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368 posts tagged "MAC Cosmetics"

Joey Arias: The Drag Artist Talks Beauty, Bowie, and the Three Things Every Woman Needs



When asked to describe the chanteuse that is Joey Arias, the cabaret legend herself (or himself—deciding upon a pronoun poses a challenge) can sum it up it one word: seductive. Unlike many of the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Arias understands the art of “simplicity in makeup.” And when she uses the word simplicity, she doesn’t necessarily mean a dash of powder and lip balm (although that’s perfectly acceptable for day or a wedding). For stage, she contours (the last step of her maquillage method) but doesn’t take it as far as your regular drag queen. “I don’t put on any white and brown,” the two pigments typically employed to carve out cheekbones. Arias doesn’t do anything “clown-y,” either, although she would if it meant “getting paid.” Longtime collaborator Thierry Mugler gave the performer a piece of advice that still resonates, which Arias recalled during our interview: “If you’re going to do your own thing, just [put on a] black bra and panties. Don’t start putting all this shit on yourself. No pinks and greens and fluff and feathers. Please don’t do that!” With her perfectly articulated arches, razor-sharp liquid liner, and impeccable red lips, she’s like a forties film star, citing women like Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich as icons. Here, Arias shares some of her best beauty tips and how she continues the magic after the makeup comes off.

The scene: Cabaret lounge-meets-museum. Irving Plaza in Union Square is transformed by MAC Cosmetics to pay homage to Arias—with some of her most memorable ensembles on display, along with her new film directed by Mugler, Z Chromosome. A series of makeup wipes—some reminiscent of the Rorschach test—are also encased in glass in the middle of the room.

Can I first ask you about these makeup wipes? Was it your idea to turn them into art?

It started as a joke years ago. I think it started in Berlin. But it wasn’t until I did Cirque du Soleil Zumanity [Arias was the Las Vegas show's emcee for five years] that I was rushing to get out of the theater—after, like, two shows, I’d throw the wipe on the table and of course they would lay there, and I’d leave and come back and see these wipes and I’d think, Huh, what am I doing here? This is kind of something! So I started saving them and I’ve got probably like two or three thousand wipes now from Cirque du Soleil.

So you’ve been saving them since you hit the stage in Vegas?

Since 2003. Every time I do a show, we do the wipes. My partner, Juano Diaz, is a painter from Scotland. He had an art show in New York about two years ago. It was his art, and people wanted to meet him. And he asked me if I could throw up a little section of some art with him. Because, you know, I went to art school and everything. Juano, he got them and actually framed [the wipes] floating on glass…I had about ten of them among his paintings. I had a row, and it said, “MAC Wipes: Create Your Own Art.”

Is there a technique to how you take off your makeup?

It all depends on how you feel that night when you’re taking your makeup off. It might be a little aggressive or it might be gentle. Sometimes it’s like a rush. It all depends on how I want the eyes to come out, or do I want them to look like more of a mask, or do I want them to marry each other, do I want them to be more abstract like two people kissing or something from outer space? It all depends on how I rub the wipe. People are just blown away.

So what are your go-to MAC products that eventually end up on the wipes?

Well, the MAC wipes, for damn sure! I like their lipsticks and their shadows. All the shadows. I don’t really try too many colors because there’s a certain scheme. I’m not really always like, “Pink lips!” I’m a brand already, so I’ve got to stick to a look. In this video [Z Chromosome], I stretched out and did some different things—I was very Cirque du Soleil. Mugler wanted me to put red glitter on. That was for fun.


Which red are you wearing in the film?

It’s Russian Red with some black liner, and then I put the red glitter dust [on top].

Is the black for depth?

Yes, to give it a shape.

What’s the best beauty trick you ever learned?

One of the most beautiful makeup artists I’ve ever met is Mathu Andersen, who does all of RuPaul’s makeup, and he’s taught me a few tricks…Maybe only four or five makeup artists have [ever] done my makeup, but just the simplicity of makeup and shadowing—it takes time. You can’t rush. Keep it natural.

So you don’t necessarily contour like a Kardashian. What’s your technique?

Look at my cheekbones and just [see] how I want my face to move. On RuPaul’s Drag Race they put white. I just put a little base on, very light, and get a sponge and kind of wipe it off, and then powder to set everything down. Then I draw the eyes, eyebrows, lashes, lips, and then contour. Contour is last.


So Mugler suggests keeping it simple with just a black bra and panties. Is that all a girl needs?

Just a black bra and panties! And stockings. That’s it. Gotta keep it elegant, gotta keep it, as Mugler says, “Classy, classic, and cheap.”

What does your nighttime beauty routine entail?

Well, it all depends. If I’m going to do shows, I have to pace myself. And usually the shows I do now are about eight or nine, so it’s like, prepare, relax, gym, e-mails, feed our little dog Grumble, take a bath, start looking for an outfit, and then get ready.

How long does it take you to apply your makeup?

It could be anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours.

What about taking it off?

That part takes about three seconds.


At least you’ve found a way to make your hard work stand the test of time with your wipe art. So what is the craziest, best night out you’ve ever had?

My craziest, best night out ever? I’ve got so many of them! But I would say in Paris, with Mugler, having dinner. There were about ten people—I’m not going to say the names. Mugler said, “We’re going to have dinner with Iman and her husband.” And I was kind of like, “OK!” And we were all there and all of a sudden they walked in, and I’m like, “Duh! David Bowie!” I sang with him on Saturday Night Live, so we saw each other a couple of times very briefly. He walked in and he had not seen me [since] I transformed, started dressing up, and we sat there for hours—hours—screaming and laughing, having the best time. It was amazing. And then we walked through Paris and David put his arm around me and said, “You really blossomed so beautifully. I’m so proud of you. You just moved on.” He said, “I wish you looked like this when we did Saturday Night Live!” He probably wouldn’t have worked with me if I did! We were laughing.

What were you wearing that night?

Oh, I was wearing a Mugler suit. Elegant. Very chic. Nothing crazy.


You recently got married—what kind of makeup did you wear on your wedding day?

Seriously, I wore just a powder.

No lashes or anything?

No, no. I just put powder on. Because it was daytime—it was like 7 in the morning. I just wore a black suit and powder…And beautiful black glasses—they’re called mantaray, so they looked very alien.

So no need even for mascara.

No, honey. You put the lashes on when you have a business meeting because that’s when you mean business.

Lorde Talks Lipstick, Leotards, and What Makes Her Feel Dirty


2014 Lollapalooza Brazil - Day 1

Not many 17-year-olds can make a suit look badass, but in her Alexander Wang jumpsuit, styled with a black lace Lonely Hearts bra running across the back, and lush mess of long, thick curls (reminiscent of Alanis Morissette—minus the naked music video), that’s exactly the vibe Lorde puts out. In an industry filled with pop stars in marijuana-print leotards and ill-placed foam fingers, this New Zealand native seems like a godsend to mothers and fathers of angsty adolescents everywhere. “I feel really cool and really pretty in a suit—that’s my leotard,” she said. And to that mature sartorial decision I applaud. As for dealing with the pressures of the industry, Lorde’s response is that of a typical teenager: “I’m not really very good at listening to what other people want me to do, which is bad sometimes.” With a MAC collection launching in June—consisting of her signature vampy purple lip (Pure Heroine) and black liquid liner (Rapidblack)—I’d say that her selective hearing is working out just fine. Here, she reveals the one beauty trend she won’t try, the secret to those black-stained fingertips at the Grammys, and the music royal who will never be “corny.”

You have a signature look and your MAC collection is obviously modeled after it. How long have you been rocking the dark lips and liner?
It has definitely fine-tuned itself over time. When I was 12, 13, 14, I would wear a much stronger liquid eye and I wouldn’t wear lipstick so much. Then I started wearing a dark lip around 14, I reckon, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. It helps to work with a makeup artist because they understand subtlety.

Have you dabbled with any other looks over the years?
I used to get these black circular stickers from the dollar store and I would stick them on the corners of my eyes for school. It was a little dramatic. I bought them once for a dress-up party and they kind of stuck.

How many lipstick shades did you go through before finally landing on Pure Heroine?
I went through all of the dark purples that MAC had, and I obviously wear a lot of the dark MAC shades. We loved the idea of making a lipstick called Pure Heroine, which was based on the shade Heroine, just a little darker. So we made up five different shades with five different finishes. I would try them out when I was going out to a party or out to lunch to see how they worked and how they felt. One of the things that was really important to me—because a lot of people who are going to be wearing it are teenage girls and they don’t have a makeup artist to help them apply it—is that it be easy to put on and press on lightly as a stain. I love matte lipsticks because they stay forever, but they dry you out and they are super-intense feeling, so I wanted something that felt a little lighter.

What about tricks for keeping a dark lip budge-proof?
We put a liner underneath it, which I never do when I’m putting on my own makeup because I’m lazy, but I really take care with eating, drinking, and talking. I’m always aware of the sides because that’s where it moves.

What is your best tip for applying liquid liner?
A good rule of thumb is to make it thin until you get a quarter of the way into your lid, and then [turn the pen] and go parallel to your crease. As long as you keep in line with the crease, you’ll be fine.

I can’t stop looking at your brows—I think they could rival Cara Delevingne’s.
I haven’t plucked them in three months. Amber [Dreadon, MAC senior artist] does some gel and brushes them, making the hairs all go in one direction.

You’ve made many interesting beauty moves thus far—including black fingertips at the Grammys. Is there a trend you’ll never try?
I kind of struggle with a smoky eye, and that’s one I haven’t found a way to make cool. I feel quite dirty—it’s not super-wearable.

Speaking of your black-dipped fingers, whose idea was that?
That was my idea. I actually stumbled across it on Tumblr and it’s obviously Michèle Lamy’s thing, Rick Owens’ wife, and I didn’t know that at the time. We didn’t know how to make it work because I had to perform and then I had to accept awards and I didn’t want to have it on the whole night. We did my fingernails in gel polish and we did the stain in a normal nail polish so we could just take it off with nail polish remover.

Smart. I was trying to figure out how you pulled that one off. What is the best beauty trick you’ve learned on the job?
Not to use my hands to apply everything! I used to apply foundation like sunscreen and rub it all over my face, but it’s a bit different if you use a brush. I’m still up for using my hands because brushes are expensive, but they do make a difference.

Your selfie that showed you wearing spot cream to bed resonated with so many people—especially teens. Why do you feel strongly about embracing imperfections in a world so concerned with image?
As a young person who is obsessed with popular culture, fashion, and beauty, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming thinking about all your imperfections compared to these people who are flawless. I think a lot of people believe that being famous makes you superhuman. I think the standards don’t have to be how they are. I just think about my girlfriends and how we all get acne. We feel terrible about it because we feel like it doesn’t happen to anyone else. So I’m like, “Look, it’s OK.”

What is your definition of beauty?
I think the people I’m drawn to and the people I think are really beautiful have an inner intelligence, sense of humor, or confidence—you can see those qualities in people. A person doesn’t have to be conventionally beautiful in any way, but I just want to look at them all the time.

Who would you say meets that definition?
I see it in a lot of my friends. When I cast the music video for “Team,” it had this community of young people, and it was really important to me that we didn’t cast just models from a talent website. I wanted kids who look like kids, and who look odd but in really beautiful ways. A lot of those kids in that video are just amazing.

Do you have any beauty icons?
Not so much for makeup, but I think Grace Jones has a lasting, iconic look. She’s so beautiful and so confident—it’s such a strong look, and I’m really inspired by that.

Whose music career do you admire?
I think Prince is really amazing because he’s very himself all the time. It’s not like, “Oh, Prince got corny.” He’s consistently killing it.

Getting back to you, what’s the key to your porcelain complexion?
I never use sunscreen, which is really bad. I’ve always been pale. I use tinted moisturizer and that has some SPF in it. And there’s a big hole in the ozone above New Zealand as well.

It’s never too late to start slathering it on! What about the rest of your skincare regimen—what are your go-tos?
In the last six months I’ve tried out a million different cleansers, spot creams, moisturizers. Some things are harsher than others, and when you don’t have the easiest skin you just need really gentle products. I’ve been using something from a dermatologist at the moment. I use a foaming cleanser, and I just put a really gentle, amazing moisturizer on, and then use a little spot cream. Those are all from the dermatologist, but there’s a really good acne cream called Crystacide. And there’s a good French moisturizer called Embryolisse and MAC Mineralize moisturizer in a pot that I like. And the one from Cetaphil is really good.

Would you ever cut your hair?
I’ve never had a little pixie cut, so I’ve been growing this for a really long time. It’s very much a part of my vibe and my sense of physicality and movement. I always think about how I would perform on stage if I had really short hair because it’s definitely a part of me. I love that it can be that much of an identity. It’s also a good safety blanket; I definitely hide behind it sometimes.

What do you loathe about having long hair?
It gets really matted if I don’t wash it for a while. It gets these big knots, which can be a handful to deal with.

How do you define your curls? Is there a curling iron involved?
The best product for curls that I’ve come across is Potion 9 by Sebastian. You just scrunch it in when your hair is wet, and then I just leave it.

How long did it take to straighten your hair for the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday?
It was really fast, like an hour—very swift.

Let’s get deep for a second. You’ve declared yourself a feminist. What does that mean to you?
I don’t really think about it that much, to be honest. It’s just important to me that things are equal. I don’t see why I should be held back in any way because of my sex.

True that. And on a less heavy note, I’ve heard you are quite the thrift store shopper. What’s your best find of all time?
We were in Palm Springs at Resale Therapy and they have this amazing vintage section. Are they called St. John, those suits? They had all this amazing St. John. I got this navy blue vintage suit with gold buttons. It fits me perfectly. I wear it on stage all the time. It’s my favorite and I didn’t even need to get it tailored. It’s my best find by far and it was 50 bucks, which is more than I like to spend at a thrift store.

Somehow, I think your bank account will recover from this splurge.

Photo: Getty

Summer Bridal Beauty Inspo: Make This Runway Look Your Something Borrowed



Summer wedding season is upon us, and for a bride-to-be in search of beauty inspiration, you can’t go wrong with the timeless-yet-on-trend look we spotted at the Pronovias’ bridal show this past weekend. In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, the Spanish fashion house staged a runway spectacle at Barcelona’s famed Pabellón Italiano, which drew more than 2,000 guests, including the likes of Camila Alves and Bar Refaeli. This milestone also called for major models, and Pronovias enlisted a roster of noteworthy catwalkers such as Karolina Kurkova, Constance Jablonski, Ymre Stiekema, Samantha Gradoville, Pauline Hoarau, and more to stroll down the aisle—er, runway—in the label’s breathtaking designs. (The sixty-seven-person creative team took a well-deserved bow following Kurkova’s finale.)

Citing iconic sixties actresses like Audrey Hepburn, MAC artist Victor Alvarez kept faces mostly bare with a healthy bronze glow, and focused on creating drama with quintessential winged eyeliner and false lashes. Meanwhile, hairstylist Moncho Moreno swept the girls’ hair back into sleek, coiled buns wrapped in a single braid. This updated chignon provided a base for Pronovias’ specialty headpieces. More than fifty different accessory options were on hand backstage, and so—much like real brides—no two looks were identical. We were particularly drawn to the white flower crowns (à la Dolce & Gabbana Spring ’14) interspersed with delicate pearls, which provided a fresh alternative to more traditional veils.

Ultimately, your wedding is no time to experiment with out-there, edgy styles. Thus, Pronovias’ lesson in classically modern beauty deserves both admiration and imitation—hell, even we might be able to pull a Kate Middleton and achieve this look ourselves.

Here, Pronovias shares exclusive, behind-the-scenes snaps from their big day with





Photos: Courtesy of Pronovias

What We’re Wearing This Week: MAC’s Shimmerfish

-------’s resident nail polish guru (and photo editor), Nicola Kast, beats the Monday blues by hitting the bottle. Here, she shares the lacquer she’s loving this week.

With leather sticking around as a spring wardrobe staple, Kast thought to pair her 3.1 Phillip Lim shorts with MAC’s forthcoming Shimmerfish lacquer (an aluminum-like silver). “I like the juxtaposition of the chrome finish against buttery black fabric,” she noted. After all, the combo seems to have worked well for Harley-Davidson—and a polish job seems like a safer bet than hitting the road on a badass bike.

Available May 15. MAC Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Shimmerfish, $17.50;

Rihanna’s Skin Secrets—Revealed


The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of Charles James: Beyond Fashion and the Anna Wintour Costume Center - Red Carpet Arrivals

“We get straight to glam—it’s no-nonsense, we don’t have time for that,” said face painter Mylah Morales of last night’s Met Gala makeup session with Rihanna. One thing the duo always squeezes in, however, is skincare. Our editors describe Rihanna’s complexion as “marble-like,” “flawless,” and “impossibly perfect,” so we asked Morales to spill her secrets: “I prepped with VBeauté Buying Time moisturizer and finished with Undercover Agent serum.” Next came concealer, lightweight foundation, bronzer, and highlighter down the nose, across the chin, and tapped onto cheekbones. “I went for clean lines with her brows and created a really subtle, taupe-y eye,” she explained. For definition, Morales employed MAC Pro Longwear Eye Liner in Definedly Black, finishing with a strip of false lashes. “I decided to go really pale with the lips because I didn’t want them to look too edgy,” she noted. While we always look to RiRi to take risks (emerald lipstick, anyone?), we fully enjoyed her sweet—and dare we say it, subtle—sugarplum pout and matching nails. Plus, her hair spurred visions of nineties TLC dancing round in our heads once we finally nestled into our snug, beds.

Photo: Courtesy of