Kendall Jenner's Makeup Artist Shares the Secret to Her Flawless Complexion

Updated 04/19/19
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Last year, Kendall Jenner took over the world—well, the beauty world, at least. The supermodel and face of Estée Lauder has quickly become the beauty community's go-to icon for glowy skin, mile-long lashes, and a less-is-more attitude toward makeup. Kendall's personal beauty chops are quite impressive, and her makeup artists agree she has a distinctive vision when it comes to beauty—they're simply there to help her execute it.

"Kendall's aesthetic is more on the minimal side," explains Aidan Keogh of Honey Artists, Kendall's favorite NYC-based MUA. "Her preference is a staple red lip, minimal makeup everywhere else, and lots of mascara." Keogh says that Kendall is actually quite unique among his celebrity clients. "In a day where sculpted and chiseled features have become a movement, Kendall prefers a more subtle and naturally defined face," he tells us. "In a way, her red lip look separates her from the girls who opt for typical smoky eye and nude lip. So she stands out in her own way without being overly made up."

But technically, how does Kendall manage to look consistently flawless no matter where she goes? To find out, we got Keogh to reveal his seven best secrets for executing Kendall's look. Keep reading for seven exclusive (and surprisingly easy) tips from Kendall Jenner's makeup artist!

1. Never use just one mascara

Diorshow-mascara
Dior Diorshow Mascara $29
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If you want lashes as perfect as Kendall's, mascara cocktailing is key. "Kendall has the most amazing eyelashes, and she loves lots of mascara," says Keogh. The secret to her insanely full lash look involves a cocktail of two mascaras: "one for lengthening and one for volume." Keogh uses YSL's Faux Cils and Dior's Diorshow, respectively.

But Kendall's lashes aren't done after mascara. "I've also dusted some loose powder on her lashes to add extra thickness before applying the second coat of Dior," says Keogh. (So brilliant.) The last step is to comb through the lashes with a lash comb—Keogh recommends one from Japonesque ($10)—to ensure they are "separate and feather-like."

2. No matter what you've heard, don't skip primer

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Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36
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When strategically applied, primer is the secret to making your skin look glowy yet shine-free in photos. Here's how Keogh uses primer to make Kendall's skin look flawless: "After moisturizer and before foundation, I apply a pea-size amount of Smashbox gel primer on the 'hots spots,' or areas where unwanted shine and oil stand out," he says. That means right above the brow bone, center of the forehead, sides of nostrils, and chin.

Keogh follows up with foundation, then applies loose powder right over the hot spots for extra shine control. "It instantly mattifies the area and reads as soft and muted under both daylight and bright flashing cameras," he says.

3. Toss your contour kits (liquid foundation works so much better)

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #8 $64
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"Kendall likes definition on her face but not the Insta-contour," says Keogh. Instead of using cream contour products, Keogh opts for a foundation that's a few shades darker than Kendall's true base color. He uses Armani's Luminous Silk in #8 to sculpt the cheeks and forehead. "Think of sweeping the number three around the contours of your face [from the temple to under the cheekbone and down to the jawline]," he says. "Then blend with a damp Beautyblender so that it has no visible lines and looks seamless."

4. For perfect brows, don't miss this final step

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Smith's Rosebud Salve $6
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How genius is this: After filling in Kendall's brows, Keough tops them off with lip balm for high-definition shine. After all, if you don't want the hair on your head to look dull, why would you tolerate dull brows? Naturally, Kendall has the brow type everybody wants in 2017: "full, beautiful, and straight across," according to her makeup artist. Filling them in is easy—Keogh uses a subtle sweep of Anastasia Beverly Hills's Soft Brown Brow Wiz ($21) just on the tail of her brow, which he says "elongates the brow and creates the most natural, hair-like finish"

But according to Keogh, pencil is not enough to execute the perfect look: "I add a touch of rosebud salve to get an extra added gloss," he says. "It gives the most healthy shine to go with her glossy hair."

5. If you're going to be photographed, don't use powder highlighter

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RMS Beauty Living Luminizer $38
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Like all of her sisters, Kendall is obsessed with highlighter. But if you want your glow to look natural in pictures, skip the glittery powders. For Kendall, Keogh always comes back to this trusty RMS pick. "It's creamy and photographs so beautifully," he says. "We tap it on the high planes of the face and add a little touch above the Cupid's bow to enhance the pout and create the illusion of a fuller lip."

6. Never line your lips with a dark shade

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MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture $18
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Speaking of feigning bigger lips: "Kendall actually likes to line her own lips and is really good at it too," says Keogh. "A lip pencil that is close to the lip color, like Subculture by MAC, is a great way to create a balanced lip, but it also allows you to cheat a little outside of the line on the upper and lower lips." (In other words, it won't look clownish or fake.) Kendall applies her lip shade of choice on top of the nude liner, and the result is surprisingly natural.

7. Forget matte lips: A "velvet" pout is so 2017

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Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl $26
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It's time to retire the ultra-drying matte liquid lippies of 2016: Kendall proves that a "velvet" lip look is more modern. "Kendall's go-to look is a red lip, or as she described when I first worked with her, 'a saturated, bright red lip,'" says Keogh. Whenever Keogh applies one of Kendall's high-impact reds, he taps some loose powder after the first coat of lipstick "to matte the lip down." According to Keogh, "This creates a super-velvet finish and allows the cooler tone to pop against the skin." This technique also helps keep the color from moving, smearing, or getting on your teeth. "Which is important when you're sitting next to Anna Wintour," Keogh says.

This story was originally published on January 24, 2017.

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