Sea Foam & Coral… Mariangela

This color combination always reminds me of vintage makeup and fashion from the 40’s and 50’s. There is a sad lack of sea foam and coral in our modern summertime lives! The eyeshadow shown above is actually Fenty’s new Killawatt Foil highlighter in Sand Castle / Mint’d Mojito. I was a bit at a loss about how to use a metallic taupe or mint colored highlighter but turns out they make amazing eye shadow with impressive staying power.

Note: Mariangela’s skin is so perfect that I skipped foundation and just used a tiny bit of concealer.

MODEL // Mariangela Bonanni
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Easy Summer Glamour… Elliot Sailors

Between the blistering heat and endless humidity, glamour in the summer is a difficult task. With help from celebrity hairstylist Sheridan Ward and the gorgeous Elliot Sailors, we found the perfect look to up your summer game! Wavy, shiny, not quite beachy but not too done hair is easy to maintain even in the humidity. Paired with makeup shades of rose gold, golden bronze and shimmering caramel, the overall look is fresh, pretty and definitely glam!

Note: Check out #BeYouBeTrue, a hashtag created by Elliot, for inspiring content!

MODEL // Elliot Sailors
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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Rodin’s Mermaids… Mariangela

Rodin just launched their new Mermaid Collection with packaging by the always amazing Donald Robertson! The collection consists of four products plus a lovely kabuki style brush. My personal favorites are the Luxury Body Oil and the Luxury Lip Oil – I’ve been using these daily. The Body Oil has a subtle fresh jasmine scent, not to cloying or heavy and it sinks into the skin quickly leaving a hydrated (not greasy) glow. And I can’t resist a lip oil, especially one with a sheer beachy shimmer!

The Illuminating Liquid and Powder are perfect for creating a summer glow although they just come in one shade which only works with fair to tan skintones (I often notice this issue with highlight products). I layered them in the above look on Mariangela for an all over glowy effect.

Note: Donald’s packaging is so fun that you will want to save the outer boxes and archive the empty containers!

MODEL // Mariangela Bonanni
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Urban Decay x Beauty Is Boring… Singe

Love when we get to collab with  Urban Decay! This time around we focused on Vice Lipstick in Singe with the Naked Petite Heat Palette on the eyes. And just like our previous Urban Decay project, I used these exact same products on all four of the models, although obviously different eyeshadow shades from the palette.

If you want to step up the drama, Singe is the lipstick for you! It’s a cool-toned, deep red with metallic shimmer and a formula that is buildable from semi sheer to opaque. It has lots of sheen and on camera, almost looks like a lacquer. The Naked Petite Heat Palette is an edited collection of shades from the Naked Heat Palette, all mattes. It’s an interesting combination since the eyeshadows are mainly warm and the lipstick is cool-toned.

MODEL // Marta
MODEL // Widny Bazile
MODEL // Michaela Watson
MODEL // Devan
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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Matte White Eyeliner… Lilliya

When I think of matte white used around the eye, I immediately flash back to the 60’s (think Peggy Moffit, Twiggy, Edie Sedgwick, etc) but the recent launch from Dior is anything but vintage. The new DiorShow OnStage Liner in Matte White is not only easy to apply but is close to opaque and doesn’t flake when it dries – basically the unicorn of white liquid liners!

Noe: Lilliya is a very talented artist as well as a model. Check out her Instagram feed for samples!


PRODUCTS // Dark Swan of Denmark Adore Lashes

MODEL // Lilliya
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Lashes & Luminosity with Kathleen Hou

My memory is a bit patchy but I’m reasonably sure that Kathleen Hou and I met backstage at Mugler Paris around four years ago. Kathleen is the beauty director of The Cut and it was such a pleasure having her over to the studio on her recent LA visit!

Kathleen is as passionate about beauty as I am so her studio visit turned into a late night makeup party! We tested products, debated new formula innovations and chatted for hours about the beauty industry. One of our conclusions; Burberry is the most underrated of the beauty brands. Their Fresh Glow Gel Stick and Luminous Fluid Base are so good (see above)! I am also a big fan of their Face Contour Pen and Lip Color Contour.

When it came time to do Kathleen’s lovely face, I wanted to do a look she hadn’t tried before – always tough with beauty editors because they try everything! I used a shimmery teal cream to create an exaggerated cat eye (this style works particularly well on almond eye shapes) and then added Dark Swan of Denmark’s incredible fluffy lashes. The combo is eye catching and fun but still wearable.

Note: To see her eyelids closed, click here to check out the fun animated gif on our Instagram.

MODEL // Kathleen Hou
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Electric Purple Mascara… Elliott Sailors

I remember the first time I saw colored mascara. It was a bright blue shade in the late 80’s and I instantly fell in love. Ever since then, I always have my eye out for mascara in unusual shades. Summer 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in recent memory for colored mascara with brands such as Dior, Urban Decay, Tom Ford and more launching bright lash shades as part of their summer collections.

The Dior Pump’N’Volume Mascara comes in four stand out shades – a bright blue, intense coral, a pretty pink and the electric purple featured above. It’s the perfect summer look when paired with bronzed, glowing skin and a warm nude lip!

Note: Elliott is so inspiring! Check out her Instagram to learn about her activism!

Note: I mixed two Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks to create this nude lip, see the product bar below for the exact shades.

MODEL // Elliott Sailors
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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Metallic Highlighter… Meng Meng

I have mixed feelings about the highlighter craze that has swept the beauty world for the past few years. Just like most pro artists, I have always added light to the high points of the face (usually with a moisturizer, serum or very sheer shimmering cream) but the heavy application of metallic pigments is a whole new thing.

My first experience with highlighter was watching Laura Mercier. Laura would tap her wonderful serum called Secret Finish (which has since been discontinued to the dismay of pro’s everywhere) on top of cheekbones, over the peak of the lips, on the browbone and ridge of the nose to give the skin a youthful glow. This was  meant to bring light to the face and break up the look of heavy makeup. It’s one of my favorite techniques and you can see it in most of the Beauty Is Boring looks.

The new highlighting trend (not really new since it’s been around for a few years now), focuses more on adding shimmery, metallic powder with distinct colors to the high points of the face plus the tip of the nose. While it looks interesting on Instagram (with a tilted head angle, a few filters and some Facetune), I find it bizarre in daylight. Bizarre isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I am actually a bit fascinated by women walking around in what I have started calling “android chic” – shiny metal streaks proudly displayed on their cheekbones.

In the look above, I tested one of the more unique and popular new highlighters, the Farsali Jelly Beam Illuminator. It has a strange, pudding-like texture and transforms from a cream to a powder in a matter of seconds. The glow it gives is rather muted in regular lighting but when you hit it with a flash, it looks like wet, molten gold.

What do you think about metallic highlighters?

Note: Everyone should wear their makeup in whatever style makes them happy however, I really don’t understand the sparkling tip of the nose thing? I had a well known influencer explain to me why she likes it but I am still confused?

MODEL // Meng Meng
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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1960’s Ingenue… Lilliya Scarlett

Lilliya‘s youthful gaze, pouty lips and flawless, freckled skin remind me of the fresh faced ingenues of the late 1950’s – 1960’s. In particular, young Brigitte Bardot. I took inspiration from the exaggerated lashes and peachy shades of the era but updated the look with a spiky bottom lash, highlighted skin and full brows.

Lilliya’s skin is so good that using foundation is practically a crime! Instead, I mixed a tiny bit of concealer into moisturizer to create the world’s sheerest base – more of a dewy tint than any actual coverage. Then I dotted the same concealer (NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer) over any areas with redness.

Note: The color in her eyelid crease and cheeks was created using the same product, the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Color Stick in Blush N24.

MODEL // Lilliya Scarlett
MAKEUP // Robin Black

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Red Carpet Glam… Elliot Sailors

It’s been several years since I actually did a celebrity for the red carpet (I no longer freelance for makeup) but seeing all the beauty looks at this years Cannes Film Festival inspired me. Luckily, Elliot Sailors happened to be in town this week and was kind enough to make time in their busy schedule to play makeup with me! The result was a modern take on a glamorous red carpet classic – bronzed eyelids and scarlet lips. Glossing the center of the eyelids and keeping the skin ultra dewy softens and updates the vintage Hollywood vibe.

If you are just discovering the brilliant Elliot Sailors for the first time,  they are a model, actor, activist, speaker, co-creator of @tomisnotaboy and the founder of @beyoubetrue.movement.

Note: My frequent collaborator Sheridan Ward gave Elliot these perfectly done / undone waves. I am absolutely crazy about the “almost vintage but just textured enough to feel modern” style… trying to recreate it in my hair but so far have only managed to make a mess of uneven curls.

MODEL // Elliot Sailors
MAKEUP // Robin Black
HAIR // Sheridan Ward

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