kerry Washington. Serayah. Issa Rae. These five women always look stunning, and the common denominator of their Hollywood glamour? Makeup artists and hairstylists who can create major red carpet moments using mostly beauty products that anyone can buy at the drugstore.
This may come as a surprise, especially since major cosmetics brands have tapped A-listers to front their luxe lines. But real pros know that you can accomplish remarkable feats with very little.
As Black History Month comes to an end, we are shining a spotlight on some of the most famous celebrity makeup artists and hairstylists. Here they give us a sneak peek inside their kits, revealing the cheap beauty buys they love and the tricks they swear by when pressed for time.
Number of years in the business: 20.
Celebrity clients: Taraji P. Henson, La La Anthony, Tika Sumpter, Alicia Keys, Aja Naomi King, Gabby Douglas, Molly Sims, Marisa Tomei, and many others.
The best matte lipstick: “I’m a huge fan of the Lip Bar. Their matte lipsticks and lip creams are vegan plus paraben free.”
Your go-to look when you’ve only got 10 minutes to glam up a client: “I go for a sultry eye, which is a softer version of smoky. I line eyes with a creamy pencil then smudge it out and add a lash with great contour and nude lip. It always turns out amazing with little time. I don’t know why.”
Top two red carpet beauty tips: “Use a makeup setting spray, and layer products. For example, line and fill in lines. Plus, use a lipstick and a matte cream or lip gloss. It’s old-fashioned, but it keeps lips on all night.”
Number of years in the business: 24.
Celebrity clients: Ciara, Jennifer Hudson, Russell Wilson.
Your must-have makeup brushes: “I love Revlon’s new foundation and blending brushes. The bristles are soft and smooth, giving me a perfect finish when blending colors.”
The best makeup remover: “I really enjoy using MAC’s facial wipes ($20)! When I’m in crunch time, they are highly effective and easy to use. They are infused with hexylene gycol, which is an antioxidant that deep-cleans, and vitamin E, which leaves the skin superhydrated.”
Your go-to look when you’ve only got 10 minutes to glam up a client: “First, I go for that see-through dewy but flawless foundation application by hydrating the skin with Advanced Clinicals Argan Oil ($15). Then, with a large powder brush, I blend Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Foundation Powder ($48) on top. Next, you must have a great brow, and H&M’s brow kit ($10) is my pick. For the finale, a red lip always brings the sizzle! I love my own brand, Glam.Or.Ring’s Red Dredd. It’s the perfect cherry red that works with any complexion.”
Top two red carpet beauty tips: “Always keep the T-zone matte! Those flashing lights on the red carpet tend to make the face appear shinier than normal. My trick is to bake the T-zone by pressing loose powder into the makeup and leaving it for a few minutes before buffing away with a large powder brush.
“Do not overdo the concealer! Again the bright flashes from the red carpet cameras tend to make the concealer read white. I hate when that happens. So remember not to use too much product. Then tone the concealer with a slightly warmer concealer or a warm sheer setting powder.”
Number of years in the business: 14.
Celebrity clients: Fergie, Hilary Duff, Christina Milian, LeToya Luckett, Serayah, Adrienne Bailion, and Faith Evans, to name a few.
Highlighter you won’t leave home without: “I am obsessed with Danessa Myricks Enlight Highlighter in Gocha Glow ($20)! This is is the perfect highlighter for medium to deep skin tones.”
Moisturizer you swear by: “I have been loving Urban Skin Rx Active Daily Defense Moisturizer.”
Your go-to look when you’ve only got 10 minutes to glam up a client: “Wow! I have been here before! I literally go for glowing skin, liner, and lashes and a red or nude lip.”
Top two red carpet beauty tips: “It’s always tricky and risky using body bronzers and oils that don’t dry down. So to give the body, legs, and arms a sultry sheen without the color, I use Neutrogena SPF Sunblock Spray on the areas I want to pop on the carpet and in photos.
“I also go for a subtle eye-enhancing and eye-catching pop. I use a touch of highlighter on the lid just in the center to draw more attention to the eyes. It’s like a surprise!
Numbers of years in the business: 25.
The best blow dryer: “In my opinion, the best blow dryer, hands down, is Paul Mitchell’s Neuro dryer. It’s absolutely amazing and dries hair in record time. It’s lightweight, quiet, and, most importantly, leaves hair frizz free. It’s also pretty sexy-looking too!”
Hairbrush you swear by: “I really love Rickycare’s paddle brush ($18). It isn’t fancy, but it’s very sleek. There isn’t much hardware between the hair and the brush.”
Your go-to look when you’ve only got 10 minutes to glam up a client: “I either go with a topknot or a wig.”
Top two red carpet beauty tips: “Prep hair in advance before the big day. Yes, even if it’s color, a blowout, or extensions — this should be done prior. A haircut should also be done in advance; this allows the hair to settle and take shape. And always remember, hair styles better when it’s a little dirty! To get rid of flyaways, a quick fix is to use lip gloss and hand lotion!”
Number of years in business: 17.
Celebrity clients: Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Teyonah Parris, Skai Jackson, and many more.
A hairbrush that won’t break: Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush Comb ($14).
Your go-to look when you’ve only got 10 minutes to glam up a client: “Any kind of updo style!”
Top two red carpet beauty tips: “Stand with confidence and know your angles.”
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