NYFW Beauty: Jason Wu Models Go Totally Makeup-Free — Except for Bold Red Lips

Jason Wu - H 2015

Maybelline makeup artist Yadim Carranza explains why.

"From the get-go, I got emails and texts from [Jason Wu] saying, 'red lip, red lip, red lip,' " says Maybelline lead makeup artist Yadim Carranza from backstage at Wu’s New York Fashion Week show. “But the thing with a red lip is, how do you make it different? You get very ‘lady’ sometimes — very grown-up.”

So Carranza had a bit of a challenge on his hands when it came to the models’ beauty look for the designer who dresses Michelle Obama, Diane Kruger and Reese Witherspoon. Furthermore, “Jason said, 'The collection is sophisticated,' so I wanted to juxtapose that a bit,” says Carranza. His solution: “Very raw skin — we didn’t do any foundation — to the extent that we may pinch cheeks before they go out. And literally nothing else on the skin no lashes curled, no brow, nothing.”

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As for the statement lip, which popped beautifully on models’ fresh, cool complexions, it was created with a total of four products. First, Carranza applied two red shades of Maybelline’s new Vivid Matte Liquid that aren’t even named yet, using his finger. Then he used a red Maybelline Color Sensational Lipliner ($7) to create a sharp, precise pout, slightly overdrawing the lip line.

The final step came after Wu questioned whether there was " 'anything else we can do to make it a little more twisted, a little thicker?' So I got this Maybelline red pigment — literally powdered, pure red pigment we steal from the labs — and we’re dabbing it on the lip right before they go on. It makes this really amazing, almost velvety lip." The final effect was sexy and young, but a little perverse — and not a smudge in sight. Explains Carranza, “Jason said, ‘No, my girl is polished.’ ”