A celebrity makeup artist explains what you need to know in just 10 minutes.

By Maggie O'Neill
September 23, 2020
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You can think about trying out new makeup looks during a pandemic in one of two ways: As a total waste of time (who can muster the energy for anything other than the bare minimum?) or as the perfect time to experiment with something different than your usual look. We suggest going with the latter.

In that case, it's time to try your hand at adding a pop of neon to your makeup look, and celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo has your back. He's taken the time to break down a trendy (but intimidating) neon eyeliner and eyeshadow look—inspired by beauty blogger Jackie Aina—for anyone who wants to put their artistic talents to the test.

Watching Oquendo watch Aina is already must-see TV, but here's how Oquendo breaks down recreating the makeup look: He starts by prepping his skin with Dr. Barbara Sturm's Calming Serum ($250; sephora.com) and some EOS Lip Balm ($3; amazon.com) to get on Aina's level. Oquendo also uses one drop in each eye of Lumify's Redness Reliever Eye Drops ($19; amazon.com) to reduce redness for brighter-looking eyes.

Once Oquendo's skin is all primed, he's ready to work. First, he uses Maybelline's Lasting Fix Setting Powder ($9; amazon.com) before applying Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation ($47; sephora.com), with the Shiseido Daiya Fude Face Duo Brush ($40; sephora.com), no less. The order is important here: Oquendo admits that prior to making this tutorial, he always thought you ~had to~ apply foundation first, then powder second. But doing it the opposite way, per Aina's advice, was a pleasant surprise. He was "shook" by the result, and said that it shows the only real "rule" when applying makeup is to go with what works for you.

After that, Qquendo moves onto one of his "favorite tricks to do": using a long-wearing concealer that doesn't budge under the eyes. His choice? Maybelline Super Stay Under-Eye Concealer ($10; amazon.com), a product he’s so passionate about that he compares wearing it to the confidence you feel when you’re wearing a good, supportive pair of underwear. He lets the concealer sit a minute, blends it in, then contours his face with a darker shade of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer ($10; amazon.com).

Once that's dry, he moves onto brows, featuring a few lifesaving tips for anyone who doesn't quite know what to do with their arches. Using Maybelline's Ultra Slim Eyebrow Pencil ($7; amazon.com), Oquendo starts to fill in his brows, going against the grain (the opposite direction that your eyebrow hairs naturally lay). "If you have very thin, sparse brows, you want to go against the grain," he says. "Then, from the inside of your eye, you want to go straight up and create flecks," and brushing your brows to create a more feathered look.

With his brows looking fierce (but not too fierce, he says), Oquendo primes his eyelids using concealer and Shiseido Kajal Ink Artist in Kabuki White ($25; sephora.com). Once that's set and buffed, he applies a light pink shade of eyeshadow and follows that up with multiple layers of Shiseido Kajal Ink Artist in Lilac Lotus ($25; sephora.com) right on his eyelid (don't forget to blend!).

Next up: Oquendo applies UZ Eye Opening Liner ($16; uz.team) in a pale pink shade, starting at the inner corner and running it up over the crease, and then down, connecting to the outer corner of the eye. (If you make any mistakes, that's totally fine—Oquendo recommends using a pointed cotton bud dipped in Garnier's Micellar Water ($7; amazon.com), to help you clean up without leaving a greasy residue.) To finish up the eye look, Aina used a pink eyeliner to line her lower waterline, but Oquendo used Maybelline's Tattoo Studio Gel Eyeliner Pencil ($7; amazon.com) in a white shade. Once he's finished, Oquendo lets out a long sigh of relief that the eyeliner process is officially over—and rightfully so, that was stressful to watch, let alone DIY.

The absolute final step in Oquendo's makeup look: Finishing off the look with Maybelline's Glass Finishing Spray ($10; amazon.com) to make sure your daring look stays put. Oquendo's takeaways: If you’re dying to try out a makeup look you’ve seen a beauty blogger wear, don’t be intimidated if you don’t have the exact products recommended. Go with what you’ve got, and don’t judge yourself for trying something new. Also important: Be kind to yourself when you’re trying out a new beauty trend—especially when, let’s face it, you probably won’t be going any place more exciting than a public park during the pandemic.

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