Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we praise them.
There’s absolutely nothing sexier than a woman who’s in control of her life. Women who have their shit together change the world. Impact and legacy are values I strongly live for and I’ve made an effort for these values to be emphasized even in the way I carry myself.
How I dress myself and do my makeup every day is intentional: I have a purpose in mind (impact) and a desired lasting impression (legacy) that I think about daily. Sounds superficial but believe me, making a change in this world is intentional.
I’m honored to be inspired by strong, powerful women. I also recognize that strength and power do not have single face. Some are expressed outwardly and some in the background; some command the room and some shun the spotlight.The Girl Boss series of the Beautiful is Basic campaign guarantees that every Woman can look and feel like a Girl Boss.
Elaine is a colleague at work and she is the quintessential woman who rule the world wearing 6-inch heels. She stomps our boring office halls in a sleek and sharp fashion from head-to-toe. When you engage with her, you’re instantly drawn to a woman who is very sure of herself and what she has to offer.
Elaine is a corporate powerhouse and I thought to myself, her look should be bulletproof. She is either doing one-on-one’s with her reports, facing the client, running from one meeting to the next. Her days are long and her priorities laser-focused. That’s exactly how I wanted her makeup look to be: long-lasting and high-impact. Kim K brought to mainstream media the full-on highlighted and contoured look – it makes you look super sharp and sleek. While Kim K’s makeup artist has admitted to using 50 products to achieve her signature look, I knew that looking sharp every day do not need to take an army.
Want to know what it takes to command the room? Sharp and Slaying – that’s your running order:
- For a truly flawless finish, I layered foundation. First layer is Makeup Forever HD Foundation for general even finish. I then layered Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation in a lighter shade to highlight and a darker shade to contour. I made sure each layer is pressed and worked into the skin with a damp Beauty Blender. Full coverage does not need to look cakey.
- For that bulletproof, long-lasting look, I set the cream products with powder. I dusted Makeup Forever Pro Finish Powder Foundation all over. To set the highlight and contour, I used YSL Couture Contouring Palette.
- To keep the look youthful with a subtle pop of color (without veering away from the clean look), I opted for 2 shades of peach Makeup Geek blush.
- For Elaine’s eyes, I actually used the same highlight and contour powder: Highlight on the mobile lid and contour on the crease. For her lips, I opted for a shade that’s almost the color of her lips but a bit warmer.
Only 2 principles to nail this look – (a) Layering products do not need to look like piled-up cake-y mess. Each layer is thin and thoroughly worked in the skin. (b) Keep the tones and shades neutral because the impact comes from how clean the look is.
Karla (if it isn’t obvious already) is my baby (only) sister. She was my first muse. When we were younger, she had no choice but to lend her face when I experimented on looks. While our hearts and values are in the same place, we are opposites in a lot of ways. I’m the go-hard or go-home kind of person, and always on my toes, Karla is the go-with-the-flow, always the cool one. I know that success in life entails a lot of hard work but when I look at Karla, it astounds me how she makes success look effortless.
I’ve seen Karla get ready for work almost every day. From years of mastering her face, I’ve figured she has a solid look: she NEVER tries too hard. She’ll line her eyes and move on if she didn’t get it straight. She’ll candidly choose eye shadow based on her fancy. She’ll not overthink her lip color – ANY – it doesn’t matter because it will always look great on her.
This makeup look is for everyone who just doesn’t give a damn – Unapologetic and Low-Key – this is for you:
- I mixed Makeup Forever HD foundation with Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate to have the least amount of coverage. Karla hates the look of thick foundation on her face and if you have beautiful skin, you really don’t need that much coverage.
- Overpowering anything is a no-no for this look. That means, brows should not look defined but not ‘IG fleek-y’. I used the brow powerhouse duo – Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown used to draw hair-like strokes where her brows are spartse and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Mascara in Caramel used to set the brows so they set in place.
- Karla’s best asset is her almond-shaped eyes. To emphasize, I used Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in black to draw a straight line with a tiny baby wing on the end for that lifted eye look. I used Anastasia Beverly Hills medium-toned bronze shimmer shadow all over her lid. A neutral color that’s slightly darker than your skin color is enough to define your eye.
- The rest of the color on the skin – blush and lips – is intentionally muted to keep the focus on the eye. Light terracotta on the outside perimeter of her face and a warm baby pink blush on the apples (both Makeup Geek blushes) were fitting. Charlotte Tilburry K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in Penelope Pink (nude-y pink) keeps the low-key look sophisticated.
I will forever be baffled by how my baby sister does everything so effortless and cool. I don’t know how she does it… what I do know by heart is how to nail her everyday power look. When the media overpowers you with glamorous images of power, seeing someone so detached to it is refreshing and sexy.
Program Manager and Technology Workstream Lead
Cel hired me 11 years ago and God knows what she saw in my brazen but frivolous millennial ways. Whatever it I, I am forever thankful. I will not be where I am today in my career if she didn’t take me under her wing. I can still vividly remember everything she imparted to me – much of which is tough love. I don’t see her often anymore but the impact she has on my life are ripples of good decisions one-after-the-other.
I reserved the classic brown smokey eye look on her because whether she’s in the workplace or not, her sophistication is a class act. Her presence commands respect, her work and results speak volumes; her beauty look is void of frills and trends. A classic brown smokey eye is a sure-win look for any occasion.
Not everyone can be a Cel Esma, but her Sophisticated and Classy look is (at least) achievable:
- After applying a thin layer of Makeup Forever HD foundation, I kept her skin looking polished by setting her face all over with Makeup Forever Pro Finish Powder foundation using a powder puff. Using a powder puff (as opposed to a fluffy brush) will press the powder better on the skin, resulting in a more long-lasting set.
- Smokey eye is an eye shadow application technique, not an eye shadow color. It’s a technique that provides color gradiation from dark to light, where the darkest color is concentrated nearest the lashline and diffuses to its gradient lighter shade as it goes to the crease. On Cel, the gradiation from black to warm brown creates that smoke effect. I used Anastasia Beverly Hills eye shadows.
- Cheeks and lips are flushed with beautiful coral shades. I didn’t want the look to be too neutral and understated. I want to liven up the look with peachy-pink shades – I used Makeup Geek blush and Charlotte Tilburry K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in Coachella Coral.
- I set Cel’s face with Urban Decay Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray to pro-long her makeup and remove the powdery look.
Issa’s beauty is aspirational to a lot: beautiful in simplicity. Her look is the embodiment of my brand: basic, but not boring. Keep the sophistication up, Ladies. You don’t need a lot, you’re beautiful – let your own shine thru.