On the Red Carpet: Laura Benanti

Laura Turned Back

Who gets to be gorgeous, talented and have a great personality? An old friend of mine used to say you get one or maybe two but not all three – she said the gods just don’t allow it. Which seems fair enough. But I recently had the opportunity to work with Tony Award winning Laura Benanti and I can tell you right now she is as kind as she is beautiful. And winning Tonys doesn’t happen unless you’re exceptionally talented, so guess what - she has all three.

This fall, Laura stars in the new NBC show Go On with Friends' Matthew Perry. 

When she first arrived to NYC, Laura was cast as an understudy for the Broadway role of Maria in The Sound of Music - a show she would go on to star in. From there she went on to many roles and became one of Broadway's brightest stars, picking up awards and accolades all along the way. After learning I was in the presence of Maria I couldn’t help but hum My Favorite Things (really corny of me, I know, but I actually wasn't thinking about it) as I did her makeup - and Laura and hairstylist Kristan Serafino joined right along with me. Then off she went to the red carpet looking glowing and beautiful.

Makeup Tips for Laura's Red Carpet Look Laura wanted more natural makeup so I stuck with warm nude and earth tones and added small touches of brightness to keep it fresh and glowing.

Laura Up Close
Laura Up Close

Moisturize before applying makeup. I used a light moisturizer and Origins GenZing eye cream. Moisturizing helps smooth on foundation so it looks soft and natural. Because her skin is already so smooth and even, I used foundation sparingly and only to create a "palette" for color. To make sure it lasted throughout the night, I set the makeup with a sheer face powder and the under eye concealer powder from Laura Mercier's Undercover Pot.

Highlight eyes with a touch of light shimmer. I used Matisse Elite Star Dust Powder on just the inner corners to draw attention to her eyes. If we were creating a dramatic look I would use shimmer more liberally, but using it just as an accent is perfect to keep it soft and natural.

Warm the face with a bronzer. I used a bronzer in place of a blush on cheeks, around the sides of face and on the forehead area. Again, to keep it natural, it's important to blend any bronzer well.

Add soft color to lips. Laura is wearing coral shoes - I didn't mean to match her lips to them, but now that I'm looking at the images I kind of did! Matching lips and shoes is, of course, in no way important or necessary, but keeping lip color in the warmer tones helps blend the warmer eye and cheek color together.

Hairstyle Laura's hair is elegant, softly relaxed and pretty. If you'd like your hair to look like Laura's, click here for Kristan's Hair Tips.

Look for Laura this Fall,  Tuesdays at 9pm (EST)!

Go On NBC
Go On NBC

Hair by Kristan Serafino, Makeup by Robyn Tamura

Getting Reacquainted: Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

Fluid Sheer 2It's not exactly a new product, but it's new-ish to me  (I think it's been around since Giorgio Armani Beauty launched). Someone gave me Fluid Sheer a couple years ago and I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t understand what it was. Was it a bronzer? A shimmer? A foundation? It stayed in my closet in its elegantly black Armani packaging.

Recently I became reacquainted with it. I still thought it might  look like your standard bronzer. Or maybe it’d look like a trendy shimmery foundation. Then someone showed me how to properly use it and I decided to give it a go. The next shoot I did was with a skin care company, and skin care companies – naturally - want everything to be healthy and glowing. It has to look good, but the makeup can’t be apparent because it’s all about skin.

For this model, I lightly applied it to her hairline and blended it on her cheekbones with blush. It made her skin glow in a way that a bronzer doesn’t. As Armani Beauty is all about glowing skin, Fluid Sheer is clearly its essence. Fluid Sheer Model

Maybe it won't make us look like this, but we all deserve to glow!

Fluid Sheer Glow Tip: As its name says, it is quite sheer so you can use more than you think without it looking like too much. Apply around hairline, right under or on cheekbones. Under cheekbones makes them more prominent; on cheekbones will highlight or brighten – it all depends on what you want and need. Blend with fingertips. Then watch yourself glow.

Sparkles & Bangles, Pretty in Pictures

These are some of the images we created for Kelly Bruggema's Soo Ihn Kim Jewelry. Kelly is a talented jewelry designer who also photographs her beautiful designs. Or you can say she's a talented photographer who started her own jewelry line. And though it's a fairly young company, her collections have already been seen on celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Zoe Saldana – as well as featured in magazines such as Vogue, InStyle and Harper's Bazaar.

Kelly Jewelry

Hair is by Kyung Min Chon. I love Kyung's story because she really followed her heart to become a hairstylist. She began her university education in Korea as a German Studies major. But once there she realized her true passion was to be in beauty. Being Asian myself I know that any career implying "artist" is not one most Asian parents get that excited about. So she somewhat independently applied to the prestigious Osaka Mode Fashion College, was accepted, and moved to Japan to study hair and makeup. Kyung has since become an accomplished hairstylist and makeup artist with numerous celebrity and corporate clients. She currently works at Warren-Tricomi in NYC.

Amsterdam Two

And myself...well, you already know about me. I just had so much fun working with Kelly and Kyung - and seeing those gorgeous pieces of jewelry too.

Kelly’s designs can be found in boutiques throughout the world and with online retailers ShopBop and The Gilt Groupe (where I will soon be looking for some pieces myself).

On Side

Side Look

 

Top 6 Things to Do About Your Dry, Chapped Lips

6. Avoid Super Long Wear. If you wear lipstick, don’t use one of those longwearing lipsticks that has a lip stain on one end and a moisturizer on the other. At least, I’ve not found one that works. Even with the moisturizing stick, lips still feel dry shortly thereafter so you have to keep using the moisturizer on top of the stain all day long. And I don’t even think the color ends up being super long wearing anyway. Or else I’d be wearing them. 5. Find a Moisturizing Lipstick. I personally hate reapplying lipstick so I wear the driest, most matte lipsticks that don’t ever come off. This causes people to constantly comment on what a great color I have on but that my lips look really dry. Which, again, if I have to trade one thing for another I’m not going to wear a lipstick I have to reapply over and over. The alternative for me is not wearing lipstick. But you, like most people, probably don’t have this hang-up. So find something really creamy and soft like Lancome’s L'Absolu Rouge.

4. Moisturize Nightly. Since I wear dry lipstick during the day, I moisturize at night. I like to use either Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter or Nivea Lip Care Essential. For some reason I discovered Nivea years ago in Dubai. It was in my hotel room or something and I had not had it before so I bought a whole bunch while I was there, only to realize we have it here. But since then I have loved many Nivea moisturizing products.

3. Exfoliate Lips. Use a gentle face scrub on your lips from time to time. I like Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream because it has a cream base and small, perfectly round beads that are gentle and buff off dryness. Do not use a chemical/cream exfoliant on your lips unless a company says it’s OK - if it’s not specifically made for lips it can be irritating (or worse).

2. Use a Lip Balm with a Lip Pencil. If you can’t find a moisturizing lipstick that does it for you, use a moisturizing lip balm with a lip liner. First apply lip balm; then line and fill in lips so you can wear it all as your lip color. Apply the balm first or else the lip pencil will probably drag and pull on your dry lip skin.

1. Drink Lots of Water. Cure that dryness from the inside out. Eight 8oz. glasses daily are the recommended but I find that I do best with 12 (glasses a day). This makes my brother to warn me about hyponatremia (water intoxication that can be fatal) but I rarely achieve 12 glasses anyway. I know if I did my lips would be soft and supple every day – without ever having to use any lip balm.

Mwah!

LOFT Loves Teachers Makeovers!

If you didn't already know, Ann Taylor LOFT has a teachers' perks program that includes every day discounts, special events, as well as sweepstakes and a cool 50K grant program in support of educators! If I were a teacher, I'd be heading off to LOFT to be appreciated.

We took a trek to Connecticut to do the hair, makeup and fashion makeovers currently featured  in LOFT Loves Teachers. I had not been in a high school since...a long time ago. So being in the gym, walking halls through the halls and seeing those little desks brought back memories of Spanish class (Me llamo Robyn), dreading algebra and hearing the bell ring (running to get back in the classroom on time). Memories good and bad, of course. It's high school!

If you're looking for "before" shots, we don't have any. The makeover was more about letting the teachers have fun with a new look, so it's just the "after." See some images below. Enjoy!

Photos by J. Ryan Roberts and Guggenheim Productions. Hair by Katie Ambrose, makeup by Me.