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violet grey makeup masterclass

{Me, after trying out the makeup tips I learned on myself}

The mission statement for Violet Grey is simple: The best in beauty, from those who know best. The company (founded in 2012 and shopable online and at its flagship store on Melrose Place) is curated by the most in-demand makeup artists in Hollywood, and takes the guesswork out of buying beauty products because they only sell a limited number of products that these professionals actually use on their A-list clients. The site operates as both a blog – with everything to tutorials to celebrity makeup artist profiles (like Emily Blunt’s) – to a store, where you can shop the recommended products. And over the long weekend, my BFF Katierose and I took a masterclass from Violet Grey makeup artist Kira Nasrat and editorial director Christina Han. Kira has the personality of Amy Adams in Enchanted and Christina used to work at Vogue, and Katierose and I decided immediately we would do anything to be a part of their girl/celeb squad.

violet grey makeup masterclass

{Violet Grey recommended products from class: Laura Mercier foundation primer – radiance, Utowa brush, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, Utowa eyelash curler, Serge Lutens mascara, Tom Ford eye defining pencil – Metallic Mink, NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner – Rue Bonaparte // My products: NARS concealer – Chantilly, Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV foundation SPF 20 – #2, Chanel Aqua Crayon Lip Colour Stick – Pink Melody, Chanel eyeshadow blender #19}

The class was focused on how to get that natural, “no makeup,” #iwokeuplikethis look, with contoured cheekbones that look less like a Kardashian and more like you were born with them, and “diffused” eyes – a softer alternative to smoky eyes. I was excited enough, but with curbed expectations; I figured girls as pale as me don’t get to play the contouring game, since even the lightest amount of bronzer makes me look like I lost a fight with a spray tan hose. But, my new spirit animal Kira was so adamant that this Charlotte Tilbury palette would work for everyone (there are 2 shade options, FYI), that I went to Violet Grey the next morning and bought a compact for myself. I justified the price because, in the makeup tutorial, Kira also used the palette for eyeshadow. Kira’s straightforward bronzer method also gave me the confidence to finally try this look I’m seeing all over Instagram on myself – she told us to lightly brush the shape of a “3” with the Utowa brush and the darker, “sculpt” powder – along the temple, in the “hollow” along the cheekbone line, and along your jawbone. Essentially, she told us, use the “sculpt” anywhere you want to create a shadow; you can brush a bit on either side of your nose to make it appear more narrow. Same goes for the point of your chin.

violet grey makeup masterclass

Then, with the same brush, brush the “highlight” powder along the apples of your cheeks, down the bridge of your nose and even a bit across your forehead.

violet grey makeup masterclass

{Can you see the “3” I drew on my face the next day?}

For the eyes, Kira used the same brush in the tutorial. And, online it’s listed as doubling for an eyeshadow brush. However, I lost my confidence and used a smaller one on myself, for fear I didn’t have a delicate enough hand. Either way, Kira dabbed some “highlight” powder on the eyelid and then brushed the “sculpt” powder back and forth in the crease until it created a shadow. She quickly curled the lashes, applied the liner and “diffused” it with her finger (she said if you’re not confident drawing a smooth line, just draw a series of dots along your lash line and then blend them together lightly with your finger). Then, she lined the inner lower lash line with the nude NARS liner to get that “pop.” Finally, she applied the mascara, which Christina mentioned was her favorite as well – she said she recommended it to a friend, whose optometrist asked what brand it was because it was the first mascara she’d seen that went all the way to the lash line and actually looked real. They both loved that instead of a wand, it had a comb applicator, so lashes don’t clump together, and came in a dark brown that appeared to be more natural. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that, in my entire adult life, I’ve never bought mascara (I always just use whatever samples I get at Sephora), but that was enough to sell me. I bought my own tube the next morning.

violet grey makeup masterclass

I loved the whole thing, from the end look to the apparent ease of achieving it. Not to mention how few products were involved. The foundation primer and eyelash curler came compliments of the class, and I purchased the contouring palette, Utowa brush, eyeliners and mascara the next morning. Everything else I already owned. Lips weren’t a part of the tutorial, but without anything on I just look like I have a gaping hole in my face, so I used a light pink lipliner I’ve been loving lately to color in my entire lip like a coloring book (I think I mostly drew in the lines). From start to finish, it took me about 10 minutes, but I think I can shave that down once I get the hang of contouring my “3” a little better.

violet grey makeup masterclass

{Awkward posing in the bushes of my backyard}

Having used all of the products several times over the past few days, my favorites are the primer (the “radiance” gives a subtle glow that makes me look like I slept 8 hours and ate lots of vegetables, instead of 6 hours and lots of chocolate bars), and the contouring palette; I love that it knocks out cheeks and eyes in one, and shapes my cheekbones. However, I regret zero of my purchases, which is sort of the whole point behind Violet Grey.

violet grey makeup masterclass

It should be noted that Violet Grey only sells high-end brands. And of those brands, Violet Grey only sells the products their approved artists recommend, buy and use themselves, as opposed to the entire line. (For example, say you want to buy a blush, they only sell 12 options limited to a few colors each, so you don’t have to comb through hundreds of options, hoping you land on a good one. You can rest easy, knowing that whatever you purchase at Violet Grey has been tested and approved for use on the “beauty battlefield,” as they call it.) While they do sell Chanel lipliner, they don’t sell the one I used in these pictures. (I still love it.) But, shopping there is the perfect experience if you’re going to purchase a “prestige” product – it costs the same as any major retailer or department store, but feels special, “in the know,” purchasing it from a chic shop on Melrose Place instead of at the Grove. It’s also a great source if you know you need something – a face cream, a cleanser, a sunscreen – but have no idea where to start, and don’t want to waste your money on something that ends up lacking in quality, since their collection is so heavily curated. And I love feeling like whatever I buy came from a hot tip from a girlfriend who just so happens to do Emma Stone’s makeup for a living.

violet grey makeup masterclass

*Not a sponsored post, just sharing what I love!


    You look lovely!

    Aïchatou Bella


    • Annie

      Thank you, beauty! LOVE your blog!!!! Obsessed with the post on lashes. Thank you for dropping me a line! X A


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