Two days ago, at the age of 69, David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Goblin King) passed away after a battle with cancer. As the Glossier team mourned while listening to Modern Love on repeat—and, just down Lafayette, New Yorkers lined up for blocks to lay down flowers and candles in front of his apartment—the photo-sharing site imgur produced what is perhaps the best way to pay our respects to the legendary rocker: his Top Shelf. Actually, it’s his “Makeup Do’s And Don’ts,” as told to the publication Music Scene in 1973. His tips are as follows:
“[M]ostly all of his makeup comes from a little shop in Rome, Italy, that imports fantastic colored powders and creams from India. (He’s not telling the name of the store, however!!!)”
Remember To Highlight
“For stage, David will often use an iridescent base, usually pure white. When he paints that gold circle on his forehead that’s such a hit with his fans, he uses a German gold base in cake form bought at New York’s Makeup Center.”
“In his last few English concerts, Bowie painted tiny lightning streaks on his cheek and upper leg. Once in awhile he uses pearlized gloss on his lips in a tan/pink that comes across like a white-silver highlight.”
Skincare Can Be Makeup
“Eight Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden is what you’ll see shining up David’s lips and eyelids in photographs, it gives that extra-gloss effect.”
Use The Whole Eye “David will often paint waves of color all the way across his eyes and eyebrows, rather than on the lids only–usually a pink or mauve tone.”
“[A] must is that old-fashioned black mascara, (sometimes blue)–you know the kind that you spit on the little brush and it’s in a cream/cake form…”
A Warning “He doesn’t use glitter too much, because it falls into his eyes when he’s performing and it just isn’t soft looking enough, he feels.”
And Finally—Let Your Skin Breathe
“As far as off-stage makeup is concerned, David doesn’t wear any base; he uses a light natural moisturizer with rice powder dusted on top–but most often he prefers to show his very light, bare, clear English skin…”
We ran into a bit of a naming dispute at ITG HQ when shooting this story. Those products you dab on your cheekbones, under your brows, in the inner corners of your eyes…are they highlighters? Luminizers? Illuminizers? For people who write and photograph beauty every day, we were needlessly stumped. Not that it matters—call it whatever you’d like, but the concept is the same: catching the light and reflecting it like the majestic wood nymph you are (or aspire to be).
The real question you should be asking yourself when approaching the realm of (let’s just pick one) highlighters is: How do you want to glow? There’s the louder, “I’m Coming Out” approach, full of sparkle. Then there’s the hidden-in-plain sight technique, where you can only tell there’s something there when you tilt your face toward the light. Both are equally valid. Please share your current highlight personality below.
Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer: Finally, some full-on glitter. Reach for this when in the mood for that VS-Angel vibe that’s more sexy than demure (ain’t nothing wrong with that).
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone: Worth. The. Hype. It’s unassuming in the compact (sort of looks like your standard powder on a mica trip)—but that’s the trick. Highlighter is just part of the equation; the other half is how it evens out your complexion. This one’s a good choice for faces that tend to go rosy quickly when out in the sun.
Benefit Watt’s Up!: In a perfect world, everything for the face would come in a stick. Drag Watt’s Up! (absolute pun gold) anywhere you need a little illumination, blend up with the sponge or just your fingers, and you’re done. Easy peasy.
“I love doing my makeup—mostly because I’m pretty good at it. What I can’t do is hair! [Laughs] So I like to have that done. One time I said to someone, ‘I have H and M tomorrow,’ and they were like ‘Why are you going to H&M?’ I thought everyone knew that H and M meant ‘hair and makeup,’ but then I realized it’s just us. I’ll be like ‘What time is glam?’ and people are like ‘What the fuck is glam?’
On my face, I always start with the Giorgio Armani Light Master Primer. When Joyce [Bonelli] does my makeup, she doesn’t use a primer. But personally, I like it. It just smooths you out and makes makeup go on so much easier. My favorite foundation is the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in 60 Beige. It’s light, so I get it a few shades darker and apply it with a kabuki brush like a bronzer. I try not to pile a lot of product on my face, but I do have the Joe Blasco Ultrabase Foundation in case. It’s really heavy, but it’s great if you have a breakout or really dark circles. I think people even use it to cover up tattoos. It’s very thick makeup.
It’s crazy how many nude lip crayons I own—I probably need to get rid of some. This Kardashian Beauty Sheer Joy Tinted Lip Balm [ed note: discontinued] is one of our products we did as a limited edition for Christmas, and I love it. I’m going to be so pissed when it’s done—it’s like a stain, so I can even wear it to the gym. I’ve got a couple stored away, and I refuse to give them to anyone. [Laughs] Another really good nude for me is Tom Ford Lipstick in Sable Smoke and Spanish Pink.
I like Tom Ford and Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipsticks. When I’m doing my own, I will just use Make Up For Ever. I like matte finishes, mostly. I normally like to do a lip pencil and then fill it in with the same pencil because it stays on all day, and you don’t have to reapply it. I love Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencils. They literally do not move on your lips. I don’t know the names of the colors. There’s a nude one [ed note: Rosewood] that I use. I think I stole it from Joyce, and I was like, ‘I have to buy this.’ And when I went into Sephora, I saw all of their amazing colors and bought all of them.
I’m like a connoisseur of dry shampoo, so I’m really picky. Jen [Atkin] will kill me, but one of my favorites is Pssst! When she’s not with me, I put it all in my hair even though it makes it look white. It doesn’t smell too good, so I also use the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. And I love our Take 2 Dry Conditioner, too—that’s why we made it. It smells really fresh and good. It’s different from a dry shampoo—it’s good when you have bigger, frizzier hair because it adds a sheen to it even though it’s not as heavy as an oil.
Every night, I wash my face with two different cleansers. One is the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser. It’s for breakouts because it’s just so intense. Then I use one that’s all-natural from my dermatologist, Dr. Christie Kidd. It’s really soft, and I use that to cleanse, too. I use either baby oil or coconut oil to take off my makeup before though. After that, I use La Mer’s Crème de La Mer every night and then lather my skin in Bio-Oil Specialist Moisturizer. Sometimes I combine the two to thin it out, but I tend to like a really heavy cream to sleep in.
Kourtney got me into all these Mama Mio products that are all natural—I think she used them when she was breast-feeding. Their names are really cute—there is one that’s called the Shrink to Fit Cellulite Smoother that I like. I use one of their other products called the Pregnancy Boob Tube every day. It’s got avocado oil and shea butter so when your boobs are growing you don’t get stretch marks. I like it though, because it tightens your neck, too. I’ve been using it everyday for a year. Now people always ask me, ‘Why do you have this?’ hinting as if I’m trying to have a baby, and I’m like, ‘No, no. It’s just because I fuckin’ like it’.”
—as told to ITG
Khloe Kardashian photographed at her home in LA by Emily Weiss.
It’s Pat McGrath’s go-to highlighter, Sarah Lucero’s standby illuminator, and a favorite of supermodels Karlie Kloss and Coco Rocha. It’s the Madina Milano Chic & Shine stick, touted as the holy grail product for achieving that glow-from-within, and the only thing wrong with it is that you can only get it in Italy. Frustrating, to say the least. For years (years) we’ve searched for an alternative, to no great avail. At this point, obsessively scouring eBay for Italian highlighter contraband seemed to be the best option.
But good things come when you’re not looking for them, and at long last, we’ve stumbled upon something approximate to Madina results—it’s even makeup artist-approved. Oh, and it’s from Walmart. Don’t choke on your lunch.
Turns out, if jetting off to Italy isn’t in the cards right now, your next best bet is Flower Beauty’s Glisten Up! Highlighter Chubby, created by none other than Drew Barrymore and exclusive to Walmart’s beauty section. Brought to our attention by Moises Ramirez, another lover of Madina, he said he discovered the Highlighter Chubby via makeup artist friends. He admits it “doesn’t melt into the skin like Madina, but it does come in darker color, which I liked. The light one is close in color,” Moises said about Pearl Shimmer. It’s not quite as white as it appears online (and additionally, not as pearly as the Madina), but it’s still pretty good regardless. The other two shades—Gold Coaster and Honey Bronze—make the Flower Chubby on of the more universal highlighting tools on the market. While Honey Bronze may work more as a bronzer, Gold Coaster looks lovely on olive and darker complexions.
So there you have it. Our prayers and wishes are (kinda sorta) answered. Drew Barrymore, we always knew it’d be you.
“I’m the head makeup artist at Stila. I do all TV appearances, trend forecasting, and designs for each season. It’s a creative platform that I love, so I feel like I’m really calm even in the chaos. If it was stressful, I don’t know if I would want to do it—that feeling just gets in the way of your own creativity. I have responsibilities for work, and then I have a responsibility to myself to do what I love, so I think of it as weaving these responsibilities together to make something beautiful. I keep a loose-goose agenda if I can. If it’s too scheduled, I’ll never make time for going out. A makeup test can run eight hours long, and if you have too much to commit to, then stress affects your night. If I have a free night, I have a couple friends I’ll go see. It’s very much last minute—but I like that. I’m a great last minute friend because I am not going to be upset if you cancel or things come up. I think being open to changes and saying yes to something, even though it’s not on your calendar, is favorable because that’s when you meet new people or you might experience something you never even knew existed.
My ideal night out would be going out for sushi or just something easy and light in California, where I live. Nobu in Malibu has a good outdoor area, and you can sit for hours. We usually end up somewhere dancing, but I feel more comfortable at house parties with friends. I know more hip places in New York than back home because California is so mellow. [Laughs] I’m very chill and like to be alone. I feel like as I get older, I discovered that within me. When we’re in New York for something like Fashion Week, my husband films and edits the backstage and show footage. I’ve been married for 19 years. My husband gets along with my friends and can talk to anybody, but we never go out drinking together—that never ends well, no matter what! [Laughs] Girls Night is important, and Guys Night is important. It’s important to have your own thing and your own time. I will go all night. I am definitely the one who wants to keep the night going if we’re having fun. You have to be open for that element of surprise.
GETTING READY If I just got out of work, I usually change and put something comfortable on—maybe a robe or like an intermediate outfit! Then I can go and make myself a glass of wine or tea and have a hard boiled egg before I go out—you know, I don’t want to be starving. I don’t really do my hair. It’s always just a little messy, and it’s fine. Usually I’ll fake a blow-out with Percy & Reed Dry Instant Volumising Spray. Depending on where I’m going is how I’ll pick my outfit for the night. I just have to go to my closet and figure it out. I love to mix-and-match and anything fringe. I feel like I have to be comfortable, and I have to be me, so I just go in and see what’s happening. I like misting my face after a day at work to freshen it up. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is one of my favorites because it smells like a spa. I also like Avène Eau Thermale and Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner. When I use Dr. Hauschka’s, it makes my skin feel tight and ready in a good way.
I feel like I get tanner as the night goes on. It’s bronzer—I don’t know why I love it so much. I rotate my favorites. Stila had a bronzer that’s discontinued now, which I adored, called One Step PrimeColor in Bronze Babe. After bronzer, I tap on Stila Convertible Color in Poppy on my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, and a little on my lip. A dewy product like MAC Strobe Cream is amazing—very sheer and not super frosty. Madina Chic & Shine Highlighter Stick Illuminante is amazing as well, though I would say there is a little bit more of an iridescent pinkness throughout the MAC Strobe Cream. I’ll put it on my eyelids too and do a little here and a little there. There’s also the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza for shimmer. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but when I do it’s different. I like clumpy lashes and things that looks a little imperfect, but I think that’s me.
I touch up my makeup, put on mascara, and definitely add more eyeliner to go out. I also like my makeup to look worn-in, so it works to my advantage if I’m adjusting the day’s makeup. I’ll do a little liner and then smudge it up a little bit—that’s my version of a smoky eye. I do a deep burgundy pencil in my lower lash line. Burgundy, to me, is like the new black—so very dense, but it’s got more of a warmth to it. Then I’ll do a black liquid eyeliner on top with Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Cat eyes are like the Little Black Dress of makeup—it always looks good, looks a little polished, and done. No matter how your eyes look, round or smaller, a cat eye can enhance your eye shape, but you can’t do the same technique on every one. I haven’t worn eye shadow in a while, but if I did, I’d do it in a way where it’s blocky, thick, and really not blending into the skin because I have really deep-set eyes. I’m obsessed with this Chanel Eye Gloss that they don’t make anymore! There’s a black, white, gold, and burgundy shade in there. I can dip in a liner brush, blot it, then kind of ‘ruin’ my makeup with this. It’s amazing.
After I do my eyes, I conceal my under-eyes with Charlotte Tilbury’s The Retoucher. It’s a pen like the YSL Touche Éclat, which is great, but this one is more of a foundation-beige while the YSL ones are more sheer and peachy—I’d use that more for brightening. I love anything that’ll give me full, thick volume so I apply Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes 5-Star Mascara continuously throughout the day to build. I have done lash extensions too. I think they could be amazing if done by somebody who is an artist. There’s a technique that I’ve seen where it looks good when they layer the medium, short, and long lashes. If they are all one length, I can tell and don’t like it. Otherwise, I would say just do some falsies. I love doing little clumps of the flares—I’ll drop a little flare in the edge of my eyelashes, and it widens my eye.
I stay away from bright-red lips. I feel instantly too-done if I have red lips on, so I’m much more comfortable with a neutral lip. I’ll just use the La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Perfection à Porter. This is for lip and eye! It’s worth the money because it’s the first thing I reach for when I’m traveling on an airplane. The eye cream has such an interesting texture—you can put it on over makeup. Then I might do Kevyn Aucoin Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Medium. It’s an easy color to wear because it mimics my natural lip color.
At the end of the night, I take my makeup off with Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths. I think there’s some type of astringent in them that makes my skin feel really toned. Some of the generic wipes are great, but they leave a residue, so I’m really picky with wipes even if I work with other people because it can change everything. These cloths are really durable, they take everything off, and it feels like I just got a facial or something. I guzzle a ton of water—especially if I’ve been drinking—just to avoid headaches the next day. And near my bed, if there’s a lip balm or hand cream, I’ll maybe put that on. There’s a lot of moisture masks, but I like Dr. Hauschka’s Hydrating Mask. Sometimes at the end of the night, I’ll sleep in it after I wipe my makeup off.”
—as told to ITG
Sarah Lucero shot by Tom Newton. Video edited by Atif Ateeq (The Wall Group).