Nailing Signature Makeup Looks From The Red Carpet

by Yoshita Sengupta

Now, Fashion Weeks serve as the perfect platform for new hair and makeup trends but let's face it, not all of them can be carried off in real life—would you really paint your fingers metallic, go crazy with the eyeliner and draw all around the peepers, or slap on some geisha lipstick? 

To narrow it down, we urge you to look to the red carpet, where makeup artists do a  wearable version of all the looks on celebrated A-listers who have threads and shoes to match. You may not be able to get your hands on that Armani Privé gown or Jimmy Choos, but recreating the makeup is the easiest way to steal her look and make it your own! 

Here are some signature ones we've tried ourselves:
1920s/1930sOld Hollywood Glam
This year’s Golden Globes ceremony saw Lady Gaga step out and stun people with her look—a fitted black gown and a short beach blonde crop with makeup that pays tribute to old-school Hollywood glamor. Think dramatic eyes with fluttery lashes and white eyeliner on the bottom waterline. Add to that an understated flush blush on the lips. Megan Petrakis, makeup artist and esthetician suggests how to recreate her look in a way that that focuses on the eyes and keeps the rest of the face clean and simple.

  • Even out your skin tone using a matte foundation. Use smoky eyeliner to play up your eyes—you won’t even need eyeshadow.
  • Line the upper lash line with black Maybelline gel liner. Use black or gray eyeshadow on top of the eyeliner and use the same eyeshadow to line the lower lash line.
  • Use white or nude eyeliner to line inner lid (NYX Wonder Pencil in light or medium, or Stila Pencil in Topaz).
  • Apply bronzer to cheek bones.
  • You can use false lashes for a more dramatic look or simply apply some black mascara.
  • Fill in the eyebrows with a pencil or eyeshadow.
  • Apply any shade of nude lipstick or gloss to the lips.

1960sWinged Eye
“The 1960’s gave women and men freedom from a status quo. The most iconic red carpet looks were based on spellbound skin, full voluminous hair, and a makeup trend that’s still relevant—the winged eyeliner,” says Pamela Pimpleton, a professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician based out of Atlanta, GA. It can even be called the most classic beauty trend in history because Cleopatra used it, too. The winged eye or cat eye entered Hollywood in the late 50s with Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot. It is such a timeless look that it keeps showing up on the red carpet, especially at the Oscars. Pimpleton’s look is an ode to the classic cat eye.

  • Take a long eyeshadow brush, find the center of your eye (place brush vertical at the center of your pupil and through the center of your brow) and dot at lash line with an eyeliner pencil.
  • Draw a thin line starting from your center “dot” going inward towards your tear duct.
  • Grab your eyeshadow brush once again and place lengthwise along your brow bone and the side of your nostril.
  • Make a small “backslash” mark starting at the edge of your eye and reaching towards the end of your brow. This will determine what cat eye angle is best for your facial structure and eye shape.
  • Stroke the pencil gently along that line in an outward and upward movement using an eye pencil.
  • Once the outer line is made, connect to edge to your lash line. Play with the thickness, connecting back to the center dot.
  • Play up your creative femininity by layering a liquid liner over the pencil or by using color. 
  • To soften your look, use an eyeshadow in soft browns or smokey blacks with a flat head eyeliner brush.
  • Pair this with a bright pink or red lip for some added drama.

1970sSoft & Understated 
When Cher showed up at her first MET Gala appearance in 1974, she wowed people with her sheer dress—a signature Bob Mackie creation. Cher has always been known for her own unique style and her makeup is known for being similar through the ages—high, defined cheekbones and lots of pink shades.  Recreate the iconic singer’s timeless look with Lauren E Hack and Vanessa Ungaroof of LAUREN+VANESSA in Manhattan.

  • Start by moisturizing your skin with a brightening cream.
  • Apply a full coverage foundation followed by a cream highlighter on your cheekbones.
  • Then, blend a cream blush in a pink mauve tone on your cheeks.
  • Fill in your eyebrows with a brow pencil that matches your natural brow color.
  • Blend purple eye shadow over the top lid and then apply an iridescent lilac shadow on top of that. Apply the same purple shadow to your lower lash line.
  • In your water line, apply a white liner.
  • Line your top lid with a thin black line.
  • Curl lashes and use volumizing mascara on both top and bottom lashes.
  • Dust a powder illuminizer all over skin.
  • Finish with a fuchsia gloss on lips.

The grunge look is another classic trend that keeps making a comeback. It is a look that is usually favoured by the likes of Kristen Stewart, Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner or Courtney Love, also known as the godmother of grunge. Petrakis gives her inspiration for an easy grunge look.

  • This look has lots of matte makeup, nothing shimmer or glitter. The whole eyelid and underneath the eye should be a medium brown—line all around the inner and outer rim with black eyeliner and create dark penciled eyebrows.
  • Use really dark plum/brown/ or dark maroon lipstick.
  • Apply matte foundation on the face and bronzer on the cheeks.

2000sModern Minimalist Look
The makeup during the beginning of the 20th century was minimal—pale skin, smoky eyes, and pale lips. A case in point was Charlize Theron’s look at the 2004 Oscars, and Hilary Swank’s the following year. “For a red carpet night, this natural look is popular and not too fussy,” says Susan Heydt, celebrity makeup artist from Suze Makeup Studio.

  • Even out any pores or lines with a product like Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer.
  • If your hair is fair, use brownish black mascara on your lashes. Otherwise, black makes the whites of your eyes pop.
  • Bronzer, without iridescence, can be placed on the cheeks, forehead and chin.
  • Apply foundation to the T-zone area of the face. Think of an upside down triangle. Start at the chin move next to the nose and end at your forehead. Blend out to keep from getting a visible edge. The halo effect will give you a modern look.
  • Use highlighter just under the brows, down the middle of your nose and above the cheekbones.
Join The Conversation



What's On Now & Next


Channel Finder

Find Z Living in your area