From Rosario Dawson to Marc Jacobs to Cardi B and Rihanna, makeup artist Hector Espinal sure has an impressive list of clientele under his belt. Not only has his work been featured in Rolling Stone, Vogue, Elle and many more, he’s also Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist, handpicked but Rih herself.
We were lucky enough to spend some time with Hector, who gave us a few tips and tricks to keep us looking picture perfect at all times. From combating humidity to preventing concealer creasing to highlighting the ears, here’s everything you need to know to elevate your look to the next level.
1. Make your makeup last all day
Nothing looks worse than a face full of makeup that ends up melting and flaking off of your face. No one’s got the time to painstakingly apply foundation and contour only to have it slide off your face after a sweaty commute.
To keep your makeup in place, in all kinds of weather, Hector recommends using a foundation mixed in with primer. “You can apply Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer to the centre of the face ensuring the skin is perfectly matte,” he suggests.
You can even mix the primer with your foundation to create a more natural, longer lasting look. “It’s important that you shake the foundation,” Hector tells us. “Mix two pumps of foundation, one pump of primer.” To make sure the foundation looks like a second skin, Hector says using a damp sponge is key. “It’s important to use a damp sponge so foundation will mimic the skin’s texture, allowing the formula to really penetrate into the skin as opposed to just laying on top.” On Matilda, he used Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 330.
2. Contour, but don’t overdo it
Looking like you have cheekbones is one thing; looking like Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is another. “It’s hard for me to give tips on contouring, because you dive into face shapes, there’s no universal tip,” Hector starts. But he is against a heavy hand. “It’s like having Spanx, you want it on but you don’t want people to see it.” Another definite no regarding shade choice: “Warm contour doesn’t look good on anybody.” Noted.
3. Stop concealer from creasing
What’s worse, dark circles or all the lines and crepey skin accented by creasing makeup that make you look about 137 years old? How Hector combats creasing might seem anti-intuitive as it involves letting the concealer set before blending. “Apply concealer where you need it and what you do is you literally blend out all the edges and completely forget about the rest. Ignore it. That’s your last step. It’s the number one thing that wears off the quickest, so you want to let it set the longest.”
“If you let it sit where you want the coverage, you only have to go back and press it a little bit,” he explains, applying concealer all over the undereye. After the rest of Matilda’s makeup is done, Hector goes back to the concealer, blends and sets it using Invisimatte Blotting Powder and a damp sponge.
4. How to wear metallics
Using Killawatt Foil in Mimosa Sunrise and Sangria Sunset, Hector applies a sheer wash of the two colours over Matilda’s eyes. “A wash of metallic is always beautiful no matter the time of the year,” he says. If you’re afraid of metallics, Hector recommends starting slow. “A soft wash on the lips, and slowly build to the eyes,” he suggests, reminding us that makeup should never be scary. “It’s not like a bad haircut or bad tattoo, if you don’t like it, you can take it off.”
5. Take highlighting to the next level
“Always keep the t-zone matte, otherwise you’ll look a little greasy.” The goal is glowy, not glowing like a disco ball. Hector favours then adding highlight to the high point of the cheeks, the inner corners of the eyes and on the bridge of the nose in an exclamation mark shape. On Matilda, he uses Killawatt Foil in Sandcastle.
One place you might not think to highlight? The ears. “The reason why you want to highlight the ear is, if your full face is gorgeous but then your ear looks red, it makes you look like you’re hot, you’re angry, you got a bad text message,” he laughs. “Any skin that’s out should be covered.” And apparently Rih’s a fan of ear highlighting too. Count us in.
6. Step up your lip game with gloss
“Start off with the cupid’s bow, and then you take the bullet into the tip of it and define,” Hector explains. On Matilda, he applies Mattemoiselle Lipstick in Candy Venom and says smiling is the best way to apply colour. “If you smile when you apply your lipstick, you’re grabbing every inch and every crease of the lip and you’re smiling in the process.”
The polished lip is great for some pop in the day, but to take it to night, Hector says metallic glosses can elevate the look. Using the Summer Daze/Summer Nights lip trio in the shade Vaycray, he applies it to the centre of the lips, working his way to the outer corners. “It’s the perfect metallic, chrome finish.”