How to Apply Celebrity Makeup Like a Pro
Renowned print, television, film and advertising makeup artist Nichole Servin explains the difference between studio makeup application and what she does for her star clients at in-person events
You’ve seen makeup artist Nichole Servin’s work on models for ad campaigns for Adidas Originals, Guess Jeans and Tom Ford; in magazines like W, Marie Claire and Paper; the superb fine art photography of Alex Prager, Donna Trope and Nick Knight; and on actresses like Riley Keough, Elizabeth Banks and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Nichole has built her reputation on creating beautiful skin even in the most trying of circumstances. To her, ‘celebrity flawless’ simply means skin that is smooth, even (in both pigment and texture) and glowing.
“When the skin looks perfect,” she says, “It moves the focus to the eyes and the lips which is where the ‘wow’ impact live.”
Making it look easy
Nichole notes that many fantasies about celebrities perpetuate the notion that much of their lives are effortless – particularly with regards to sex, beauty, money or access – when compared to those of mere mortals. This even extends to our vision of what a celebrity complexion looks like. In reality, theirs look pretty much like everyone else’s; as in life some have amazing skin, others have so-so complexions. (Although it is true that the more famous someone becomes, the better their skin is likely to be because of access to top quality skin care practitioners.)
So what is the goal here when making up a celebrity? “The skin has to look like nobody was trying too hard,” says Nichole. “It has to look like it’s just naturally amazing. The impression they want to give (from skin to makeup to clothes to attitude) is that they woke up this way, even if in reality a whole team worked hours and hours to make it look that way. Essential truth here – it takes a village to make a celebrity look perfectly natural.”
Putting it to the test
Of all the types of makeup application, Nichole feels that by far the most exacting is for the red carpet or personal appearances.
“When you’re working on someone for an in-person event, what you see is what you get. Since live makeup is very unforgiving it has to be done with skillful precision,” explains Nichole. “In the studio, we have total control as to what the image will be, what the viewer will see and from what angle. Plus a studio shoot can hide a multitude of sins, light can be manipulated and extensive retouching can be done post production without too much effort.”
Out on the red carpet, there is no control and there are so many factors that can go wrong for a whole host of reasons. Some of the biggies:
1. It’s a stressful environment
2. There’s bright, harsh light coming from every direction
3. Digital, high definition lenses highlight every single flaw is amplified on anyone over the age of twelve
4. You are on view from every angle
5. You’re as likely to be photographed on a fan’s cell phone than with a professional’s lenses
6. The tabloids will pay a fortune for an unflattering shot
Red carpet ready
Nichole has some solid tips on getting your own skin red carpet ready.
First and foremost, you have to make sure you’ve got an accurate foundation shade match. To do this, take a mirror outside into bright natural light and spray on a test streak from the middle of your cheek down to the neck. It might help to have a friend help you with this.
Ready, set, go
1) Use a sheet mask and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before applying any makeup. Nichole likes Patchology.
2) Use under eye patches before application too. Nichole’s favorites are by again, Patchology.
3) Lightly dot on eye cream if you need it. Nichole LOVES Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream.
4) Spray Mineral Air onto your eyelids as a primer and concealer. This will help your prevent your eye shadow from creasing over time.
5) Apply eye shadow, groom brows, curl lashes, apply false lashes if you’re using them, apply X coats of mascara.
6) Mist on Mineral Air over the rest of your face and go over the areas that need a little extra help.
7) After a few seconds, use a wide brush to go lightly over the face for a final polish and blend.
8) Lipstick goes on last. A spritz of Mineral Air on the lips also makes an effective primer.
The last word
In conclusion, Nichole offers her observations about Mineral Air, “I’ve spent the whole of my career making beautiful faces look effortless. Now what’s amazing about Mineral Air is that it actually is effortless!”
Looking for more ways to use Mineral Air so your skin can look celebrity flawless? Click here and we’ll take you right to it.
“Essential truth here – it takes a village to make a celebrity look perfectly natural.”
Celebrity makeup artist