“Getting ready for the Met Ball is chaos,” celebrity makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen told us just moments after she sent Karlie Kloss down the red carpet. “It’s the Oscars of the fashion world! It’s stressful, but it’s also really fun. All the artists are trying to do their absolute best work because the stakes are high.”
So what’s it really like getting ready in the midst of Met Gala chaos? Even after countless runway shows and events, Kloss was still a little bit nervous before the big event, Reiss-Andersen told us. “The energy is totally different from any other events. There’s a lot of anticipation.”
Lucky, we were able to get an exclusive look into the process from Reiss-Andersen. From sharing a hotel room with Taylor Swift, to the beauty product Kloss was hesitant to try, get ready for a peek into the madness.
Click through our slideshow to see what it’s really like getting ready for the Met Gala.
The day stared with a bang, thanks to a last-minute dress change. “Karlie had been planning on wearing a totally different dress. I can’t say exactly what it was, but it was very graphic,” Reiss-Andersen says. She had been plotting Kloss’ makeup look for days, but thanks to the last minute change-up, she needed a whole new plan. “I walked in, and saw her amazing [Oscar de la Renta] dress, and it hit me like a ton of bricks,” she says. “The look has to be polished, high end, blue blood—classy with a touch of Audrey [Hepburn].”
Getting ready for the Met Gala means distractions—a large beauty team, deliveries to the room, dresses to try on, people organizing transportation, and so much more, Reiss-Andersen says. “It’s a production,” she says. How does an artist manage to do his or her best work during the chaos? “You have to stay very focused,” she says. “I immediately pulled out only the products that I needed for the look, so I wouldn’t second guess myself,” she says.
Reiss-Andersen’s kit, above, made up exclusively of Marc Jacobs cosmetics for the event.
“I was so happy to see Karlie take a few minutes to eat something before the gala,” Reiss-Andersen told us. “So many girls make the mistake of not eating anything before big events like this.”
Although it is a production, getting ready for a gala isn’t completely unlike the real world: Kloss and Taylor Swift were able to get glam together. “Taylor and Karlie are good friends,” Reiss-Andersen told us. “There’s a lot of giggling, a lot of ‘oh my god!’ and a lot of fun—and then all of a sudden you realize it’s 6:15 and you only have 30 minutes left before the girls have to leave!”
“People have been doing a beige lip and brown shadow since the ‘60s, so the challenge of this look is keeping it looking modern,” Reiss-Andersen says. That included finding a shade of beige for Kloss’ pout that felt fresh. Too pink and it’s too retro, too brown and it’s too neutral, she says. They eventually settled on Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Lovemarc Lip Gel ($30) in Moody Margot. “It’s the perfect color,” Reiss-Andersen says.
“Karlie was a little nervous about me darkening her brows,” Reiss-Andersen says. “But this look requires a very deliberate, defined brow that creates a frame for the eye. I assured her I wouldn’t paint them on.” Instead, she opted for a natural look using shadow. Reiss-Andersen used a thin, delicate brush and a shade of brown from the same eye palette she’d eventually use to create Kloss’ upturned-eye look: Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No.7 Plush Shadow ($59) in The Lolita.
“This look is founded in the ‘60s and has a vintage feeling,” Reiss-Andersen says. “So the trick to keeping it young is maintaining light and fresh skin. I didn’t want to cover her face with makeup—she’s only 21-years-old afterall.” Reiss-Andersen smoothed Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation ($48) onto the model’s face using a damp sponge. “The nice thing about this foundation is you can apply a very thin layer, assess if you need more, and add to it,” she says. “It’s very light.”
Reiss-Andersen contoured Kloss’ skin with the brand’s Perfection Powder Featherweight Finish Powder ($48), then applied their Shameless Bold Blush ($30) in Obsessed to just the apples of the model's cheeks.
“I wanted to create some of that lost elegance with this look,” Reiss-Andersen says, referring to the '60s era that served as the inpsiration for Kloss' look. Using the three shades on the far right of the aforementioned palette, she applied the lightest shade to Kloss’ brow bone and lid, the middle shade in her crease in an arching shape, and the darkest shade along the tip lashline in a cat-eye line. Then, Reiss-Andersen went over the darkest shade with Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen ($30), applied a few individual lashes to the outside third of the model’s lashline, and a thick layer of Marc Jacobs Beauty Lash Lifter Gel Volume Mascara ($26) in Black.
“The girls carry ridiculously small bags to the Met Gala,” Reiss-Andersen says. “I sent her with the lip color, a small flat mirror, and some blotting papers—and that’s about all that would fit.”