On the mood board for Laura Harrier’s Vanity Fair’s Oscars After-Party beauty look are all the trappings of a budding TikTok “-core” beauty trend. Clean girl staples, like glossy nude lips and dewy cheekbones, appear on the layout, as well as a photo of Marilyn Monroe’s fluffy, voluminous bob, and supermodel Donyale Luna’s signature bold mod makeup. The clock app has always had an affinity for reimagining vintage, classic beauty aesthetics—a fascination Harrier and her go-to makeup artist Harold James have mastered time and time again. Vanity Fair’s Oscars After-Party was no exception.
The goal was to combine two worlds to create Harrier’s old Hollywood glamour look. “I love imagining makeup looks by mixing two eras. Here the glamour of the 50s meets the sulfur of the 70s. This [translates to] luminous and natural skin with well-brushed eyebrows, lots of mascara, and liner,” James exclusively tells ELLE.com. Entering her “sexy and effortless” era, Harrier’s eyes and lips were the scene stealers. “It’s all about radiant skin, strong brows, and nude brown lips,” he says.
Building this look from the ground up required some serious skin prep. Harrier defined her cheekbones with a lymphatic drainage massage before James went to work by blotting away any excess shine by applying YSL Beauty’s NU Glow in Balm and Blotting Lotion. “Good skin prep is key. You should use the right skincare [products] according to your skin type. For instance, oily skin needs light moisturizing or mattifying gels or lotions, while a rich moisturizer is ideal for dry skin. But always make sure you don’t over-moisturize; otherwise, makeup will tend to slip and slide,” he advises.
Harrier’s signature dewy base can be credited to a thin layer of YSL Beauty’s All Hours Foundation—a long-wear, breathable formula packed with SPF 30 and hyaluronic acid for added skincare benefits. A personal new favorite of mine, the foundation goes on luminous but dries down to a soft-matte finish, perfect for champagne sipping and camera lights at the VF After-Party. “In order to add more coverage, I return only to the necessary areas by blending gently. To bring dimension, I blended Touche Éclat Brightening Concealer into the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones,” he adds.
Once the flawless, luminous base was secured, it was time to enhance Harrier’s eyes—mod style. “For lips and eyes, I use waterproof or long-lasting products, as they will stay put through sweat,” he says. To make the eyes bold and pop, James went in with the YSL Beauty Crushliner in Noir Intense, carefully accentuating the inner corners of her eyes with a fox-eye design, and fanned out her lashes with the YSL Beauty Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara in Black. James then made his case for the brown glazed lip trend, punctuating Harrier’s radiant base with a soft, brown glossy lip, courtesy of the YSL Beauty Rouge Volupte Candy Glaze Lip Gloss Stick in the shade Cacao No Boundary that ties together his beauty philosophy: “effortless, sexy, and unapologetic.”
“I think my clients come to me because they want to feel this extra hint of chic and sexiness,” he says. Vanity Gair doesn’t dole out awards for hit beauty looks of the night, but here’s an entry that deserves its own gold man.
Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.