Come on, now. This glamazon’s gutsy look is destined for this year’s best-of beauty retrospective © Estée Lauder
Eat your hearts out, Queen Bey and Princess Riri – it takes a consummate crackerjack like Joan Smalls to separate the supermodels from the cough, celebrity chaff.
We’re talking, of course, about the Puerto Rican clotheshorse’s statement-making smackers at this year’s Met Gala Ball in New York. And it isn’t just her lips we’re loving: Joan’s entire ensemble was jaw-dropping in its incredible ingenuity, but more on that later.
Let’s parse her purple puckers apart, shall we. First, credit where credit’s due: Major props to the stratospherically talented face painter Sir John – who, for what it’s worth, is also responsible for the stage looks sported by Mrs. Carter on The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour – and her battalion of minders for taking a leap of faith and allowing Joan to emerge from her limo with what could have been an absolute makeup disaster.
Genetically blessed facial features aside, what made Joan’s vibrant violet lip colour work the way it did? It’s all about balance, baby. The relatively muted complexion played a huge part in keeping this look from tipping over into clownish territory.
Sir John (that name is just such fierce fabulosity!) brushed on the tiniest smidgen of foundation over still-damp skin to nail the is-she-or-isn’t-she nude look.
There’s a whisper of colour on the cheeks courtesy of Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer; the good folks at Estée Lauder Singapore informed us that the product’s unavailable on local counters, but because the lips are the focal point, we reckon any medium-intensity warm blush will suffice, really.
As for the million-dollar question, we have it on record that the lippie used on Joan was – drumroll, please – Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Insolent Plum (shown above in all its gothic glory).
It’s our sad duty to inform you that according to the lovely Lauder lady we spoke to, this particular shade isn’t available here, but the marvelous mauve afforded by Wild Lace ($45) ought to do the trick very nicely indeed.
Now for the insanely brilliant bit. If Joan had left her makeup as-is, she would have looked unnervingly bottom-heavy: All lips and no face.
Sir John dispatched the disproportion with ease by deftly playing up Joan’s eyes with lashings upon lashings of Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara; get the same inky goodness with the gorgeous Estée Lauder Double Wear Extreme Zero Smudge All Effects Mascara, $40.
The sum effect: A delicious tension borne from the visual tug-and-pull between her bold bluish lips, spidery lashes and sexy, sunkissed cheeks, all played out on the neutral canvas that was Joan’s custom Vera Wang gown.
Key takeaway? If you’re going to go purple, you need parity by way of strong lashes and bronzy blush, in descending levels of intensity. Oh, and if you’re going so bold with your beauty, it’s best to keep your trousseau within a taupe palette.
See? Easy. Bookmark this page and break out the burgundy. Have fun painting the town purple!