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Beauty Look to try: how to recreate editorial looks at home

Oct. 19, 2021
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Any makeup lover knows that finding wearable runway looks can be tricky—but Jessica Wu is here to change all that. Her Instagram page is an homage to all things haute couture, but with an adorable DIY twist that just makes these looks so inspiring. And as the world slowly opens up again, I don’t think anyone’s going to judge you for pulling up to a picnic or outdoor bar with silent-film-style eyebrows or gemstones glued to your face. No-makeup makeup is over—we’re going all out simply because we can. And if you’re struggling to find ideas, well, Jessica Wu has enough to spare. 

This ethereal purple look is somehow both creepily alien-esque and totally cute. To get that glossy, otherworldly glow, apply Glossier Futuredew underneath your base of choice—it’ll make you look lit from within without looking like you’re wearing a ton of highlighter. Take your base product over your eyebrows to neutralize them, then add a touch of the Kosas Air Brow in “Gray” for a soft, sooty brow that looks both weird and wonderful.

For the eyes, start with a purple liquid eyeshadow to act as a primer and a base. I love the Ilia Powder Chromatic Eye Tints, which blend seamlessly but set and last. The shade “Dim” is a great choice, as it’s both purple and neutral-leaning with a taupe tone. Over the top of the Ilia, use a finger to press on a true-purple shimmery shadow—the Huda Beauty Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in “Lilac” has plenty of stunning options. Then, take a deep purple kohl pencil like the NYX Professional Slide On Pencil in “Pretty Violet” and precisely tight-line under your eyes. Make sure to keep it neat—you don’t want to step into smoky territory!

Next, you’ll want to stick on some teardrop-shaped purple gems. You can find all kinds of shapes and colors on eBay, but I always use the Duo Brush-On Strip Lash Adhesive when sticking things to my face, as it’s both non-irritating to the skin and strong enough to keep things stuck.

To finish the look, gently contour the cheeks with a cream stick like the Fenty Beauty Matchstixx in “Amber.” Apply a soft, rose-tinted sheer lipstick like the Illamasqua Hydra Lip Tint in “Mocktail,” focusing the product on the center of the lips. Finally, use a strong hair gel like the Got2b Glued Hair Spiking Glue to add some structural curls around the perimeter of your face.

For this ‘20s robot vibe, you first want to add a metallic glow to the skin. Mixing the Kryolan Shimmering Event Foundation in “Silver” into your foundation is a great way to do this. Mixing it at a half-and-half ratio with something fairly full-coverage like the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation will give you the right look. Take the product over your eyebrows, even adding some concealer to cancel them out as much as possible. You can then use a super-thin brow pencil like the NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil to draw on silent-movie-style mini brows. 

For the eyes, first prime using the Kat Von D Shake Primer, which seriously makes any eyeshadow stick. You then want an array of different metallic tones, for which the Jouer Cosmetics Making Magic Ultra Foil Eyeshadow Palette is perfect. Use gold around your inner corner, silver on the inner half of the eyelid, and a deeper taupe tone on the outer corner and under the lower lashline. I find these shadows apply best with a finger, though a fluffy brush can help with blending the different shades together. You can also apply a silver mascara topper like the Kiko Milano Glitter Topcoat Mascara in “Silver” on your outermost lashes.

Finish the look with a soft pink blush like the Ilia Multi-Stick in “Tenderly” and a brick-red lip stain like the Noto Botanics Multi Benne Stick in “Ono Ono.” You can add some clear lipgloss over the top, too—the Essence Shine Shine Shine Lipgloss in “01” is the cheapest and secretly the best.

This final look is all glamour—so start with the most glamorous base product there is, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. This gives proper red carpet skin: polished and perfect, yet somehow also barely there. 

Softly fill in brows using the Elf Wow Brow Fiber Brow Gel, and then you can get to work on the dramatic black eye look. Start by tracing the shape you want using a black eye crayon like the NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Black Bean.” Once you’re generally happy with the shape, you can diffuse the edges using a dense pencil brush and then a fluffier blending brush. On top of that, use a matte black eyeshadow like the MAC Eyeshadow in “Carbon,” focusing primarily on the outer part of your shape. On the inner section, use a matte charcoal shade like the NARS Single Eyeshadow in “Pyrenees,” which will help add dimension and make your shape appear more blended. Apply lots of the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara to complete the look.

On the cheeks, apply the Noto Botanics Hydra Highlighter and Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer in “Butta Biscuit” for a softly sculpted and dewy finish. Add the NYX Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color in “Rebel Red” to the lips. 

To get this high-fashion slicked-back hair look, use a conditioning treatment like the Bumble & Bumble Glow Bond Building Styler. Not only will it give your hair a flexible, flattering hold, but it’ll also offer a boost of moisture and strength.