While it is remarkably easy to look like you are wearing too much makeup, mastering the art of ‘no makeup’ makeup proves far more challenging. Case in point: the American Ballet Theatre Opening Night Spring Gala was filled with bold lips and shimmering eyes this past Monday, but it was Emmy Rossum’s fresh, polished face that caught our attention. Instead of competing with the actress’ vibrant green frock, makeup artist Beau Nelson opted for a range of nude shades to create the effortless look.
The trick to the look? “I used mostly pinky beige shades, instead of brown-based nudes,” Nelson says. “Pinky nudes tend to be a bit more flattering for most skin tones, and are easier to pull off without looking washed out."
Click through our slideshow for all the tips and products you need to get Rossum’s look at home.
Nelson started by applying YSL Touche Eclat ($41) in #1 under the actress’ eyes, down the bridge of the nose, on the top of the cheekbones, her brow bone, chin, and around her lips for dose of brightness. If you prefer to shop the drugstore, try L’Oreal’s Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Highlighter ($10).
To create a flawless complexion, Nelson buffed YSL Youth Liberator Foundation ($69) in Beige 20 where Rossum needed coverage, blending it into the highlighter to give her the appearance of being “lit from within”. On any areas that needed extra coverage, he lightly patted YSL Anti-Cernes Concealer ($37) in #2 Nude Beige with his finger to help it settle into her skin, rather than sit on top. For a similar effect, try one of Nelson’s favorite drugstore foundations—E.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation ($6) or CoverGirl’s Clean Whipped Crème ($7)—and Maybelline’s Cover Stick Waterproof Concealer ($4).
Nelson then set the actress’ makeup with YSL’s Poudre Compacte Radiance ($47) in Shade 2 Pink Salmon using a fluffy brush, focusing on Rossum’s T-zone, under her eyes, and chin. “Looking for a powder with subtle radiance or a satin matte appearance is much more beneficial because it's matte without being aging or dry looking,” Nelson says. If you prefer to shop the drugstore, try CoverGirl’s Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Pressed Powder ($7).
Using a taupe powder blush (we like NYX’s Powder Blush ($5) in Taupe) and YSL’s Rosy Blush ($46), Nelson contoured Rossum’s cheeks. Apply the taupe hue under your cheekbone and the pink blush onto the apple of your cheeks. Nelson then buffed the foundation brush lightly over the top, to make the color appear subtle and seamless.
Instead of shadow, Nelson applied lip gloss to Rossum’s eye! He reached for YSL’s Gloss Volupte ($32) in Pure, which he applied with his finger from the lid to the crease, adding a little extra the inner part of the eyelid to catch the light. “By keeping lids shadow-free, I ensured that the gloss would not crease,” says Nelson. “The effect is very eye-catching, especially against the contrast of the natural matte skin.” He finished by curling the actress' lashes and adding a coat of black mascara.
Using a lip brush, Nelson applied YSL’s Rogue Pur Couture ($34) in 6 Rose Bergamasque—a creamy, pinky nude—to round out the matte skin and glossy eyelids. For a similar finish, try Flower Beauty’s Lip Service Lip Butter ($7) in Haute Honeysuckle. The end result? “Easy and effortless looking, but completely modern."