Behind the scenes beauty

Starring Joan Smalls



By Beauty Director Christine Cherbonnier @christinecherbonnier


The makeup design and overall aesthetic, was inspired by natural 70s beauty and iconic imagery. I wanted the makeup to have a definite vintage feeling but still have Joan's natural beauty be the first thing you respond to, and then feel inspired by another time. Joan is an Esteé Lauder exclusive beauty model, so one of her go to makeup artists, Porsche Cooper, used all Esteé Lauder products to achieve each look.You will see the makeup design naturally evolve as the wigs get bigger and the floral design becomes more prominent. 

Before makeup application, I always cleanse the skin with a Micellar water or a cleansing lotion. I like to keep my own skin as close to its natural balance as possible. By cleansing with a cotton pad you not only gently exfoliate, you don’t put any soap or god knows what is in the water supply on your face twice a day. Skin should be prepped before makeup to ensure clean, balanced, and hydrated skin. The key to gorgeous skin starts with good skincare, makeup is always second in my book. Everyone’s skin needs will vary, I will go off on the longest, informative rant on skincare in an another article, it's truly my passion! For this feature, I’ll focus on products specifically used on Joan to create her natural makeup look, followed by her bolder eye and lip.

To begin, skin was cleansed with Perfectly Clean Multi Action Toning Lotion/Refiner applied with a cotton pad, followed with Daywear Matte Oil Control Anti-Oxidant Moisture Day Cream using fingertips to massage the skin, and promote blood flow to the skin's surface. Daywear matte cream is great for more naturally-hydrated skin types. It contains antioxidant properties that not only protect the skin from daily pollution and environmental aggressors, but it preps the skin for foundation without feeling oily and causing the foundation to sit on the skin and move around. 

Most often makeup artists apply an under eye mask while skin care is absorbing into the skin. I highly suggest adding this to your bag of tricks, a quick mask can really do wonders in the morning. Not only does it add a few extra hours of sleep under the eyes, it also focuses hydration around the eye area. The Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask was let to absorb into  the skin for 10 min, don’t be concerned by the word night, why let your rehydrated eyes only see the pillow. If there isn’t enough time in your routine for a eye mask, I recommend using an eye cream, such as the Revitalizing Supreme + Global Anti-aging Cell Power Eye Cream. While the eye mask was processing lips were prepped with Rose Lip Conditioner by AERIN. 

After skincare, primer, foundation, and concealer are applied to complement and even out skin tone. Illuminating Perfecting Primer was applied, followed by Double Wear Light Stay In Place Makeup in Intensity 3.5 and Intensity 5.0 for a light natural coverage. Colors 3.5 and 5.0 were mixed together creating a custom color for Joan’s complexion. Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup was later used to freshen the skin and add a more flawless coverage, complementing the more intense eye in the second look. Its lighter weight and comparable coverage are great for touchups and building on top of already-existing foundation. Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup 4W1 Bronze was mixed with 5W1 Bronze. Most often there is not a single foundation color for anyone's skin, not only is every face different in color and texture, everyone has a unique skin type as far as oil production, dryness, etc. This all effects how the foundation sits and oxidizes on the skin, affecting how the color changes once it touches the skin. Even the temperature of your skin will affect the final color of your makeup once applied. Any imperfections on the skin and under the eyes were addressed using Perfectionist Youth Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer In 3W medium and 3C medium. Not only does this concealer offer a little highlight, it helps to brighten any discoloration under the eyes. 

Once the skin is enhanced the eyes are usually the next step, but every artist is different. Depending on the intensity of the eye or if you're using creative color, for example, the eyes can be done first. That way any fall from the shadow can be easily wiped off and you can start fresh with skin. Joan’s first look is a more natural eye with a mascara primer instead of mascara so the looks can subtly but not noticeably evolve along with hair.

I personally like to do eyebrows first. I feel like brows hold up the eye shape, they frame the face. "Without the brow being perfected its harder to create symmetrical designs and perfect eye lines.” Quote by moi, lol. Joan’s brows are so full and naturally beautiful, the only thing I’ve ever wanted more in life is eyebrows, so jealous! To accentuate but not darken the brow the Brow Defying Pencil in Dark Brunette was used, followed by Stay in Place Brow Gel in Clear. I also recommend the Double Brow Brush as a tool for combing brows to natural perfection. 

The first eye look was created using the convenient multi-color eye palette Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eyeshadow 5 Color Palette in Fiery Saffron, blended using the Blending Shadow Brush. The lightest color was used on the lid while the liner was achieved using the darker shadow with the angled end of the Double Brow Brush. The medium brown was used in the crease very lightly to give the eye definition. The eye was finished with Little Black Primer to build the lash but not make the eye look more dramatic. I love this primer, btw- the tiny brush and super buildable formula are perfect for those who are seeking a no mascara mascara but have been disappointed by clear mascara.

Most makeup artists will save the best for last, the lip application! It can also be a logistics thing, you could be doing makeup remotely on a shoot and the set location is an hour away. Or your lip design is extremely intricate and you have to send the model straight to set before the design or texture used starts moving around. Those are my most exciting beauty moments, the ones that aren’t made to last. For the natural lip Pure Color Love Lipstick in Naked City #140 was used, and built up for the more dramatic lip moment with Pure Color Envy Lip Gloss in Copper Ego, adding more dimension and shine. Following the lip, finishing touches are added with Pure color envy Sculpting Blush in Brazen Bronze, followed by a little contour, because who doesn’t want a little hook me up. I suggest Bronze Goddess in either Medium Deep or Deep, depending on your mood. 

As the hair looks evolved, we all agreed that makeup should be taken to another level, the second look needed something that would evoke excitement with the more dramatic hair. To boost the eyes, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eyeshadow 5 Color Palette in Defiant Nude was used to build the crease. Liner and lashes were used to give that vintage 70s feel. As far as liner goes, it's really a personal preference with texture. Everyone wants their liner to glide on and not come off, right? A lot of people prefer liquid liner, but I like to build the liner shape with a gel or cream because more often than not the shape changes as I go, depending on my mood. This might sound bananas but I’m obsessed with font, I won’t even eat at a restaurant that has an unappealing font. It says everything. Your liner shape is basically the font of your eyes and with the most subtle changes dictate a time period, your eye shape, personality, mood, etc. Mine always evolves as I build and is sometimes but not always the same depending on a million things like my outfit or my feelings, lol.  So if you're a one swoop liquid liner human, I suggest Little Black Eyeliner in Black. For those like me who are a wait-a-minute-maybe-this-vibe-today person (with a couple of Q-tips), I suggest the Black Double Wear Stay In Place Gel Liner In Stay Onyx.

Lastly, a more dramatic mascara to complete the eye. Porsche added the final touch using Sumptuous Infinite Mascara in black. I love to focus mascara on the outer corners of the lashes while pulling in an outward motion towards the temples. I personally have long fine lashes just like my hair, so a lengthening mascara is not ideal for me. I feel it makes my lashes look really long but sparse. I prefer a thickening mascara that can really build long lashes but at the same time adds body to the lash, and darkens the lash line. I feel like you can always build length with a thickening mascara but you can’t thicken with a lengthening mascara. So if you're staring at a million mascaras with a ton of words that look alien, look for the word thickening! 

I hope this makeup guide leaves you inspired, not only by Joan Smalls as Wildflower but by Joan as a person in our behind the scenes documentary footage. She is so inspiring in her individuality alone, ok AND her insane natural beauty! She is by far one of the most authentic people in our industry and I'm so thankful she was our first collaborator and model. Thank you, Joan! 


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