There are certain requirements for reaching “cool-girl” status in NYC. An enviable daytime gig, healthy Instagram presence, and effortless style are a few—a photogenic friend group doesn’t hurt, either. Olivia Perez checks all of the boxes, and then some.
A blogger by day (she’s the founder and EIC of lifestyle website Friend of a Friend) who also runs fashion partnerships for style startup Spring and moonlights as a writer for Forbes, Perez is the definition of a modern-day multi-hyphenate with an enviable wardrobe (and beauty stash) to boot.
The life of a cool girl involves going to cool events, and we got an exclusive look at Perez’s getting-ready process for Planned Parenthood’s benefit (slash party) in NYC. With Glamsquad’s director of artistry Kelli Bartlett on makeup duty, we knew we were in for a smudgy, smoky look just begging to be photographed.
Keep scrolling to see what it’s like to get ready with Olivia Perez!
Step 1: Inspiration
“I have a signature beauty look that I love to stick to. Of course, I’ll try something new every now and then, but I usually keep it consistent and go for natural and glowy skin, a strong highlight, and a berry lip. I wore a teal satin suit by Baja East, so we went for bronze and shiny eyes that would make the color pop,” Perez says.
Bartlett adds, “We wanted to try a radiant, bronzed version of Olivia’s signature look. Emphasis was placed on her standout features: her glowing skin and her big brown eyes.”
Step 2: The Blow-Dry
“I recently dyed my hair brown, so I’m still playing around with different looks,” Perez says. “It’s definitely edgier for me, so I like to go for a loose beach wave to soften me up. Nothing too curly—just a little movement. I always have the stylist blow-dry my hair, then curl it, and then straighten out the girls to get them as loose as possible.”
Step 3: Prep the Skin
“I prepped Olivia’s skin using Erno Laszlo Sensitive Soothe & Calm Hydrogel Mask ($16), which is designed specifically for sensitive skin and infuses it with potent hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredients,” Barlett says.
Step 4: The Makeup
Pictured left to right: Charlotte ($55); Smith & Cult Eye Quad Palette in Noonsuite ($44); MAC Lip Pencil ($18); L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara ($6); MAC Cream Color Base in Hush ($24).Tilbury Wonder Glow
“I’m obsessed with highlighter,” Perez says. “I use two on top of each other—one from Nars and one from Dior Beauty. Today we used Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow. I start from the end of my eye and brow up into my hairline along my cheekbone. I can never use too much!”
Step 5: Brows
“Brows are usually my hero for every beauty look,” Perez says. “I never touch mine. I’ll fill them in with a brown pencil and then use a brow gel to make them as perky as possible.”
Bartlett adds, “For that covetable, feathery brow, rather than filling in the whole brow with pencil, apply only a few strokes in strategic places that are missing hair, and then comb them upward. This will open up the face; when you fill in brows too heavily, they can look blocky and weigh the whole face down.”
Step 6: Finishing Touches
“The final look! We added on a few false lashes to the end of my eyes and went for a light lip that almost matched my own color. I always use lip liner to give my lips some structure,” Perez says.