How To Achieve The Modern Make-Under

Courtesy of Bobbi Brown; Courtesy of Dr. Barbara Sturm
Bobbi Brown blush (left) and Dr. Sturm's Hyaluronic Acid serum

Hollywood beauty experts weigh in.

In Hollywood, celebs and industry execs are giving up on the unreal and unattainable in favor of something that doesn't look like it's trying so hard. Here, beauty experts share how to get the modern make-under.

Minimalist Cosmetics

Makeup artist Jamie Greenberg’s signature minimalist approach relies on the “perfect trifecta” of lash extensions, tinted moisturizer and lip balm with a hint of color. “This is all a woman needs!” she says. For an easy, everyday look, makeup artist Taylor Babaian suggests sticking with neutral matte colors. “I tell my clients to avoid lots of shine and shimmer, especially for the office or boardroom.”  Bobbi Brown’s “no-makeup makeup” base of concealer, blush, mascara, and a touch of brow pencil gives clients “just the right amount to not look tired.” When prepping clients for awards shows, she may add false lashes, a touch more mascara, some eyeliner and a red lip.

Semi-Permanent Makeup 

Nano Color Infusion, a cutting-edge form of semi-permanent makeup where pigment is implanted into the skin with very fine, customized needles, is a secret weapon for the natural look. Dominique Bossavy, a specialist in NCI whose clients include actresses (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), film titans and international royalty, uses the procedure to fill in sparse brows, create thicker lash lines and add definition to lips. “I simply accentuate what people already have,” she says. “Just the right amount of pretty to feel good throughout the day while always looking completely authentic.” A three-treatment cycle (starting from $1,500) typically lasts for two to three years. 

Multipurpose Products 

Products that simplify skincare and help cultivate the less-is-more look are increasingly popular.  La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, ($330), a combination mask/night cream that's a favorite with Priyanka Chopra, firms and purifies skin overnight, replacing a fussy, 10-step evening regimen. The mask is now a top-seller, with a 17 percent increase in sales over last year, according to a La Prairie rep. Dr. Barbara Sturm, whose Molecular Cosmetics skincare line counts Cher, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Angela Bassett as devotees, says, “Perfect is passé.  It’s the minor flaws that are charming.” Molecular Cosmetics’ Hyaluronic Acid serum ($300), which penetrates deeper into the skin to moisturize and reduce wrinkles over time, is a best-seller at Violet Grey, the cosmetic boutique owned by Cassandra Grey, wife of Paramount CEO Brad Grey. 

Lasting Tress Treatments 

According to Tracey Cunningham, co-owner of Meche Salon, “Many clients don’t want high-maintenance and will even let themselves go during hiatus — it’s much more sane.” The one essential she uses on everyone (she’s the colorist for Jennifer Lopez, Emma Stone, producer Stacey Cramer, agent Joanne Wiles and Sarah Paulson) is Olaplex (from $60), a pre-color treatment that strengthens hair and makes it shinier and easier to style. Another advanced procedure that drastically cuts primping time is the Japanese Retexturizing Treatment by Milbon available at Salon Kazumi in Beverly Hills (from $300 – $600 depending on hair length). Owner Kazumi Morton (Zooey Deschanel and Liza Chasin, president of Working Title Films, are clients) says, “It’s completely safe, formaldehyde-free and lasts for up to six months.” 

Eyelash Extensions

Few things are more laborious than the process of curling lashes, applying, reapplying, and removing mascara day and night. “Extensions are a small thing that make a big impact on a woman’s face while drastically cutting down on prep time,” says Gloria Ting of Beverly Hills Lashes where Gigi Hadid, Gotham exec Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and television producer Jane Lipsitz are clients. (Fees run from $200 for an hour-long full set session, and from $65 for a monthly fill.) Esme Winterflood, who runs her eponymous lash studio in Marina del Rey with Molly Simms and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece as clients, says, “After application, our clients feel so liberated, they do nothing more than applying tinted moisturizer and lip balm before heading out.”