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As we spend the week unpacking the fashion and beauty looks seen on the red carpet, there’s one major Met Gala beauty question on our minds: How do experts really make these stars’ skin look so good?
“I’ve always had an approach where I emphasize skin-care as an integral part of the makeup ritual for myself and other people,” makeup artist Gucci Westman, who worked with Emily Ratajkowski for the night, tells Vogue. “You’re setting the entire foundation for the makeup, if you will. When you take the time to [perfect the skin], it makes a big difference for the overall outcome of your look.”
With stakes so high to get the glam just right, it should be no surprise that routines start days in advance of the Gala. A session with celebrity facialist Toska Husted might involve sculpting, lifting, and toning, while time with Iván Pol might feature his rejuvenating Tour de Force treatment (as he did on Katy Perry) or his infamous Triple Threat treatment which focuses on the eyes, brows, and jawline.
As for what not to do ahead of a big event? The pros advise against invasive or harsh treatments such as extractions, microneedling and peels, instead leaning into creating definition, luminosity, and the enhancement of natural beauty. Here, 20 facialists and makeup artists walk us through how they prepped their celebrity clients’ skin for fashion’s biggest night.
Pol was behind Kris Jenner’s regal glow-from-within. Following his signature treatment, “I glazed the No.1 de Chanel Revitalizing Serum over the skin and penetrated the natural derived actives of the red camelia to boost radiance. So her skin could appear almost gilded,” he explains. He then followed with No.1 de Chanel Revitalizing Cream and what he calls his secret sauce: “a skin enhancer powered with golden sandalwood to give more of that gilded skin look.”
Westman trusted Noble Panacea for skin-care, opting for the serum and eye cream from its Brilliant collection—the latter of which she especially loves for its light-reflecting properties under the eye. “[Noble Panacea] is also nice because when you’re working with other people, it’s nice that it feels very hygienic and precise,” she says, since the formulas are housed in recyclable single doses.
Joanna Vargas, the celebrity facialist who worked with Vanessa Hudgens and Lori Harvey leading up to the gala, focuses on not only customized skin-care routines, but also an array of in-office treatments. Think: microcurrents, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and a full body LED light bed. For similar results, she’d recommend her collection’s Magic Glow Wand to boost radiance or the Eden Hydrating Pro Moisturizer for an at-home facial.
Husted, who treated Karlie Kloss and Khloe Kardashian, started sessions with an enzyme cleanser, like Auteur’s Definitive Enzyme Cleanser, followed by a gentle milky cleanser. Then, after depuffing, contouring, and a cocktail of serums, she relied on the Biologique Recherche Masque PIGM 400 to boost radiance.
Pro makeup artist Vincent Oquendo relies on FaceGym’s beauty tools for skin prep. To release face tension for Daisy Edgar-Jones, he used the FaceGym Face Ball along with the Multi-Sculpt contouring gua sha. “It helps to de-puff and drain any remaining tension and adds gorgeous definition to the face.”
Mario Dedivanovic perfected Kim Kardashian’s makeup with the help of Augustinus Bader’s lineup. Along with the brand’s cream, he used a few drops of The Face Oil around cheek bones and brow bones “for extra moisturize and dewiness.”
Before applying Maude Apatow’s classic glam, makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan looked to Skinfix to prep the actor’s skin. “I lightly pressed Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Boost 360° Eye Cream under her eyes to ensure that the concealer won’t smudge or crease,” she says. Then she chose the Repair Balm “for extra hydration and to prep for lipstick”—key for that eye-catching longwear red lip.
Makeup pro Mai Quynh worked with Chloë Grace Moretz for the evening. “By utilizing Naturopathica’s glow-inducing skin care before and after makeup application, I was able to accentuate Chloë’s already radiant skin to create the ultimate canvas for her red carpet look,” Quynh says. Pre-makeup, she applied the Vitamin K Brightening Eye Complex to add a “touch of radiance to the under eye area,” even under concealer. Then after setting Mortez’s look with powder, she sprayed the Lavender & Honey Balancing Mist “to help the makeup melt into the skin and to achieve a dewy, balanced look.”
Makeup pro Rachel Goodwin turned to Monastery Skin Care for Emma Stone’s pre-Met prep, saying the brand has “quickly become my go to for treating my clients skin before makeup.” While a hyaluronic acid-infused gel serum offered lightweight, plumping hydration for the face, a squalane-based oil provided a photo-ready glow to Stone’s arms and legs.
Social media darling rapper Jack Harlow trusted groomer Fitch Lunar for his Met Gala appearance. Lunar began their session with the TheraFace Pro, using the cleansing attachment, then moved into LED and Percussive Technology “to relax any facial tension.” Then he relied on a cocktail of Murad products—notably the Correct & Protect SPF to hydrate and protect.
111Skin was celebrity makeup artist Georgie Eisdell’s collection of choice to perfect Dakota Johnson’s look—a process that began and ended with efficacious masks. Eisdell reached for the rose gold sheet mask for brightening and clarity across the face, and the Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask to revitalize the under-eye.
Lizzo’s makeup artist Alexx Mayo relied on the Dermaflash Luxe microplaning device to prep the musician for the Met Gala. “I love to start out with clean dry skin and use the lowest setting. I gently use downward strokes to remove any peach fuzz and dead skin on the surface.”
“I like relying on skin and enhancing skin with makeup rather than putting a thick mask of foundation and recreate glow or contours on the face, so CurrentBody mask is one of the tools I always use on my repeat clients,” explains makeup artist Matin Maulawizada, who worked with Olivia DeJonge for the Met Gala. “She has been using the mask for a few weeks already and today we used it again to keep up with her pre skin-care routine.”
“When my pal Joe Jonas asked for a chill and easy grooming vibe for the 2022 Met Gala, I immediately thought skin care!” says Scott McMahan. He opted for Mario Badescu’s Cleansing Oil and Buttermilk Moisturizer to protect and hydrate Jonas’s skin.
“A theme like Gilded Glamour and a show stopping Versace dress called for elegant, timeless makeup with a focus on radiant, flawless skin and beautiful tawny tones on the eyes and lips,” says makeup artist Fiona Stiles on her Met Gala skin-prep philosophy for Gabrielle Union. To achieve this, she relied on TheraFace Pro’s cryo and heat attachments to reduce puffiness and help products absorb into the skin.
“No matter what the makeup look is on Rachel [Brosnahan], skin care is of the utmost importance. I rarely veer from a natural glowing complexion and Susanne Kaufmann does the job,” says makeup artist Lisa Aharon, who applied the brand’s Moisturizing Mask and Eye Cream Line A for stellar radiance.
“To me, The Gilded Age/Gilded Glamour was all about opulence and I find that the richer the skin, the more luxurious the beauty look,” says celebrity makeup artist Moani Lee, who trusted 111Skin to prep Kacey Musgraves. She began with the Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y² for its redness-reducing and soothing benefits, as well as the Rose Gold Radiance Booster for extra glow on the high points of the face.
How did groomer Kumi Craig prep Pete Davidson to hit the red carpet hand-in-hand with Kim Kardashian? He began with Olehenriksen’s stellar vitamin C-packed serum to brighten and plump skin, and finished with an elasticity-boosting moisturizer.
Celebrity makeup artist Jen Tioseco trusted Mario Badescu with prep for Madelaine Petsch’s skin. She began with the brand’s coveted witch hazel and rosewater-infused toner to balance, then used its glycolic eye cream as the perfect base for concealer.
To perfect Sydney Sweeney’s look, makeup artist Melissa Hernandez relied on Laneige’s Water Bank collection—notably the toner, serum, and moisturizer for deep, lasting hydration.