Bobbi's Beauty School 101: Shades of Gray

  • Written By:Bobbi Brown
  • Photography:Ben Ritter
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Welcome to Beauty School, a series where I’ll share tips and tricks to creating some of my favorite looks. One thing I’ve always done on set is have the photographer take a photo of the model before we start hair and makeup. I like to see the model first without a stitch of makeup on, so I understand her face...

This is one of my favorite looks. I met Kristen on a vegan hiking retreat a few years ago. We got close very quickly, as one does on these intense spa retreats. We wore no makeup and didn’t have blow outs — frankly giving up coffee for the week was enough to keep us from looking our best. Add to all of that the miles of daily hikes, and there was no time to even think about trying to look good.

One day I looked up and said to Kristen, “Wow, you’re so pretty.” She looked at me with really big eyes and said, “You’re crazy.” She just didn’t see it. When I asked her to come and model for me, she came right away. And this was the look we created.

SKIN

Kristen’s skin is pale, but beautiful. She didn’t need (or like wearing) a heavy foundation, so I applied a tinted moisturizer and spot corrected with a pencil. I swept a sheer, powdered bronzer all over to add warmth and to get rid of the red areas on her neck.

BROWS

Filling in the brows gave her look an instant update. Her hair used to be brown and the white is not only a bold move, but a real attention getter. I filled in her eyebrows with an ash shadow using a slanted brush. For some women who stop coloring their hair, they need a darker brown shade and some use a lighter greyish tone or slate.

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EYES

After lining the eyes, they really came to life. I applied a dark navy shadow with a damp brush and created a tight line to the lash with a deep steel color. On the eyelid, I swept a layer of grey and ash shadow. I followed that up with three bold coats of an uber-black mascara and used a grey shadow as liner on the lower lashes to keep away any red from popping up.

LIPS & CHEEKS

A pop of a pink or raspberry for blush was crazy pretty on Kristen. And together we chose a fairly bright pink for her lipstick.

STYLE & HAIR

I love what Kristen wore for this photo, the deep grey sweater color with a little bit of her white tee sticking out. Wearing a paler shade would only wash her out. I also love that her hair part was changed to make it appear thicker — and you can’t beat the feathery, crop cut that made this whole look feel modern.

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