It’s that time of year, when every week seems to play host to another charity gala, and in Toronto, partygoers are kicking off the string of festivities with Operanation on May 19th. An annual fundraiser for the Canadian Opera Company (COC), Operanation brings together the city’s arts enthusiasts and glitterati, in the name of the COC Ensemble Studio, the company’s renowned training program for young opera artists.
This year’s event promises to be a spectacle of glamour with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s operatic fairytale, The Magic Flute, setting the scene. And, with the theme of a party inspired by a villain that answers to the moniker, Queen of the Night, guests can expect noir-branded enchantment to colour the evening’s entertainment, of which notably includes electro-pop outfit, Dragonette; karaoke backed by a live band; art installations by Canadian illustrator, Gillian G; and a VIP dinner set to the sound of intimate performances by the COC Ensemble Studio.
With the event less than a week away, we’ve been working on narrowing down our possible party looks. Lucky for us, the 2016 Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has already passed, leaving us with plenty of style inspiration. Below, we map out our top three favourite beauty looks from the gala, as imagined on COC rising star, Ambur Braid—Operanation’s very own, Queen of the Night.
(Tip: For the base of each look, use a combination of Refining Makeup Primer with broad spectrum SPF 21 by Shiseido, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation and the Translucent Loose Setting Powder from Laura Mercier.)
Inspiration: Kristen Stewart (Café Society)
Why We/You’ll Love the Look: Kristen Stewart’s was hands down our favourite beauty look to cross the red carpet that night. Being diehard fans of the late David Bowie, it was inevitable that we should gravitate towards this look, given its resemblance to Twiggy’s makeup on the rock star’s seventh album, Pin Ups. If you were once a teen that lived in your mohair cardigan, plaid skirt and Dr. Martens and now opt for designer Sarah Burton’s dreamy creations for Alexander McQueen as an adult, then this statement beauty look is destined to be part of your style evolution.
Get the Look: First, find the perfect shade of metallic blue. We suggest MAC’s Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Lunar, mixed with Silver Sun to cool down the royal blue. Use MAC’s flat Pointed Liner Brush, dipped in Silver Sun to draw out the parameters of your shadow, then utilize the Eye Shader Brush from the Charlotte Olympia collection and its aptitude for blending to colour in the space with both shadows.
This look goes as heavy on mascara as it does liner. Trust in a combo that is long-lasting and high-impact. We like Bobbi Brown’s Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara in Black, paired with the brand’s Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Jet.
With eyes as bold as this, you’ll want something more muted for the rest of your face. Keep with the metallic theme and go with something iridescent. Follow Stewart’s lead and look to Chanel (as one does when they are amongst Karl Lagerfeld’s prized muses), in particular, its limited edition Les Beiges palettes in Duo N°01 and N°02 to create a soft glow–ideal for the spring and summer months. Using the N°01 palette, apply the lighter shade to your T-zone for a luminous highlighting effect, then utilize its darker colour to create subtle contouring, primarily under the cheekbones, up towards your temples and down across the jaw line. Next, use the N°02 duo to add a hint of rose to cheeks. Say cheese in the mirror and brush up your cheekbones with the pink shade for a flush of colour, before using the palette’s pearly sand shade to highlight the space between the top of the cheekbones and the temples.
Finish this look with a creamy lipstick in a variety of dusty pink, such as Bite Beauty’s Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan, available exclusively at Sephora.
Inspiration: Stacy Martin (Redoubtable)
Why We/You’ll Love the Look: No one does “moody” quite as well as the Parisians. It’s no wonder Stacy Marin—the French actress, who spent her formative years in Paris—should effortless pull off a dark smoky eye, so well, it has us wanting to try the haunting look for ourselves. Is “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin in your iTunes Top 25 Most Played List? Then get ready to smudge some eyeliner, this look is for you.
Get the Look: Getting your smoky eye just right means blending, blending and more blending, until you achieve perfect gradation. As for what colours to blend, we rely on Dior’s 5 COULEURS eyeshadow palette in Cuir Cannage to dummy proof the process. There are a ton of ready-assembled “smoky” eye combos out there, but we like this one in particular because it offers a sophisticated mix of colours, including a beautifully bold plum shade, plus a handy set of instructions to help guide you through the application process. Choose one of the palette’s three shades of brown (the darker the shade, the moodier the look) and apply over your entire eye lid with the supplied brush, then use the smallest sponge tip applicator in the compact to line the top and bottom of your eyes with the deep plum shade. Alternatively, you can also use a deep blue here (as shown in the illustration), like NARS’ Matte Eyeshadow in it’s newest colour, China Blue, instead of the plum to increase the drama factor. Finally, blend in the palette’s light beige shadow across the brow bone to create a highlight effect.
Heighten the smokiness of your look with Clinique’s Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black. When applying, you’ll want to smudge the liner (you can do this while the liner is still wet with the supplied brush), but be careful not to go overboard in order to avoid a my-liner-is-not-waterproof (which this liner is) sort of look. Finish off your eye with a volume enhancing mascara. We recommend Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Extravagant Mascara in Black (available at Sephora) for its dual-purpose brush. The precision tip separates, while the rounded base pumps up volume.
Next, move on to the ultra-feminine component of this look: flushed cheeks and defined, cherry blossom coloured lips. On the cheeks, you want to avoid anything too pink, instead, try a coral shade like Laura Mercier’s Crème Cheek Colour in Sunrise. The product’s soft, velvety formula will allow you to generously build the colour onto the apples of your cheeks, without veering into stage makeup territory.
Now it’s time to pull out the pink; try the new limited edition Overheated shade of Lip Cover by NARS, a liquid lipstick that boasts both rich pigment and kissable texture.
Inspiration: Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange)
Why We/You’ll Love the Look: We like old Hollywood Glamour as much as the next fashion magazine, but we definitely have a soft spot for beauty looks that dare to dance to the beat of Poe—Edgar Allan Poe that is—which brings us to Rachel McAdams and her dabbles with the gothic. Should Miss McAdams’ classic style sensibly be a source of personal fashion inspiration, mimic her hop out of the girl-next-door box and paint on a little bit of vamp-approved rouge.
Get The Look: The first thing to check off the list here is skin: you want yours to make a porcelain doll jealous. If you’ve followed our tip in the introduction and gone with the recommended Refining Makeup Primer by Shiseido, worn under Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation, you’re already about ninety percent there. To complete the Royal Doulton effect, nab Burberry’s limited edition Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Palette in Optic White No. 01 (available at Sephora). First, apply to cheekbones, as well as the edge of your face; then, unlock the secret to this illuminating face powder with a refreshing veil of Shiseido’s Ibuki Quick Fix Mist. By setting the powder with this moisturizing gel mist after application, it blends into the skin for a luminescent glow, rather than sitting on top of the skin like a glitter trail left by Jem’s favourite makeup compact.
Next, move on to the eyes. All you need is one shadow for this look: a brilliant copper shade. When selecting it, avoid anything too creamy or with a shimmer to it—matte is what you want. Not only do we like the texture of MAC’s red brick eye shadow, colour-wise, the balance of orange and red pigments in this shadow is stunning. Try applying it wet with MAC’s medium sized flat Shader Brush across the entire lid. Use a smaller version of the brush to blend in a line across bottom lashes and inner corners of the eye.
For lashes, Charlotte Tilbury’s new Wing Lash kit has everything you need to create a refined cat eye. After setting lashes with the kit’s Life Changing Lashes Eye Lash Curlers, use the tip of The Feline Flick eyeliner to trace a fine line close to the root of your upper lashes, press down to slightly thicken the line, as you approach the outer edge of the eye. And lastly, apply the brand’s new Legendary Lashes mascara to lashes, remembering to brush out towards the outer corners of your eyes for a wing effect.
On the cheeks, opt for a pink and caramel combo for a more modern take on the bronzed goddess look. Try NARS’ Dual-Intensity Blush in Liberation, a limited edition shade from the brand’s summer 2016 colour collection, Under Cover. The shimmery pink in this duo plays a pretty companion to a caramel rose shade. Like the shadow, this wet/dry blush goes on best with the help of some H2O, specifically when you want your blush to look like a second skin. Using NARS’s Wet/Dry Blush Brush, first apply the darker shade to the hallow of the cheek, then sweep the lighter shade up the cheekbone, towards the temples.
Next comes the showstopper: poison apple lips. For a more contemporary femme fatale look, we suggest going ombré. Begin with a liner in a lighter shade of oxblood, such as the Automatique Lip Crayon by Surratt Beauty in Mahogany (available at Sephora), to line the lips, then blend colour inwards with a flat lip brush (we love the versatility of Tarte Cosmetic’s two-in-one Rainforest of the Sea™ Lip Brush). Now, using a lipstick in a similar, but slightly darker shade (like BURBERRY’s Lip Velvet Lipstick in Oxblood No. 437), apply colour to the center of lips and blend down and outwards for a gradient effect with a centre focus. Lastly, using the fine tip end of the Rainforest of the Sea™ Lip Brush, line the lips a second time in the darker shade, and you’re party ready.