Our muse and model for this shoot, Mj Rodriguez (you know her from Pose on FX), has been a beauty enthusiast since as far back as she can remember. In high school, she wore mascara “every single day,” and now her go-to everyday makeup involves doing her brows, eyeliner, and “possibly a lip.” But when it comes to formal events, Rodriguez says she’s always trying new things. “I think makeup is an extension of your elevated self,” she says. “There’s a beauty beyond the makeup, but makeup is something that is a plus to the canvas. It’s a way to express yourself. It’s a way to be you. I’m a testament to that. It’s something that’s very liberating. [Makeup] is nothing to hide behind, and it’s nothing to be afraid of either.”
So, don’t be afraid: Get ready to exchange those layers of clothing for layers of color and sparkle — it’s easier than it looks.
There are two ways to wear metallic lips: extra and extra extra. If you’re looking for more of an everyday vibe, there are tons of metallic lipsticks out there that offer loads of shine in just a swipe. If you want to bump up the glitz, Matin recommends layering two different sizes of glitter on top, like he did for this look. Though this works in pretty much any color, Matin notes that red lips are totally in for the season. “This is usually reserved for the fall but it made its way to spring,” he says.
Pops Of Color
Neon can seem intimidating, but this look is actually quite easy to achieve — and, Matin says, “color on the eyes” is one of the biggest trends for Spring 2019. For Rodriguez, Matin applied a yellow cream shadow into the corner of her eye and up into the crease. Then, he blended the edges with his finger to soften the color. “Cream shadow looks very good in photos, but it doesn’t really stay on,” Matin says. If you want to wear a similar look all day, Matin recommends applying a powder shadow with a wet brush instead.
The best thing about this trend? You can use any pastel color to execute it. Matin says to start by applying the color in a thick line close to your lashes, then using your finger to blend all the way up to your brow bone. Do the same on your bottom waterline, blending out just slightly. Since there’s no eyeliner involved in this look, Matin recommends using false lashes (or layering on mascara) on both your top and bottom lash lines “to add more definition.” Rodriguez says she’s particularly in love with this look, because it’s not too sheer, but also not too bold to be intimidating for every day.
Blush is also massive for spring, but Matin has a way to make yours unique: use multiple colors. Start by applying a light color — like yellow — on your cheekbones and temples, in the same places you’d apply a highlighter. Then, layer a pink blush on top, creating a wash of color all over your cheeks. Finally, apply a red blush to the apples of your cheeks. “You can put the same red blush under your eyebrows,” Matin suggests, to help tie your whole makeup look together.
When Rodriguez is having a less-than-ideal day, she says a little bold liner can perk her up. “I make sure I put on a good liner and keep it pumpin’,” she explains. While graphic liner looks using thick, dark lines have been on the upswing for a couple seasons, Matin says updating the trend is as simple as using a different color. “I think the red looks so cool and different,” he explains. To get a super sharp line, he recommends wetting some pancake makeup with water or mixing liquid and using a thin, angled brush to apply it to your lash line. You can always clean up the liner with a makeup wipe or Q-tip dipped in makeup remover.
“Glitter is strong again this season,” Matin says. While a good smokey eye will always have its place, this spring’s dramatic makeup is much easier to execute: Just swipe some sparkle all over your lids. (Rodriguez even says this is the look she’s most confident she could recreate at home.) Matin recommends grabbing your mixing liquid again, this time first wetting a Q-tip in the mixing liquid, then dipping the wet Q-tip into the glitter and rolling it over your lid. You should definitely do this step before applying any other makeup, but “if any glitter gets on your face, you can just use a piece of Scotch tape to get it off,” Matin says. The best part? Matin insists, “Anyone can do glitter. It’s so easy.” Unlike the graphic liner, flecks of glitter, by definition, can’t create a perfectly straight line, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up your edges.
Photographer: Brooke Nipar | Stylist: Gabrielle Prescod | Makeup: Matin using ChapStick for TraceyMattingly.com | Hair: Ursula Stephen using TRESemmé for Starworksartists.com | Manicure: Miss Pop using Essie | Art Director: Becky Brown | Bookings Manager: Guillermo Perez | Photo Editor: Clare Thigpen | Director of Features & Brand Initiatives: Margaret Wheeler Johnson