How Lorde Nailed Her Makeup for Brit Awards David Bowie Tribute

Samir Hussein/Redferns
Lorde performs a tribute of David Bowie at the Brit Awards 2016 Feb. 24, 2016 in London. 

Lorde wowed everyone with her David Bowie tribute at the 2016 Brit Awards and displayed an understated-yet-glam beauty look as flawless as her performance.

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Makeup artist Amber D., a former art student who has worked with Lorde since meeting her at a photo shoot in 2013, created her "shimmering smoky eye” and spoke exclusively with Billboard about how she did it.

Walk us through how you achieved the Lorde’s onstage look. What was the goal? 

[The goal was] to create a worn-in shimmering smoky eye to keep the whole look chic and polished but still cool. It's always so important for the glam team to collaborate to achieve a look where all elements complement each other, and paired with sleek, middle-parted straight hair was a dream.

What products did you use? 

I created luminous sheer skin using Marc perfecting face primer as a base to hydrate and smooth the skin, then lightly perfected the skin by buffing Marc Genius Gel foundation through the middle of the face using the Smith Cosmetics #115 foundation brush. This creates an even base that doesn't look too heavy on TV and also in real life. Brows were combed up to look full using Marc Brow Tamer.

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Eyes were a glam, slightly worn-in rock 'n' roll eye using Marc Highliner Gel in Blacquer as a base and smudged into the eyelid using Smith Cosmetics #247 blending brush. Marc eye shadow palettes in The Enigma and The Starlet were layered onto the lid to add glimmer and depth to the eye and to diffuse the edges -- avoiding any hard lines.

An extreme false lash effect was added to the lashes using Marc Velvet Noir mascara. Cheeks were contoured gently using Marc powder in Mirage. Lips were kept sheer using Marc lip pencil Honeybun lightly buffed over the lip and glossed using Marc lipgloss Pretty Thing for the perfect natural-looking hydrated lip, applied with the Smith Cosmetics Lip Brush #302.

How long does the makeup process usually take?

It depends on the event, but usually around 30 to 45 minutes. When you work with someone so often, you know the facial features so you know what will work and what won’t, so if you need to work quickly it is much easier. 

What was the energy like backstage? 

Lorde and her team are always so fun, and while we will all be focused on the task at hand, we always make the most of every incredible experience together.

Did Lorde change her makeup before going out to any afterparties?

We did a super quick change from smoky glittery into a sleek eyeliner look using Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Liner to complement her dreamy Vivienne Westwood black dress.

What is your favorite Lorde red-carpet or performance makeup look?

There have been so many incredible beauty moments, but the Brits Bowie tribute was pretty special. It wasn’t about the makeup look at all, but being involved and creating something for such an important tribute to a music icon was such an honor.

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What works well on Lorde and what do you generally avoid?

We are both big fans of a less-is-more approach to beauty, so we will always look for subtle elements that are chic but still powerful. There’s always a sheer, lightweight, glowing base application with a creamy highlight -- skin that looks like natural glowing skin.

What are some products you swear by? 

Personally, I’m obsessed with skincare and am always trying new things, but the things I always use prior to every makeup application are Bioderma Crealine to cleanse the skin, Embroylisse Moisturiser and Sisley eye cream.

For big appearances, I always use Babor eye masks on all of my clients to make sure there are no dark circles or puffiness. I love the Marc Jacobs Bronzing powder and use that all the time, as it adds a really subtle natural bronze glow when brushed on with a huge powder brush like the Smith Cosmetics #118 -- I use that all the time!

Do you push Lorde to try new things or does Lorde push you? How do you inspire each other?

She is so great to collaborate with, and we have a never-ending text conversation sending each other random inspiration images. It really helps us stay on the same page with projects and to push each other with new ideas. 


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