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 Tilbury Wonder Glow ($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).
“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.