Nine Brilliant Makeup Artists, Nine Beautiful Face Charts
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A face chart describes a piece of paper featuring the black outline of a blank, bony face. A completed face chart has been brushed, painted, and trimmed with powder and pigment to create a makeup artist's rough draft. They are the wallpaper of choice backstage at Fashion Week, where a chart will disseminate from a key artist to the 10 or 20 assistants working under their guidance. Cosmetic counter employees stock stacks of them, so they can illustrate to former and future prom queens the blush placement that would flatter them most at their high school dances and reunions. I took a very brief and pathetic stab at trying to find out who invented the face chart, and got absolutely nowhere, so you will have to imagine that they have been around for decades.
The funny thing about face charts is that they are perhaps the fifth or sixth best way to suggest makeup placement. (The best way, the video makeup tutorial, has emerged as a lucrative form of instruction in the 21st century.) Face charts do not suggest dimension, nor do they account for the millions of variances in human facial phenotypes. They represent texture nicely! In the age of Instagram, they are probably more closely aligned with high art than a YouTube video or extremely detailed verbal instruction. And they are nostalgic, both for a time when we went to the cosmetic counter, and perhaps the millions of years before that, as we discussed earlier.
To illustrate the fifth or sixth best way to suggest makeup placement, Allure gave a small council of artisans one custom face chart and asked them: How are you feeling right now?
And do not worry: There is a virtual option, too! You can try on some of these looks by downloading the YouCam Makeup app.
"Creating this chart took me back in time. I grew up very poor, but we could afford paper, paint, and colored pencils…so much of my childhood was about crafting and just creating with a box of crayons. That's really transferred to my life now — color is everything for me. Color is the magic; it's an energy, a feeling. Regardless of the style of makeup that I'm doing, color always brings the message forward.
This particular look was inspired by nature. I have some roses in front of my house, and when I went for my morning walk, I noticed the sun shining down on the satin texture of the petals. I wanted to capture that softness. Blush placement can really change the story of makeup. I love the idea of bringing the color up higher so it lifts and sculpts the face. The upward flick of eyeliner helps with that too. I used a pencil-tip brush to smudge along the lash lines so everything feels soft and romantic."
Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Flush in Sweet Nectar
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Matte in Exposed
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Glaze in Cappuccino
Hindash Cosmetics Beautopsy Gradient Palette
Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in All Over Grey
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara
Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Definer in Divine
Milk Makeup Cream Highlighter in Lit
Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Bronzer
Get the look: Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Flush in Sweet Nectar, Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Matte in Exposed, and Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Glaze in Cappuccino, Hindash Cosmetics Beautopsy Gradient Palette, Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in All Over Grey, L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Definer in Divine, Milk Makeup Cream Highlighter in Lit, Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Bronzer.
For this special Readers' Choice edition, you picked the look we should illustrate (remember that poll on our Instagram?). Jkissa wasn't surprised by the result: "I kind of knew that '90s-inspired would win. I just felt it in my soul. I love the color palettes of the era: browns and blacks on the eyes, with a deep lip. I just like that whole grunge aesthetic. And I really like it [paired] with bleached brows, which is what I tried to show on this chart. I think it looks so — am I allowed to cuss? — badass.
"I did add some touches, like peach blush, to make [the look] feel a bit more modern. And I brought down the shadow and made it really dramatic on the inner corners [of the eyes], which a lot of models are doing right now. [For the shine on the lips] I looked at so many photos of gloss to try to replicate where the light would hit. It was challenging at first, but also really rewarding. I think face charts are going to become a new hobby for me.”
Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette
Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner
Kosas Color & Light Palette Powder in Papaya 1972
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix 24-Hour Color Glaze in Clear
Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick
Get the look: Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette, Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner, Kosas Color & Light Palette Powder in Papaya 1972, Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix 24-Hour Color Glaze in Clear, Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick in Pose.
"Mumbai, [where I live], was in lockdown through July. I started working in August; I had movie projects to complete. My regular makeup style is less is more. I'm known for my skin work, which is very light, [but] I love color. I think my signature is a red lip and winged liner. That’s a classic wedding look in India. [For this chart] I considered the bridal trends for 2021. It's no longer about the liner and red lip. The looks are very, very soft, with shades of rose gold and bronze. And [it's] very eye-specific because of mask-wearing. We have a lot of humidity in India, so if you just use powder eye shadow, it has the tendency to disappear from your skin very quickly. I've realized layering creams, liquids, and powders work really well to make eye makeup stay in place for literally 12 or 14 hours."
Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Duo in Golden Peach
Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Mink Mirage
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Bronzed Garnet
Kat Von D Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner Shadow
MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in Walk This Way and Get It On
Get the look: Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Duo in Golden Peach,Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Mink Mirage, Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Bronzed Garnet, KVD Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner Shadow & Brow Pigment in Graphite, MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in Walk This Way and Get It On.
“I don't really wear a lot of makeup on my own face, but I have been lately. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people have been asking me, ‘What’s a good way of playing up your eyes [with a face mask]?' So I’ve been working on eyes a lot, and having fun with that. When Allure asked me to do this chart, at first I was like, 'Oh, I’ll do natural, pretty makeup,' but it’s so much fun to try on something bold and bright just to see how it would look. This blue color stuck out."
Get the look:
Eyes to Kill Eye Quattro Eyeshadow in Hollywood
Clé de Peau Perfect Lash Mascara
Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil in Deep Sea
Jill Stuart Mix Blush in Mellow Daisy
Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Gloss in Eclectic
Get the look: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eye Quattro Eyeshadow in Hollywood, Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil in Deep Sea, Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara, Jill Stuart Bloom Mix Blush in Mellow Daisy, and Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Gloss in Eclectic.
"I'm known for two things: One is spotlight makeup; makeup that works for stadium lighting. [Editor's note: Sir John is Beyoncé's makeup artist.] The other is my love of people. My job is to make people feel good. In a Zoom window, you want to make sure you're seeing health. It's less of a look and more of a feeling. I didn't want this look to be too dark and vampy. It's nice for a socially distanced block party, or a happy hour. Lashes are always the icing on the cake. They give a sense of punctuation."
Get the look:
Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow in Violet Velvet
Huda Beauty Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Lilac Obsessions
L'Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Shadow in Amethyst Quartz
L'Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara
Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick in Bronze Venus
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Underdawg
Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow in Violet Velvet, Huda Beauty Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Lilac Obsessions, L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Shadow in Amethyst Quartz, L’Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara, Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick in Bronze Venus, and Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Underdawg.
"As soon as [social-distancing] began, I started practicing on my own face to stay sharp. Having a steady hand is something you have to practice every day — my line work has improved. I toe the line between natural and bold. The skin always maintains this natural look, and then I focus color on the eye or the lip or both. We didn't get to experience summer in New York, so I wanted elements of summer in a fall look — purple feels very summery. I just turned on some music and let myself paint."
Get the look:
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix in Royalty
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Foils in Venus
Clarins Waterproof Pencil in Fig
Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara
Mented Cosmetics Bronzer in Yacht Life
CoverGirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick in Opal Dreams
Nars Lipstick in License to Love
Dior Lip Maximizer in Berry
Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix in Royalty, Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Foils in Venus, Clarins Waterproof Pencil in Fig, Maybelline New York Falsies Lash Lift Mascara, Mented Cosmetics Bronzer in Yacht Life, CoverGirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick in Opal Dreams, Nars Lipstick in License to Love, and Dior Lip Maximizer in Berry.
"When we all went into quarantine, I had so many Euphoria looks bouncing around in my head [Editor's note: Davy is the head of the show's makeup department], and for a while I was like, ‘Well, let me just save them or shelve them for a couple of months.’ Then I realized I didn't know when we'd start [shooting] season two, so I started doing them on my own face, which became a really fun outlet. This look feels like [two Euphoria characters]: There's the more experimental, electric color palette of Jules, and then Maddy's adornment, with the rhinestones and the wing liner shape. It's definitely inspired by my current reality being the opposite — casual, at home, in bed."
Get the look:
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst
Lime Crime Diamond Dew Liquid Eyeshadow in Pixie
Kat Von D Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment in Satellite
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Topaz
Nyx Epic Wear Liner Stick in Pink Spirit
Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Mimosa Sunrise
Folly Fire Matte Manipulation Lipstick in The Supreme
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst and Topaz, Lime Crime Diamond Dew Liquid Eyeshadow in Pixie, KVD Vegan Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment in Satellite, Nyx Cosmetics Epic Wear Liner Stick in Pink Spirit, Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset, and Folly Fire Matte Manipulation Lipstick in The Supreme.
"When I worked at makeup counters, we used face charts [to show products]. I don't use them that often [today], but this was really fun. Since it’s a flat surface, I wanted to play with texture by incorporating metallics, gloss, glitter, and rhinestones. Wearing a mask changes a lot of things. I'm more focused on the eyes lately. Even though it's quite a dramatic look, using brown eyeliner instead of black is a little warmer and softer-looking. I kept the lip neutral to complement the eyes. I’ve been playing with a lot of different types of formulas that are long-wearing or a stain, so they don’t get all over my mask."
Get the look:
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Ruby
KimChi Chic x Ketnipz Rainbow Sharts Palette
$28Kim Chic Beauty
Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner in Bold Brown
Nars Climax Extreme Mascara
Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint in Chérie
$36Victoria Beckham Beauty
Maybelline Lifter Gloss in Moon
Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint in Chérie
$36Victoria Beckham Beauty
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Ruby, KimChi Chic x Ketnipz Rainbow Sharts Palette, Maybelline New York TattooStudio Eyeliner in Bold Brown, Nars Climax Extreme Mascara, assorted Swarovski crystals, Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder, Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, Victoria Beckham Bitten Lip Tint in Chérie, and Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss in Moon.
"I love doing face charts. It’s very meditative. And it's helpful to get ideas out of my head and onto paper. I haven't traveled since last March, but I stay inspired by what I see while on walks outside, and by music and movies. It's also an amazing time to visit a museum. It's very quiet and empty. You have to make an appointment beforehand, so they can be assured everyone is safe. [For this look] I was inspired by the Museum of Modern Art — specifically, the way graphics were used in the Bauhaus era. But I wanted to make it a little more abstract, [which is] why I created that broken eyeliner on top. The little dot underneath gives it playfulness. When I use a bold color, I really love for the skin to look kind of untouched — and you can easily create that illusion by adding freckles [with eyeliner]. I use different shades to make them look even more natural."
Get the look:
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Fervent Blue
Chanel Rouge Coco Bloom Hydrating Plumping Intense Shine Lip Colour in Radiant
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I: Subliminal Palette
$125Pat McGrath Labs
Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush in Brillante Idée
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Fervent Blue and Rouge Coco Bloom Hydrating Plumping Intense Shine Lip Colour in Radiant, Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I: Subliminal Palette, Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush in Brillante Idée and Classique.