Makeup Monday: The Lowdown on Rita Ora's VMAs Beauty

Rita Ora - P 2015

Kathy Jeung, the pop star's makeup artist, takes us behind the scenes of Ora's wild night of beauty looks.

It’s no easy task keeping up with pop star Rita Ora’s constantly moving schedule. She’s seemingly on every major (or at least, fun) red carpet, plus fashion show front rows and events. Last night’s MTV Video Music Awards was no exception — Ora turned out in several skin-baring outfits and a smoldering statement makeup look.

Her makeup artist Kathy Jeung created the sexy, smoky-eye and nude-lip look just after jetting back from Ora’s Las Vegas concert at 3 a.m. Despite sleep deprivation, Jeung managed to turn out gorgeous makeup versatile enough to suit all four of Ora’s costume changes.

See more MTV VMAs 2015: Red-Carpet Photos

Though Jeung stays behind the scenes, her days (and nights) prepping a pop star for a big appearance are just as long — if not longer — than those of the star herself. Here, Jeung gives us a look at what goes into a pre-VMA glam session and how she gets herself ready before tending to her mega-watt clientele.

Pret-a-Reporter: Is this your first VMA show or have you done others in the past?

Jeung: No, I've done quite a few over the years. 

Who are a few of the other artists you've done for this event in the past? 

That I can remember? Toni Braxton and Pink.

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How do you prepare mentally for big awards shows and events? Any rituals/smoothies/exercise/meditation, etc.? 

Depends on my schedule. For this one, I was with Rita the night before for her concert in Las Vegas that finished at 3 a.m., so not much time for anything except my matcha green tea drink.

Describe your kit. Are you super organized? What is your approach to preparing your products for an event? 

I try to be organized. Everything is in clear zippered bags or see-through mesh bags for easy access.

I carry on my gear in two Rimowa sport trunks: one for general makeup and facial care; the other carries my The Makeup Light lighting setup, fantasy makeup stuff — sequins, glitter and the like and loungewear body makeup. I tend to overpack. It's not as convenient, but I have a better level of comfort knowing I have something specific a client may ask for. For example, I carry at least six formulas of various foundations in the range of all shades.

Describe the look you gave Rita tonight. What was the inspiration? 

A smoky cat eye with soft focus lips — we wanted a strong eye look that would go with all four of her looks for the evening, with minimal changes because of timing.

Read more Stars Slick Back Their Hair for the VMAs

Products Used: 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir; $18,
Caudalie Vino a Perfect Day a Perfecting a Fluid; $49,
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Utra Definition Liquid Makeup in 4.5; $45,
Urban Decay Eye shadow from Smokey Palette; $54,
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Black Velvet and Vice; $20,
Urban Decay Brow Beater eyebrow pencil in Neutral Brown & Brow Tamer in Clear; $20, Macy'
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara; $10,

For her lips:

Fst look, Red Carpet: Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Nude Eclipse; $6,

Second look, Show Opening: Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in #17; $5,

Third look, Presenting:  Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in #14; $5,

Fourth look, AfterpartiesRimmel London Provocalips 16Hr Kiss Proof Lip Colour in Kiss Me You Fool; $7,

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After a long and intense afternoon of work, how do you generally unwind and relax? Do you watch your client on the carpet and during performances?

The best way to end my day is to lie around and snuggle with my two dogs; Weimaraner Winston and Pointer-mix Smitty. Heavenly! As for anything my clients have done on TV, because I DVR everything, I can watch everything recorded, and rewind and rematch!