Valente Frazier: How To Get Tyra's Natural Look

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Words Hannah Pool   Photography Seiji Fujimori   Styling Ty-Ron Mayes/Sabrina Henry  

Pictured Dress, £1,415, Marc Jacobs

Celebrity make-up artist Valenté Frazier worked his magic on our recent shoot with Tyra Banks in New York for Issue 17 of ARISE. He reveals how he created Tyra's beautiful natural look and how you can do the same...

The look will morph with each outfit or each shot, but we’re starting with fresh and natural looking – as natural as possible for Tyra’s face. It’s going to be shot in black and white so we want to keep the skin fresh looking, but we also want to add a little contouring to bring out the dimensions, because black and white is very strong and high contrast.

You want to make certain features stand out: the cheekbones, around the eyes. Tyra has bulbous eyes so you really want to make sure you encapsulate the eye with a little smoke, just to bring focus to the eye. And then just a very soft pinky-brown lip and a taupe-brown around the eye. We're doing a full, defined brow to give a bit of focus. Since we’re not able to use bright colours, we’re going to use brows and individual lashes.

Top tips for achieving the perfect natural look:

Less is more.

Use the proper shade of foundation. Tinted moisturisers are also great, I used one on Tyra. To choose the right foundation colour always test it on your jawline because that's the closest place to your neck – you always want your face to match your neck. Place the two shades you think are closest to your match on your jawline to determine which one fades into the skin and almost disappears – if it does that’s the perfect match for you.

A great concealer. Tinted moisturisers are sheer so can go all over the face for a sheer coverage, but the concealer, which is more opaque, goes under the eyes or on blemishes. I like to use it on top of moisturiser and zero in on the areas where you want more coverage.

Multiple eyeshadows. Use a couple of eyeshadows, say a taupe one and a chocolate one for depth; blend them together, lightly circle the eye with the brown up until the socket of the eye – and not inside the rim but just underneath the lashline. Blending is the key to very natural make up, whether its concealer, eye make-up, blush, whatever – always make sure it's blended perfectly because that creates the seamless finish.

Soft eyebrows.There is nothing more severe than a black eyebrow. If that’s the look you’re going for then more power to you, but I would suggest a deep brown or ash brown, something that’s softer. You don’t want jet black because it draws all the attention to your brows. Even if you have black hair, a sooty brown would do. I like to sometimes use a pencil with a very sharp point and just fill in the brows, recreating natural strokes to look more authentic.

Contouring. I wouldn’t suggest it for day-wear, we’re doing this more for the photography. If you’re wearing a natural day-look I would maybe use a bronzer that’s one shade darker than your skin tone and lightly with a blush brush just go in and contour the hollow of the cheeks. It could have a pearlesance to it or be a flat one, depending on your skin tone. Start near the ear at the hairline and then brush it forward, that way you deposit most of the colour there, you never want to start at your cheek and brush backwards. And very lightly. Put it on very sparingly first – I’d recommend that with any make-up – and then you build if you feel you need a little bit more.

Sheer lips. What I did for Tyra was I used a flesh-toned liner, something a little darker than her skintone actually, as a base to define the lip a little bit. And then I used a fleshtone lipstick over the top – a pinky brown – just to add a little life to the lip and I just dabbed it on with my finger so it creates a sheer appearance to it, so it's not so opaque. If you want to use a little gloss you can do that as well but we just kept it really natural.

Classic mascara. I did two coats of mascara in Jet Black. I didn't curl Tyra's eyelashes but I would suggest curling for anyone, because it really opens the eyes up. To make the curl last, what you do is you put one single layer of mascara on first and then you curl. Then you put another coat on top.

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