Adele’s Timeless Makeup
Now, if I had Michael Ashton doing my cat eyes every day, they too would be perfect. I, however, am stuck with living in reality. Which means I know applying liquid black eyeliner and not resembling Amy Winehouse on a bad day is hard. I also know that Adele’s stylish makeup and hair takes two-and- a-half hours. Yes. Two. And a half. Hours. Unless you’re Natalia Vodianova, my personal goddess and savior (who’s my friend on Facebook, btw), this kind of beauty takes time.
So I’ve called in reinforcements: Victoria “Vix” Stiles, whose makeup artistry’s unparalleled, and my Mama Cubana, Ana Anders, for reasons that will become instantly apparent. Between the three of us, we’ve got this. Maybe not fast, but right.
In our eyes, Adele’s makeup is like Audrey Hepburn: impeccable, feminine, and universally attractive. We love Adele at her Adele-iest – alive, red-lipped, joyful – rather than the pretty-but-indolent Vogue cover Adele.
Here’s how to get there.
As in, into preparing your skin. Facial and eyelid primers are stay-put, stay-smooth staples. The last thing you want, especially as the weather turns disgustingly humid, is smeary, melty, sweaty anything. Study Adele’s made-up face. This bird is all about matte, matte, matte. She hates being shiny. (Adele, am I right or am I right?)
You know how I said in yesterday’s post to not skimp on eye cream? Well, foundation goes into that cough-it- up category. You cannot have flawless skin using cheap stuff. It’ll never work. And Adele wouldn’t respect you.
These three are phenomenal:
For oily skin, Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation ($39) stays true to its name. Oil-free; amazingly natural-looking heavy-duty coverage; eighteen shades.
For normal skin, break out the heavy plastic for Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation ($120). The tube is small but the content is huge – with highly pigmented, utterly silken coverage. It has a broad spectrum SPF 29 sunscreen, to boot.
For mature skin, Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation SPF 20 ($67) is like a mini face lift in a bottle of satiny texture and pure luminosity. My glamorous Mami says, “Dees one spoils a person. I lohveet and I deserve eet because I am de mother.”
For under eyes with Issues, you want Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer ($30). A tiny squeeze gives years and years of coverage. Centuries.
Clé de Peau Beauté’s award-winning cult Concealer ($70) nothing comes close to its creamy yet light fabulosity, whose Japanese powder technology is unmatched. Both concealers stay put for the duration and won’t settle into creases.
Grasp The Power of Powder
Use loose powder to set your makeup, including your concealer. The finer, the better. I’m ready to be a baby mama to two:
Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder ($38). Don’t let its snow white appearance throw you. The second you sweep this weightless, micro-refined powder across your skin – a little goes a long way -- no matter what color your skin is, the powder disappears into light-reflecting, soft-focus perfection.
Pair either powder with Artis Oval 8 Brush ($65), and you’ll never go back. This brush is so plush, so elegant and classic, it’s like a cross between an Elsa Peretti egg spoon and a Tiffany baby brush.
“Dees ees de kind of theeng joo want forever,” says Mami. “And eef joo don’t, I’ll take eet.”
Obsess Over Brows
Gigi Anders: Vix, talk about why brows matter and what’s happening with them these days.
Victoria Stiles: Eyebrows frame the entire face. We’re going back to that staple ʼ90s supermodel, bushier brow. But it’s more refined for 2016. Take that ʼ90s brow and groom it for a futuristic era.
GA: How do you choose the right color?
VS: Go maybe one shade darker than the natural color, but try to stay in the hue of your hair color. Stick with neutral browns or golden shades.
GA: Which products do you like?
GA: How do you get that strong emphasis without evoking Mommie Dearest?
VS: Try to exaggerate the arch by shading it just above, instead of underneath, with an angle brush and a brow shadow powder. Use the brow brush or spoolie in the kit to brush brows upward. To set brows, use brow wax. Wax is better than gel because it looks soft and natural. Once gel sets, it can look hard and crunchy.
Have Big Fat Eyes
Adele’s eyeshadows are not about major color or sparkle. She keeps them understated and neutral. “Stick with two individual matte shades.” advises Vix. “Keep it simple because the big drama is the liner.”
Start with a vanilla color across the entire lid. We like Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in M-510 Vanilla ($21) and Stila Eye Shadow in Starlight ($18). Using a short, blunt shader brush, apply either of the following in the crease and under the bottom lashes, keeping everything blended and super soft: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in M-536 Milk Tea ($21), Stila Eye Shadow in Grace ($18).
Fancy Big Drama
Okay, now for the part that freaks us mortals all out. Consider the importance of balance.
“With Adele’s milky skin,” explains Vix, “if she had lighter hair, major black eyeliner might take us into a severe trailer park situation. But with her, it’s just balanced. So if you’re a blue-eyed blonde with dark brows, say, you’ll look great too.”
“Finding that sweet spot takes practice,” says Vix, “so have makeup remover and Q-tips on the side.” Or have this cool new surf’nʽturf wonder, bbrõwbar Brow Corrector ($28), which tackles any eye or brow imperfections, even waterproof ones, with a defined swipe.
Ones like Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($22) in Intense Black/Jet Black, an eyeliner felt-tip pen, whose precision, depth, and smoothness are like poetry. Or like Grande Naturals GrandeLINER ($44.95), whose price is justified for all of the above, as well as its lash-boosting formula including something called Prostaglandin I.C. to help extend the length of the lash growth cycle, and hyaluronic acid to promote lush, healthy lashes.
Okay. Let’s do this.
Take an index card, place it under your bottom lashes, and tip it up slightly at around a 45 degree angle. That’s your guide. “Start in the outer corner and work your way into the eye’s inner corner,” says Vix. “It’s easier to start thin and go thicker gradually. Tame it down a bit by not going past the end of the eyebrow.”
Have Lashes That Crash Into Your Glasses
I turned Vix on to Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23), and now that’s all she uses. (Considering she’s a professional makeup artist, I counted that as a personal triumph.) The latest version comes in a waterproof formula, which is a must to keep this lovely look in place. It has everything – the blackest black pigment, zero clumps, massively long length, curly, and ultra-fattening for even the skinniest lashes.
“And then I love the KISS individual lashes ($7.58),” adds Vix. “They come in these little groups, so they’re easy to put on with tweezers. Apply first to the outer edge and work your way in. They add that emphasis along the lash line you need to complete this look. For even more dramatic flair, add more mascara. Don’t be afraid!”
Be (Slightly) Cheeky
Vix says Adele doesn’t need a whole lot on the cheeks.
“You want to keep it soft and play with a little bit of sheen in a pinky palette, not glittery, that adds color and a slightly dewy look on the apple of the cheek.”
Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow ($30) is the answer to all your love dreams – well, all of mine, anyway -- not to mention your need for the sweetest packaging. Its three fine-milled stripes of matte and glowy pink, peach, and apricot are good, good, good.
Kiss Bright Lips Hello
Adele lips call for one of two vibes: pinky-peachy or full-stop red. Always matte either way so you can, as Adele might say, kiss to seal any sins (i.e., without looking like you just ate fried chicken). I love matte lipsticks but they can be unforgiving. If your lips are dry or chapped, Clarisonic them on the delicate setting for a few seconds with Cetaphil and lukewarm water, pat dry, and apply Tata Harper Be True Hydrating & Antiaging Lip Treatment ($29). LipoAmino acid and Spanish lavender blur and plump vertical lines; date palm extract boosts collagen; and rhubarb, acai and green tea oils infuse lips with hydration and antioxidants.
If your lipstick tends to bleed or change color once it’s applied, you need Sigma’s Lose The Halo Lip Concealer ($15), a creamy cover that’s an understandable best-seller.
Now for the fun part.
Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Fantasy and French Kiss ($28 each). Mattifying powders commingled with mango butter create long-lasting satiny goodness. Notice all the lipsticks’ F-names? There’s a reason for that.
Youngblood INTIMATTE Mineral Matte Lipstick in Flirt ($19), a gorgeous, truly vegan coral enriched with Vitamin E, safflower seed oil, and honeysuckle flower extract – all good-for- you emollient antioxidants.
Best Ready for Bed Reds:
“I’m gonna tell you,” says Vix, “that done right, you can do a darker eye and a red lip. It’s the way you do it and work it.”
With these, all you have to do is put them on. They do all the heavy lifting for you. Meaning they’re heavily pigmented, classic reds that stay true, stay matte, and pop right out.
Chosungah 22 So Tiny Lip & Cheek in Apple Red ($14) is an adorable 2 ½-inch tube that packs a Korean pigmented punch of pure playfulness. The rosy stain lasts forever and can double as a blush.
Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Foreplay ($28) is a Here-I- Am orange red that gets past foreplay fast. Seriously beautiful.