Sculptural hairdos, trendsetting makeup and artsy outfits—perhaps that's a good way to summarise the recently concluded Met Gala.
The theme for this year's event was “In America, a Lexicon of Fashion”, which resulted in a few obvious looks that were star-themed (a reference to the flag), and inspired by old Hollywood glamour (rapper Megan Thee Stallion called her look, Megan Monroe). As has been the trend since 2020 (a result of the pandemic and at-home lives), the makeup looks showcased at the event were everyday-wearable— skin made to look naturally flawless, nude and glossy lips, and graphic eye look to go with mandatory masks.
A few memorable sightings include actor Zoey Deutch’s holographic eyeshadow that matched her lilac gown, rapper Lil Nas X’s golden arrows around his eye corners, Gigi Hadid’s vintage powder blue eyes with winged liner, and singer Camila Cabello’s smokey purple eyeshadow.
Three of our favourites are tennis player Naomi Osaka (who also chaired the event), musician Grimes’ masked look and YouTuber Emma Chamberlain’s smokey eye with a neon touch. Celebrity hair and makeup artist Bhavya Arora decodes the looks for your next, chic masked outing.
“Her look was inspired by her Japanese-Haitian heritage and I love the geisha-esque feel of both her makeup and hair. The reds on her face complemented her skin tone beautifully. It was quite a dramatic look to pull off but her hair and makeup were as strong as her gorgeous LV (Louis Vuitton) outfit,” says Arora.
To get the look, start with your preferred foundation-concealer-powder combination. Apply a few coats of mascara and pick a red lip colour that suits your skin tone and apply without exaggerating your lips too much. Next gently define the corners of your lids with a neutral, barely-there brown and smudge it gently with a fluffy brush. You can top your red shadow on this. “You can go with a red or a matte peachy blush all the way up to your temples to give your face structure (apply in a ‘C’ form). For an evening out, you can wear this look with a monotone outfit because between the blush and red lips, there’s a lot of colour on the face,” says Arora. Finish by dabbing a shimmering silver shadow with your fingertips in the centre of the lid.
“Grimes’ hair and makeup were straight up 2021. We have been living in masks for a year now and it was a perfect ode to beauty adapting to the current world situation. The crystals above her brow, that bold eyeliner—she didn’t really need to take her mask off for that look to come through.
The little pop of metallic baby pink in her hair sealed the deal for me—it’s a look you can’t have enough of,” says Arora. You can use stick-on pearls, which are available at local craft and beauty stores for this look. Pearl bindis will do too. For the eyes, start by applying holographic chunky glitter on your lids and finish with a bold, black winged eye. You can ease the look for your daily outing by applying pearls just to the corners of your eye and a softer winged liner.
Probably our favourite pick from the night, Chamberlain’s neon stroke to a smokey eye is a stroke of genius. “It could have gone wrong, instead it totally gave her outfit just the right dash of oomph for the red carpet. I also loved the choice and sharpness of the green that stood out just adequately without taking away the softness of the smokey eye,” says Arora.
For this look, do your regular smokey eye using a black or a brown eye shadow. Apply kohl in and around the eyes generously and blend it with a brown eyeshadow to make it softer. Apply a generous amount of mascara to open up the eyes. “Make sure your brows are brushed up. Take a coloured gel or liquid eyeliner and apply it just at the centre of the eyelids. Add a little bit around the inner corners, if you think you can carry it off. You can use mint and neon greens, sky blue, teal, lavender, pinks and white liners for this look. Keep your lips to a nude or soft pink,” says Arora.