Even behind the safety of a face mask, Michelle Obama managed to look stunning at the 2021 Inauguration, capturing the attention and affection of attendees and, well, the entire Internet. As it turns out, Obama wore Fenty Beauty and Pat McGrath on Inauguration Day, aka two major Black-owned beauty brands (which paired perfectly with her pantsuit, designed by Black designer Sergio Hudson).
Carl Ray, the former first lady’s long-time makeup artist, shared details of Obama’s look with The Cut and said he wanted to give her a “statement look” that honored the momentous occasion. “I wanted her to have a powerful beauty look that was classy, bold, and confident; but all of that would also need to be achieved through the top half of her face only,” he told The Cut.
To accomplish this, Ray turned to Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath’s Pat McGrath Labs. He also employed products from other fan-favorite brands, including Glossier and Anastasia Beverly Hills, to complete the look.
In order to make Obama’s eye makeup pop above her black mask, Ray used the Pat McGrath Eye Shadow in Divine Mink to add a pop of shimmer in the center of her lid and then added depth by lining with the Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra-Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black — which is waterproof, so any tears brought on by the swearing in of the first Black, South Asian female vice president wouldn’t ruin her makeup. He also worked with the Viseart 01 Neutral Mattes eyeshadow palette to create a day-time smoky eye.
For her face, Ray used the Fenty Beauty Match Stix to contour her cheekbones, then defined her arches with the cult classic Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel, Brow Definer and Clear Brow Gel. He finished the look by brushing out her natural lashes with Glossier’s water-resistant Lash Slick before applying Lilly Lashes for the ultimate dramatic affect.
While you may not have any national monumental events to attend anytime soon, you can at least copy Obama’s iconic glam for your next virtual or socially distanced hangout.
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