The No Makeup-Makeup Redux

You've heard it before, you'll hear it again: The overwhelming beauty trend from New York Fashion Week this season was a natural look. Glowing skin with a bit of a highlight, brushed up brows, everyone's own version of nude... And honestly, it always look really, really nice. Maybe not creatively inspiring, but Fashion Month is four weeks long—every city's got to have its own wheelhouse. New York's seems to be wearability.

But Estonian model Tiiu Kuik (pronounced TEE-you) has got a knack for the not-so-normal. Her favorite makeup artist is Kabuki—he of the Jeremy Scott shows. It's an elevated taste picked up over something like 30 seasons in the industry (Tiiu's 28, been modeling since she was 13, and says she feels like 100 years old in model years). She's certainly got the wisdom to go with it: "Fashion’s new favorite word is relatable," she says, compared to when she started back in 2001. "It was definitely different back then, in a good way and in a bad way. There was a lot of hair, a lot of nails… I had to get acrylics for every show.”

Not to go against our inherent New York-ness, the look we did with Tiiu is natural with a bit of a wink. The foundation is standard (eyeliner, blush, gloss), but the colors are refreshed. Her waterlines are taken care of my Mr. Tom Ford—his High Definition Eyeliner in Burnished Gold on the top for some lightness, and Ebony on the bottom to define the eye shape. The consistency of the liner is creamy, but gritty enough not to move around too much if you like to tightline.

On her cheeks is Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Soft Plum. If you're new to blushes, bronzers, highlighters, or any sort of powders in general, splurge on the Ambient Lighting collection. It's like walking everywhere with a big candle illuminating your face. Purple, with a hint of bronze-y taupe, is actually quite neutral (and a nice choice for someone as cool-toned a Tiiu), but you get the adrenaline rush of "Oh Lord I'm using purple blush!" It's a nice feeling.

And because the office (Tom in particular) is still on the People Don't Wear Enough Lipgloss Bandwagon, consider this a whole-hearted plug for Troy Surratt's version, called Lip Lustre in Étoile. It's lightweight and clear, with a whole bunch of suspended glitter for a little party-party wherever you apply it. Tiiu is wearing it on her lips and lids. No, it's not quite reinventing the makeup application wheel—but not everything needs to break the mould. Sometimes a little purple blush and golden gloss will do.

Tiiu Kuik (The Society) photographed by Tom Newton.

Your lips, just a little shinier: Click over to read about our favorite gold lip glosses. And discover more of The Makeup, here.

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To Do: Try A Bright Pink Lip

Sure, earthy neutral tones are good and nice. But that story was published ages ago (in 2015). As the saying goes: new year, new face. Or at least a new shade of lipstick.

Something Hung Vanngo said last time he was in the office got us thinking about branching out a little. After a full afternoon of making up (then remaking up) the perfect canvas that is Josephine Skriver, the makeup artist said, “Sometimes if you add a little color, it gives a little youth to the face.” Point taken—but what about a lot of color?
So he started removing any and all traces of product on Josephine’s lip and replacing them with bright pink. “We’re just playing, you know what I mean? This is going to be a look for a girl who loves to play with color.”

Hung prepped her face with the Glossier Phase 1 Set (Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and a bit of Balm Dotcom), then went in on the pink. He started with a CK One Color Lipstick in Wow, a matte fuchsia. “We’re going to do a reverse stain—fill it in with a pink Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil liner afterwards.” Then he tapped on the cream side of the CK One Color Cream and Powder Blush Duo.

The ‘Do’s’ here are:
+ Very dewy skin that contrasts with the matte lip
+ A defined lip shape. Touch up the edges with concealer and a brush.
+ Other colorful accoutrement. Josephine’s jacket is by Karen Walker.

And, of course, Hung also shared his list of ‘Don’ts’:
+ Don’t wear mascara: “A smoky shadow is fine, but lashes are too much.” Hung added a touch of L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Silver Sky all around Josephine’s eye area. Blend well.
+ Don’t use gloss: “I can add a bit of Lip Shine after I do the color if I want, but never lip gloss to start.”
+ Don’t wear too much blush. If anything, stick to cream. Better to air on the shinier side of things.

As we type this, it’s a blustery 30 degrees outside (without the windchill). Staying in and playing around with pink lipstick seems like just the activity to properly distract. Drop us a line if you’re doing the same thing wherever you are.

Josephine Skriver photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Hung Vanngo. Styling by Anna Santangelo.

Josephine wears a Karen Walker jacket and Nikki Chasin top.

Three more looks care of Hung Vanngo can be found right this way. And get inspired with more of The Makeup here.

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The Look: Ji Hye Park in Nars

Remember Douceur? That perfect Nars blush—more perfect than Orgasm, more perfect than Deep Throat—that was woefully discontinued? Gone, not forgotten, and ever the touchstone for somber blushes everywhere...so much so that its name ricochets through the digital hallways of ITG (mentioned here, here, and here).

Well last Fashion Week, Nars subtly introduced the world to Impassioned—Douceur's heir-apparent, sans the trace mica particles, making it that much more adult and excellent. It debuted at Mansur Gavriel and Thakoon and will be available to the general public sometime in 2016. Regardless, it's a great goal for winter blush shades, when a vibrant peach doesn't feel right. At the moment, the next best thing is Nars' 413 BLKR Blush Duo. The grayer, taupe-ier of the two, on the left, to be exact. You can save the other half for April. It's what Ji Hye Park is wearing in the above photos. Barely perceptible, but the right amount of life when your cheeks haven't seen proper sun in three months or so.

But given that it's already an approximation of good things to come, here are a few others. Just to tide you over a bit.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Delicata: Slightly pinkier; a sheer Douceur.

Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe: The cult favorite, very gray. Dramatic unless layered with something rosier, whatever your pleasure.

Chanel's Highlighting Blush in Coups de Minuit: A little bronze, a little peach, a little taupe, all at once.

Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Light Mauve: A solid stand-in that skews purple.

Ji Hye Park (The Society) photographed by Tom Newton.

More good looks: check out Ava Smith in a barely-there gold eyeshadow, Angel Rutledge with a vampy lip (and then without), and Melodie Monrose wearing every makeup artist's favorite foundation.

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Earth Tones, By Hung Vanngo

There's a reason Hung Vanngo is just about every Victoria's Secret Angel's favorite makeup artist. His beauty ethos is simply "I want to make women look gorgeous." OK, got it.

And hey, why overthink it? Not everything needs to have a complicated, artistic end to be good. So when Hung came into the office last week (to do a story with the near-perfect looking Josephine Skriver), there wasn't a ton of direction given pre-shoot. Just one goal: Make neutral makeup exciting. Earthy tones are the backbone of any universally flattering makeup look—as such, they should not bore you to tears. (Similarly, these looks are built on a foundation of the Glossier Phase 1 Set, a good backbone for any makeup or no-makeup look.)

Hung was game, and just as straightforward about it as one would expect. He said, "I'll give you one strong lip, one strong eye and one combination of both" (plus one extra look you won't find here—stay tuned).

The first look started with clean, clean skin and very minimal highlighter (Hung shoots from the hip and gets his glow from cleansed and exfoliated skin that's heavily moisturized—Tatcha Revitalizing Eye Cream in addition to the Glossier Priming Moisturizer). The light base leaves room for not one but TWO layers of blush, specifically Stila Convertible Color in Camellia and Lillium. Next up was a dark, very dark, almost too-dark lip that was more flattering than goth. Hung picked Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Vamp. Why it works? "We maintained the color of the eye pretty consistent to her natural coloring—soft, no mascara, there’s no liner," Hung said. For that, the Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in 01 Neutral Matte comes in handy.

Look 2: switching from lips to eyes. The smoky eye is a Hung/VS staple—and Josephine is no stranger to a full-on shadow job to the max, if you'll recall from this summer. But smoky eyes and earthy reds are not usually synonymous. And yes, red near the eye can be tricky. The goal here is sexy, verging on editorial—not "pulled an all-nighter at the office and then got pummeled in a bar fight on the way home." The key is looking for colors that verge on berry with a brown undertone. The CK One Color Neutrals Revealed Palette is a good example of that. This time, Hung added mascara (Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes). To let the eyes get all the attention, he nuded out the lips using CK One Color All Day Perfection Lipcolor. No need to divert attention elsewhere. You can highlight on the nose and the cheeks though. Never a bad plan.

The third vignette is at once the most subtle and the most unexpected. Because from far away, it looks like your standard "sexy makeup application." That's awesome, but for something a little less expected, Hung went for a greenish gold on the eyes (it looks cool, not sallow) with MAC's Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow Trio in Cool Companions. "Green can actually be in the same color family as bronze," Hung says. Which is why the warm lip—also very bronze—pairs so well. The varied wonders of OCC Lip Tar, particularly the metallic Authentic shade, never cease to amaze.

"I hear a lot that women use the same colors that they used when they were 16 years old," Hung mentioned while he was working. "And when older women use neutral colors, they tend to wear a lot of taupe. But sometimes if you add a little color, it gives a little youth to the face." Or maybe it's a little excitement just when you thought makeup was getting too dull to care about. Either way, "That's something you should consider."

Josephine Skriver (The Society) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Hung Vanngo (The Wall Group). Styled by Anna Santangelo.

Josephine is wearing a By Malene Birger top and Arianne Elmy dress (look 1), a Matthew Adams Dolan t-shirt, Karen Walker skirt and stylist's own hoops (look 2), and a Rodebjer top, Rosetta Getty belt, and her own pants (look 3).

Paint by numbers: when you're done going natural, try six purple looks11 orange lips or 14 blue eyeshadows.

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The Look: Diana In Sisley

Diana's the girl who launched a million beauty campaigns. But really—she's done YSL, she's done Clarins, she's done Sephora, she's done Cacharel, and of course: Giorgio Armani. You've seen this face while trying to choose a blush or while flipping through your standard issue fashion magazine (but maybe you just didn't realize it). The cheekbones, that complexion, those grey-green eyes...they all just scream, "Let me sell you high-end cosmetics!"

For the moment though (and lucky for us), she's a free agent. Taking full advantage of it, here she is in a matte orange lip pencil from Sisley and a beautiful Maiyet scarf she just picked up down the street from our office (and was so excited about it, she had to put it on right then and there).

The Sisley Phyto-Lèvres Perfect Lipliner is one of those "always perfect in a pinch" products. It's more self-aware than other lip pencils because it knows that you want to wear it alone, without other products on top. It's just easier that way. So the formula starts out creamy—so creamy that it's blendable thanks to the little brush on the other end of the stick. But then let it set for a minute or so and that stuff's not moving until you introduce it to a cotton pad full of Bioderma.

All that, of course, is made better by the fact that they somewhat recently released new fall colors. Diana's in Coral, which isn't exactly the shade we'd call it. It's more of an orange suited for people who are feeling festive at the end of October, but don't want to take that whole Halloween thing too literally. It's like drinking a micro-brewed pumpkin ale as opposed to gorging on candy corn. Much more refined; much more adult.

Diana Moldovan (IMG) photographed by Tom Newton.

Those looking for a spicier orange (that's still wearable)  look no further.

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