Last week’s BET Awards event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles brought out some of the biggest names in entertainment, with a front row graced by musical royalty: Beyoncé (Best Female R&B Artist, Video Director or the Year), husband Jay-Z and his musical collaborator and a huge name is his own right (and mind, if we’re being totally honest here), Kayne West – collectively, The Throne (Best Group, Video of the Year). And next to Kanye? None other than the biggest star reality television ever spawned: Kim Kardashian. And to Beyoncé’s other side? Her sister, Solange and her “significant other,” who shared the Video Director of the Year award with Beyoncé, Alan Ferguson. Talk about some BLAZING star power!
First we have to say that Solange Knowles – who did not walk the red carpet at the BET awards and can only be seen partially in photos of her sister and the rest of that high-powered front row (she seemed to be deliberately avoiding the camera, always leaning out of the shot, so no pics to our dismay) — has become one of our absolute favorites on the red carpet, and it seems to coincide with her cutting her hair and letting it “go natural” (something she has tweeted about in irritation when held up as some sort “team natural vice president”). At the same time, she seemed to break away from the influence of her mother’s fashion designs and come into her own, choosing an eclectic wardrobe of edgy designers that are much more suited to her effervescent personality. She’s hit our “Best Dressed,” “Best Tressed” and “Best Makeup” lists consistently ever since. Why hasn’t she been a regular fixture in this blog? Mostly because Solange isn’t big on statement eye makeup – she sticks with the natural look there as well. Her favorite feature to highlight is her beautiful smile, and she’s always wearing the latest, most au courant color – hot pink, bright orange, lilac. So, all we know of Solange’s look that night was that she wore something hot pink, she had her hair braided, and she may have been wearing white shoes.
Next to Solange, sister Beyoncé was radiant in a chartreuse satin one-shouldered Stephane Rolland gown slit high on the thigh. One thing we noted was that Beyoncé wore the very super heroine-esque silver and gold belt upside down from how it was shown on the runway, and we have to say we prefer the “runway” edition, but Beyoncé still looked fantastic – the color worked beautifully with her skin tone and coppery bronze curls with golden highlights.
Her eye makeup was a golden base with a smoky eyelid, and just a touch of that smoky black shadow brought below the outer edge of the lower lashes – after all, this was a daytime event, and the red carpet was brutally bright (it was also sponsored by Ford, which meant that many of the best celeb pictures are posed in front of a car).
You can recreate her eye look by starting with colorOn’s Lava from the Metallics Variety Kit, a hot and shimmery gradient metallic gold and black combination for a sexy smoky eye design. Use a round-tipped eye shadow brush dipped in the creamy mineral shadow left on the clear cover film to sweep just a bit of the dark shade under the outer quarter of the lower lashes, and outward toward the tail of the brow. Black kohl liner on the upper and lower inner rims of the eyes, curled lashes and black mascara complete the look.
Beyoncé has beautifully groomed and lush brows – she’s a BrowPro Full Dark. She’s wearing a plummy brown cream blush rubbed into the apples of her cheeks for a flush of color, and a clear plum gloss with no shimmer. A dusting of glittery finishing powder was swept across the tops of her cheekbones up onto her forehead, and dusted across her brow bones back down onto her cheeks. It’s you choice on that last step – it’s fine for the nighttime, but not for most offices (we’re not going to be militant!).
Jump over the night’s big winners, Jay-Z and Kayne, and there’s Kim Kardashian (and it’s possible that these two men were barely enough buffer between the women, is the goss was true). Kim wore what appeared to be a demure white jersey dress, until she turned around to reveal its unzipped back – this is pretty much her stock-in-trade (the backside reveal), unless she has the rack out. We’ve definitely noticed that Kayne seems to have had a positive influence on her wardrobe, upping the overall taste level and covering her up more often that not – we don’t think Kim’s ever worn Tom Ford before!
The makeup is vintage Kim: nude lip, pale eye, and the biggest, longest, spider-iest lashes this side of Tammy Faye Bakker. She swore in Allure that they’re her real lashes but we have a very hard time believing that’s true – look at those things! They look like they could walk away on their own. We vote for really good extensions and a ton of mascara. From a distance you could almost think of her look as “natural” but a good close up will disabuse you of that notion. And truthfully, that same cover of Allure, when she was close to makeup-free (because although it was touted as makeupless, who are we kidding?), was the prettiest we’ve EVER seen Kim.
You could get close to Kim’s eye makeup with ColorOn’s Pink Lemonade from the Naturally Cooler Variety Kit, a sunny combination of gradient yellow and pale coral pink. Use a round-tipped eye shadow brush dipped in the creamy mineral shadow left on the clear cover film to sweep the pretty pastel color below the lower lashes as well. Curl your lashes, and if you’re so inclined, add a strip of falsies to get Kim’s mile-long look. Otherwise, it’s multiple coats of a heavy duty lengthening formula. Just be sure to let it dry thoroughly between coats!
Kim wears her brows very dark and very full, with almost no tapering at the tail. If you want to cultivate a brow this intense and don’t grow them naturally, BrowPro is the answer. Just choose you shade, and pick the Full style. BrowPro will color, define, shape, and hold the eyebrows in place. They won’t be quite this full, but really – that’s okay. We’ll leave the “too much of a good thing” look for Kim; she’s built an entire career carrying off all KINDS of too much.
Sweep a pale coral pink blush from the top of the cheekbones up to the temples and onto the forehead in a “c” shape, blending well. An ultra-sheer nude pink gloss like Nars Turkish Delight or L’Oreal Color Riche Balm in Tender Mauve (no shimmer anywhere for Kim, for which we give her major points) finish things off.
Another gorgeous face is TV personality Lala Vazquez-Anthony. We didn’t go gaga over her sparkly Lois London, Studio 54-homage jumpsuit and vintage Versace belt – then again, we’re pretty jumpsuit-adverse if we’re being honest. Either we’re thinking of the playground years and how the crotch always hung too low or the legs were just a bit too short, or we’re reminded of the disco years, and then we’re just embarrassed we had any. Moving on, shall we?
Lala looks lovely, and if anyone could pull this one off, she certainly can. (ED. We found this shot right before we posted and had to add it; from Tom + Lorenzo | Fabulous + Opinionated, and we quote: “Good LORD, girl. You look like two grapes balancing on toothpicks.” Whoa. Totally true. The angle is everything on the outfit, but we still think Lala’s makeup is the bomb.)
She has a great on-trend fishtail braid going, nicely messy but not out of control, a bit of disco-esque jewelry but not so much that it’s fighting with all the sparkly goodness of her outfit, and those amazing hazel eyes. She accentuates them with a smoky silver eye makeup that isn’t overpowering for daywear yet would transition right into evening without having to touch it at all.
To get the same effect, start with colorOn’s Platinum and Pearls from the Metallics Variety Kit. The cool shine of the silvery platinum and shimmering white give this simple combination an edgy depth. Grab an eyeliner brush and dip it in the extra shadow on the clear cover film, and use the lightest shimmer to trace the inner corners of your eyes, and then sweep the deeper platinum under the lower lashes.
If you want to replicate Lala’s extra shiny lids, you can add some additional glimmer with our Smooth Patina Silver Shimmer loose mineral pigment. Curl your lashes and then line the inner rims, upper and lower, with black kohl. Lala is wearing very well applied strip lashes (unlike last week’s faux-lash-disaster, Lisa Rinna) – go for it if you have the skills, for we admire what we don’t possess ourselves. With this much bright shimmer and shine, be sure your mascara application is totally clump-free, because every flake and fiber will seem magnified (this is when your lash comb or extra spooly is absolutely VITAL).
Lala is yet another BET star with exemplary brows (yes, they’re a bit dramatic, but isn’t that why everyone loves Lala?). They are so perfect they almost look stenciled, but that can’t really be considered a complaint after so many seasons of bleached “non-brows” or over-plucked “almost-brows” or un-groomed “oh, THESE things above my eyes?” brows. She’s a perfect BrowPro Full Dark.
One of our favorite actresses, Kerry Washington, was a miss on the fashion but a hit on the makeup. We’re not sure what happened to the usually perfectly turned out star. Here’s Kerry at last year’s BET Awards in a sexy Michael Kors halter and black Loboutins as a point of comparison.
This year, her blush Altuzarra bustier and black J. Mendel skirt, cream-colored snakeskin Jimmy Choo pumps (admission of total bias: we hate white/bone/cream shoes unless they’re made by Converse; we’re sure a therapist could figure out why, but it saves us money every season), and under-styled hair combined to make the normally vibrant-looking Kerry seem washed-out and under-done. It wasn’t until we looked at the close-up shot that we came to appreciate her makeup, and just wish she’d chosen more colorful and better-fitting clothes, or even just a pop of color on her lips.
Whatever her sartorial choices, the fact remains that the actress, best known for her easy transition from high-profile movie roles in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Ray, the Fantastic 4 franchise, and the upcoming Tarantino film Django Unchained to starring in TV series (Scandal on ABC), is well-loved by the camera. Her makeup plays up the cool tones in her outfit with a shimmery taupe smoky eye and a satin nude lip.
To recreate Kerry’s look, use colorOn’s Gypsy from the Metallics Variety Kit, for a deep sultry eye with rich hues of metallic mocha and a wash of frothy white shimmer. Kerry confines all the smoke and shimmer to the upper lids and brow bone, opting for black liner only on the inner rims of the eyes. Like most of her contemporaries at the BET Awards, she’s wearing a strip of faux lashes and plenty of black mascara. Do as you will, dictated by skill and ambition. Another option is to apply additional coats of mascara only to the top lashes, and then just to the outer third, letting each coat dry thoroughly in between. This will give you a similar effect.
Kerri’s brows are the closest we’ve see to completely au natural in quite some time, yet you’ll note they are still brushed and fixed in place. A swirl of honey colored bronzer defines her cheeks, and a cool-toned satin-finish nude lipstick with just the barest hint of shimmer (to keep it from looking too flat) highlights her perfect pout. As we noted at the beginning, when we look at her makeup up close, it’s absolutely perfect – it just wasn’t perfect for this outfit. Had she worn the hot pink lippie from last year…
Honorable Mentions must go to:
Singer Monica, her incredibly tasteful, understated makeup and elegant updo, and her sensational suit – she rocked raspberry sequined trousers and a plunging structured blazer with what Jezebel.com noted were “flying buttresses” for tails. We flipping LOVED it.
The legendary Chaka Khan. Because she’s the legendary Chaka Khan, and she feels for you.
Actress Kyla Pratt’s BGBG dress with its asymmetrical hemline, and the shows she found that somehow match it without being match-y. Plus, she rocks blunt bangs and long hair without looking too schoolgirl. The whole package works.
Taraji P. Henson’s Zaeem Jamal dress was gorgeous and the color gorgeous on her, and her shoes were to die for (but the matching pedi polish was questionable). It just kills us to say that the dress was a size too small and made her look a bit smooshed. We kept holding our breath in sympathy while looking at her photos.
A lot of blogs had Beyoncé’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate, Michelle Williams, on their “Best Dressed” lists for her Herve Leger lace-trimmed bandage dress. First, enough with the bandage dresses already. Old. News. Britney Spears is packing herself into them daily for the X-Factor. It’s not pretty.
But Michelle is so very very thin, and this dress really accentuates her lack of…padding. We have no commentary about why she is so tiny – having suffered through years of “Oh, you are just TOO THIN!” comments, as if anyone would ever walk unsolicited up to a woman and dare say the converse – but regardless, a dress that flatters your body type is the goal. The Leger just makes her look thinner, and the blush/nude washes her out (same mistake as Kerry Washington). She needed something with a bit of draping and some color – although not yellow! There was a whole lotta yellow on that red carpet, some of it fab, and some if it pure funk. Hot pink instead of blush pink would have served Michelle…
All of the colors mentioned in the blog can be chosen and combined – along with BrowPro — into a Custom Kit, or you can buy the Variety Kit in which they’re featured. Either way, same price. Need a tutorial? Watch the video on the website for application tips and tricks.
The Teen Choice Awards are coming up on July 22nd ; until then, we’re sure we can find some great makeup to covet (then tell you how to do yourself), and some missteps we feel compelled to point out. We’re just helpful like that.