Laura Harrier is an undeniable beauty: big, beguiling eyes, flawless skin and incredible lips. Alex Babsky, the makeup mastermind behind her look for last night’s BAFTAs, shares the secrets to her red-carpet routine: “While it helps me a lot that Laura has beautiful clear skin, it doesn’t negate the need to prep with a firm facial massage using a gel cleanser that has real slip. Once wiped off, I then use a toner all over – trust me, it makes all the difference; skin is left super-polished, which allows me to use less makeup,” says Babsky. “I always ask my clients to loosen the top of their robe so that I can see their skin on their décolleté, shoulders and neck. This step is one of the most important, as it helps me to match the deepest and warmest parts of skin on show (often the shoulders) to their face, which tends to be much lighter.
“This is the first time I’ve worked with Laura and I was just so struck by her eyes – they are huge,” he continues. But, he explains, her eye shape “turns down ever so slightly, so it’s important to elongate them rather than make them any bigger. The best way to do this on yourself is to look in the mirror straight ahead and lift your eyeliner or eyeshadow out to meet the highest point of your eye line.”
When it comes to the lips, “Laura always favors a bold lip color for the red carpet, so we worked together to create two looks initially: one with a deep-plum lip and feline-liner flick, and another with a smoked-out eye and a sheer nude lip,” says Babsky. “But things can change on the night, and because Laura decided to have her hair in a Hollywood-style wave, we felt that adding a lip would make the look more retro than modern and fresh.”
“Laura’s dress [an orange long-sleeved pleated midi by Louis Vuitton] gave me the idea of contrasting a color against the orange hue. So, to make things a little more interesting, I added a deep mauve from the Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Eye Shadow Palette D02 to her smoky eye. The effect is subtle, but adding a color so opposing instead of a matching one makes the look much more dynamic. I then kept Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-Porter Mascara only on the top lashes; often, with bigger eyes, adding mascara to both the top and bottom lashes can make the eyes appear rounder and more doll like,” explains Babsky.
“I used Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation all over the face and a brightening concealer just on the T-zone – this makes everything monotone, which is particularly important for richer skin tones as it stops the face from looking too flat, particularly under the flash of cameras. A brightening concealer can mimic what happens when bare skin is a little moist or glowing, and it adds the natural highlights back in. I then placed a deep-raspberry blush Lancôme’s Subtil Rose Indien, high up and outside the cheekbones rather than on the apples of the cheeks – this makes everything more polished and expensive rather than ‘cutesy’.”
A pinky-nude lipstick completed the look. “Using my fingers, I patted the super-sheer Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte in 343, a fleshy nude, on Laura’s lips – it offsets her natural color but doesn’t detract from the eye. Laura has full, thick brows, so I added a little bit of extra structure, but it’s pretty much her own shape.” And what happens post-red carpet? “I’m going to be there to touch up Laura’s makeup for the after party,” says Babsky. “Blusher is the first thing to disappear, so I will be ready with my kit!”
Lancôme is the Official Makeup Partner of the BAFTA Awards
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