How To Get The JLo Glow: An Expert’s Guidance

The JLo glow. You know what it looks like (to the left): a mixture of coming back from St. Tropez, meeting the love of your life, and finding a puppy under your pillow one morning.  And while we all can’t afford a team of makeup artists and airbrushing for every photo, we can certainly benefit from the expertise of BlackBook’s resident makeup artist: Leah Bennett, whose work has graced the runways of London, New York, and Australia’s Fashion Week. Here, Bennett guides us – piece by piece – on how to get this look without spending four hours and $400 on the endeavor. You’re in good hands.

1. Oil it up.
Winter winds dry away most of your skin’s natural oils, the same oils that lend to a glowy look throughout the day. Get them back naturally with the omega-3 and vitamin C-packed oil Tarte Maracuja ($46). The elixir instantly absorbs into the skin, plumping and repairing it.

2. Apply the foundation.
Whether you’re building a house or experimenting with a recipe, you’ve got to build a good foundation first. And when it comes to your skin, the same rules apply. Smooth MAC’s Face And Body Foundation ($27) along your cheekbones, forehead, nose, and chin. This foundation is water resistant and tinted, so it gives color and very light coverage. For even more of a glow, also apply MAC Strobe Cream ($18) with a foundation brush, which is infused with skin-loving iridescent particles and antioxidants.

3. Make it flawless.
Concealer does all the work your foundation doesn’t; it vanishes all those unwanted blemishes, red tones, and dark circles. Sweep under the eyes and around the nose and chin with the full-coverage MAC Studio Finish Concealer ($18). Pat and blend until the look appears natural, and make sure to do this in white light, which instantly reveals any mistakes.

4. Frame the face.
For the JLo Glow, the contouring must be kept subtle. You want to frame the face, not make it a statement. Keep it light with MAC Buff ($20) in gingerly, a subtle shade, and contour the cheekbones, nose, and forehead with a foundation brush.

5. Take a brow.
One of the strongest and most ignored features on the face, the brows shape the eyes, which are paramount for the glow. Use a matte eyeshadow, like the MAC Eye Shadow ($18) in charcoal brown, to frame and fill the brow. Sweep the brow as if you are lighting a match. Use an angled brush to control how heavy or soft you want the look.

6. Become a cat.
Getting that winged, cat look for your eyes is a feat, and takes lots of practice and hits and misses. But it’s possible. To begin, get as close as you can to your lash line, and apply a liquid eyeliner in either soft strokes, or in one long sweep. If you have a magnifying mirror, use it. To wing the eye out, follow the end of the lash line to the end of your eyebrow, and sweep up. Use a q-tip to clean up any mistakes, and add concealer to keep your under-eye area looking fresh. Add plenty of mascara to open and create fullness to the eyes. Dior’s Diorshow Mascara ($25) creates a cat-lash, as it keeps your lashes fanned and full.

7. Get bold.
Your last step: the lips. Lip stains are your best friend to turn to, as they don’t need to be reapplied throughout the night. Get bold (and a bargain) with Sephora’s Lip Stain ($12) in always red. For the ultimate pout, line the lips with Sephora’s Lip Liner ($5) in real red, another unbeatable deal.

Love what Leah Bennett has to say? So do we. Check out her official website here

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Revealed: Kim Kardashian’s Greatest Makeup Secret

Kim Kardashian has got that look: that flawless, sculpted look – and we’re not just talking her butt. How do her cheekbones look like two isosceles triangles?  And how does her face radiate like a celestial sunrise? The answer, of course, is contouring. And we have our own international hair and makeup artist Leah Bennett – whose work has graced the runways of London, New York, and Australia’s Fashion Week – to break down the celebrity technique into simple steps for any skin tone. Find out what beauty products – including what she calls “Kardashian & JLo in-a-bottle” – are best for the job. Here are the secrets, in Leah’s own words.

1. Get good tools. Leah recommends:

  • The Mac 168 large angled brush ($38: "This can be used for blush and bronzer, and also helps to blend away any harsh lines.” The Mac 191 square foundation brush ($33): “You’ll use this to apply your flawless base and camoflouge the dark and light tones of contouring." The Mac 195 concealer brush ($23): “This sharp concealer brush gets into the crannies, and creates definition in smaller areas of the face, such as the bridge of the nose.”

2. Clean your face, and apply a primer.
“The primer minimizes large pores and holds the makeup in place. I like to use Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer 7 Pink ($34) as it brightens the skin, on top of all the other fantastic benefits of a normal primer. You can never overdo healthy-looking skin.”

3.     Add a concealer. 

  • "Depending on your skin coloring, you are going to want a dark concealer and a white concealer. I find a cream texture works best as the pigment is more dramatic and longer-lasting. Even with an oily skin tone, creams are suitable since you will always finish a look with a loose-setting powder anyway, which will keep your face looking fresh.”
  • The Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($38): “You get two colors: one light and one warm tone.”
  • The Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick ($40): “I use this to achieve the darkest color, as the creamy consistency creates instant drama on the face.”

4.     Apply the method.

  • “Suck in your cheekbones and, from the top of the ear to the middle of the eye, draw a line with the darkest color of your concealer.
  • Take that same color, and apply it from the top of where your eyebrow starts along the ridge of your nose to your nostril. This creates the look of a smaller, thinner nose. If want to disguise a larger nose, take the color on the tip of the nose and spread it out.
  • Then, using your lightest concealer, swipe out under the eye, all the way to your temple. Take that same light color, swipe the bridge of the nose, and take the color all the way between the eyebrows. Highlight underneath the eyebrows and the cupid bow of the upper lip. The finished result should be contrasting, like a lion.”

5.     Now for the fun part:

  • “Use a foundation brush and base to blend everything in."
  •  Leah recommends: The Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ($40): “It’s suitable for all skin types since it comes with a range of colors. It’s used for TV and photography work, and celebs love it. Using light brush strokes, blend using the foundation, until there are no visible lines showing. Let the base dry and reapply a second coat. I like a medium coverage.”

6.     Bronze away. Leah recommends:

  • The Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna ($38): “I love this bronzer. It’s a golden tan without any orange tint, and it doesn’t oxidize and turn orange on the face.”
  •  Using the Mac 168 large angled brush, swipe the temples, cheekbones, and the underneath-the-chin area. I like to call this technique the ‘E,’ since it’s the pattern created on the outer part of the face. 
  • Then add a soft blush color. I adore the Tarte Cheek Stain ($28). Make circle motions with the brush on the apples of the cheek.”

7.     The finishing touches:

  • “By now, you can see how defined your face is, but to make this look really pop, my secret weapon is the Benefit High Beam Highlighter ($28). This is your Kim Kardashian-JLo-in-a-bottle. It contrasts against the darker bronzer, and reflects and radiates light, creating a flawless ‘celebrity’ canvas. This product comes with its own brush, so apply it around the eye and temple – on your cheekbones, and below and above your eyebrows –  creating a C shape around the eye.
  • Finally, lightly dust your face with the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($32). This will leave no color or extra layer of makeup, but simply remove shine and hold makeup in place.
  • These advanced tips can be used for every look, whether it is coupled with a smoky eye or a red lip. Contouring sets you apart from the everyday girl, and transforms you into an instant celebrity. Voila.”

Love what Leah Bennett has to say? So do we. Check out her official website here

Our Man in Miami: From Haiti to Betty Page with Kimberly Green

That snap you’re looking at is of me and Kimberly Green, top gun at the Green Family Foundation (GFF). A couple weeks back we had the pleasure – and the privilege – of being shot by Francesco Lo Castro as part of an upcoming mural and portrait project the ace visualist is doing at Butter Gallery in concert with this year’s Basel. Kimberly’s a busy gal. In addition to a wide range of work in Miami, GFF is extensively involved in all kinds of great good efforts throughout Haiti – and they have been for well over a decade. That means Kimberly’s either there – or elsewhere – more than she is in her own hometown. So when she does manage to swing through we make a point of doing or seeing something spectacular. The last go ‘round it was the Lo Castro shoot, which was double-plus fun and then some.

This trip happened to coincide with the opening of an exhibit at Miami International Airport entitled “Hands of Haiti.” Set in the recently built South Terminal Gallery and put on by the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance (HCAA), the show features sixty incredibly striking works, all of which were rendered under a barrage of post-quake hardships. The soundtrack consisted of various cuts culled from The Haiti Box; that set of early Alan Lomax recordings that Kimberly executive produced in conjunction with the Association for Cultural Equity. Hearing those circa ‘30s field recordings alone is a bewitching experience; to hear them in the grandeur of MIA’s newest wing amid an exquisite collection of woven vodou flags, Jacmel Carnival masks and other indigenous wonders was sublime.

After hitting the exhibit we decided to grab a bite at Van Dyke so Kimberly could fill me in on the latest in Haiti. Turns out she’d also just met with Miami Beach Cinematheque op Ed Christen, who reps the fabled Bunny Yeager. And he’d dropped off a stack of vintage Betty Page photographs for Kimberly to consider purchasing for the art-soaked home she calls Disgraceland. So while giddily browsing through some very vintage images over the chilled glasses of Prosecco sent by manager Matt Bracher, we got down to what’s up.

Okay, you just got back from Haiti, again, where you held another weekend of Sinema Amba Zetwal (Cinema Under the Stars). Care to fill in the folks? I’d love to. Last weekend was the final two screenings in the tour we’ve been on since February. I work with an organization called Fast Forward, which puts together outdoor screenings of Haitian-made documentaries, and we followed the fault line of the earthquake. The tour was called Food for Souls, because everyone was bringing rice and water and what have you, but no one was really taking care of the cultural core of the people. We had between three and ten thousand people at every screening, all of whom got to hear some of Haiti’s best musicians in addition to seeing a wide variety of film shorts covering everything from gender equity to environmentalism to the “remembrance” pieces Alan Lomax shot back in the ‘30s. The previous screenings were held out in the country, but this last event was held in Petionville, which is where most of Haiti’s private sector is based. So it was nice to be able to show the shorts to those who are in country and spearheading the efforts to rebuild.

Sinema is actually in cahoots with a few of those concerns, isn’t it? Yes, we’re sponsored by Brana, makers of Prestige beer, which is the Haitian beer. Brana also does a fortified milk for children, and we’ve been distributing that at all the events. We also work with Voila, which is one of two Haitian cell phone companies, and Partners in Health, which was founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, who is now the U.N.’s Deputy Envoy to Haiti. At all of our screenings they provide HIV and TB testing, as well as clinic referrals. Then there’s Earthspark International, an American organization that’s bringing renewable energy stores to the country.

Since we just came from catching that airport exhibit which GFF soundtracked, let’s tell everyone what’s what with Alan Lomax’s field recordings. My friend Warren Russell Smith came to me with the project a couple years ago and I immediately jumped at the chance to get involved. It’s a collection of field recordings Lomax made in Haiti back in the ‘30s, and because the sound quality wasn’t as good as some of his later work, they’d been sitting dormant in the Library of Congress ever since. We remastered them and released the set as The Haiti Box back in November of last year; then the earthquake happened, and we decided to use the set as both a fundraising tool and a sort of cultural repatriation. Now we’re working in conjunction with Haiti’s Ministry of Culture and Communications and the Ministry of Education, and we’re creating a full-length documentary along with a series of 12 shorts that will be used as a supplementary educational program throughout the entire school system.

That’s terrific! Aren’t you also involved with former President Clinton and all he’s doing down there? Yes, I’ve been working with the Clinton Global Initiative for many years, but two years ago he founded the Haiti Action Network, which brings together private and public partnership. And recently I was appointed co-chair of HAN’s Cultural Committee. We’re working now to restore monuments and historic buildings. And we’ve also been asked to curate an exhibit in November at the Clinton Library in Little Rock that will feature archival footage from Lomax as well as current documentaries made by Tatiana Magloire of Fast Forward. I’m really excited about this!

I bet! That’s beyond cool. Okay, we’re sitting here on Lincoln Road at Van Dyke Café, and it turns out your father [Steven J. Green] owns the building. What’s that all about? (Laughs) Well, my dad, who’s former Ambassador to Singapore under Clinton, runs Greenstreet Partners, which is an international real estate development company, and he bought the building a few years ago. He says he may have overpaid a little, but he’s a Miami Breach native, and he feels like this is owning a part of our town’s history. He also bought that fabulous Morris Lapidus building where our Foundation is located.

We can’t end this chat without mentioning this incredible Bunny Yeager photos that are sitting in front of us. Man, these are some killer images! Aren’t they? Ed Christen brought them to me; he’s apparently repping Bunny Yeager, and these are outtakes from a few of the series she did with Betty Page. I really dig the shots from the old Lion Country Safari. And I’m thinkin’ they’ll look great in Disgraceland! The demure shots though remind me of the photos I have of my mom [Dorothea Green] back when she was Miss New York and in Miami Beach for the Miss Universe Pageant. That’s where she met my dad, by the way, who was then an aide to Mayor Chuck Hall. They’ve been happily ever after ever since.