Behind Ciara's Radiant Billboard Music Awards Beauty Look

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Instead of heavy contour, her makeup was all about illumination and highlighting.

Makeup: the great unifier. At least it was in Ciara’s case at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. The singer slash model wore no fewer than seven thigh-baring gowns to co-host the show with Ludacris, and while her golden and caramel mane underwent almost as many hair changes, her face stayed consistent throughout. “The makeup had to seamlessly unify her entire look,” says Yolanda Frederick-Thompson, her makeup artist.


“The goal for me was to create a stunning but not over-the-top makeup look that could be tweaked throughout the evening to coordinate with her many hair and wardrobe changes. I wanted people to focus on Ciara, not the makeup,” she tells Pret-a-Reporter. This meant a light contour to complement her bone structure, amped up lashes (three coats of Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, $32), understated nude lips and a fair bit of illuminating and highlighting.

The latter steps are the ones that ensured the beauty looked bronzy and radiant all night long — lit from within. These tips can really be used for any occasion. First, Frederick-Thompson used Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-4 ($35) to highlight Ciara’s T-zone. She also warmed the perimeter of her face with Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Seduction ($44), and gave her cheekbones more glow with a dusting of Mineral Illuminating Face Makeup Powder in Candlelight ($35).

On her eyes, the illumination continued when Frederick-Thompson highlighted the singer’s brow bones with a warm vanilla shadow called Dust, from the Laura Mercier Extreme Neutrals Eye Shadow Palette ($58). The makeup artist dotted the inside corners of her eyes with Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Moonlight ($29), too. Lastly, she finished Ciara’s look by highlighting the center of her lips with Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Brigitte ($28). Glow guaranteed.