What Celebrities Look For When Choosing Makeup

Ramy makeupOur guest post today is from Ramy Gafni, who has worked as a makeup artist for the following celebs:

Marisa Tomei, Matt Dillon, Katherine Heigl, Nicole Richie, Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell, Naomi Watts, Faith Hill, Meredith Viera, Barbara Walters, Veronica Webb, David Spade, Timothy Hutton, Rob Morrow, Mariska Hargitay, Liev Schrieber, Michael McKean, Gina Gershon, Claire Danes, Joe Pantoliano, Lillian Vernon, Annabella Sciorra, Ivanka Trump, Diana Krall, Carol Burnett, Julia Stiles, Tricia Helfer, Jennifer Grey, Amanda Sorvino, Ray Romano, Roz Abrams, Holly Robinson Peete, Nancy Loo, Pia Getty, Jennifer Bassey, Deborah Gibson, Kelly Klein, Lauren Holly, Elizabeth Vargas, Carrie-Anne Moss, Cher, Christine Baranski, Jean Smart, Jane Pauley, Joy and Regis Philbin, Debra Messing and Renee Zellweger. Read on!

I am often asked by clients and friends if celebrities I’ve worked on look for something specific when choosing their makeup. Is there some special “Only-if-you’re-a-Star” formula of foundation? Or a particular color scheme a celebrity uses when on the Red Carpet? Why do stars often look perfect, even in photos taken at the tail end of a long awards show or at the after parties?

The truth is, in some ways, celebrities are like everyone else. Some know what looks best on themselves, others are very open and trusting of their hair and makeup team. While it’s the makeup artist’s job to know the current color trends and what will look best on the client, I have noticed that many famed beauties have several things in common:

Color Selection:

  • They use the correct shade and formula of concealer and foundation for their skin, so that the makeup is imperceptible and the skin looks naturally flawless.
  • They opt for neutral shades, like taupe eyeshadows, mahogany eyeliner, white highlighter, pale pink blush for fair skin, warn nude blush for medium skin tones and rosy/burgundy shades for darker skin tones. Lips are neutral, but polished, usually with a corally pink.
  • Eyebrows are always filled with taupe brow filler when in front of the camera or on red carpet. It is often with a very light hand and extremely natural looking, but makes a huge differance in photos by framing the eyey and adding definition to the face.

Other than the choice of colors and formulas, the reason a celebrity’s makeup seems to hold up for an entire evening is technique. This is where hiring a makeup artist can make all the difference, but any smart actress will have picked up many of the following tips and tricks if she has to do her own makeup:

  • Layering and setting your makeup: When you skip the proper application steps, you might be saving a few minutes, but you’re also ensuring your makeup won’t last for as long as you need it to. Moisturize first (Face and eyes), apply a good primer over the moisturizer. The primer locks in the moisture and creates a smoother surface for the makeup. After applying concealer or foundation, set it with a touch of powder. This prevents the concealer or foundation from sliding away and also gives eyeshadow, blush, etc. something to adhere to.
  • When you’re looking at a celebrity and trying to figure out what that fabulous lipstick shade is, it’s more often than not a combination of several different colors. It’s not uncommon to mix one or two lipstick shades, a lip pencil and a gloss to create a desired effect. Many people don’t want to take the time or effort to do all these steps, but it makes a huge difference and can add dimension to lips (or eyes) as well as creating an amazing color effect.
  • When an actress knows she is going to be photographed, the general desire is, of course, to look as beautiful as possible, but it’s also that they want their face to stand out, NOT their makeup. So the makeup should, as a rule, not draw attention to itself. There might be one standout feature, like a bold red lip, but the audience should think, “Look at her gorgeous face with a bold red lip”. It’s always about the star, then the fashion, then the hair and makeup. But all are equally vital.

It always amazes me that people who aspire to look like their favorite celebrity never seem to notice that A list celebrity’s makeup, unless deliberately goth, is usually natural looking and fresh faced and modern. They also take the extra steps to ensure correct application – no shortcuts! The rest of the population makes the common mistake of allowing their personal taste get in the way of looking flawless, but that’s what makes the world go around!

About the Author:
RamyRamy Gafni is a makeup artist “to the stars,” with his own makeup line, and his work has been seen on national television shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” E! Entertainment Television’s “Fashion File,” Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Entertainment Tonight.” Ramy’s looks have also graced the runways of recognizable fashion shows such as Valentino and XOXO. To learn more, please visit www.ramy.com