Donning a nude-colored Falguni & Shane Peacock gown and unexpected, muted bronze makeup, Gwen Stefani looked stunning while performing her brand-new duet “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” with country singer boyfriend Blake Shelton at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night. Billboard spoke exclusively with the singer’s longtime makeup artist, Gregory Arlt, asking how we can achieve the pop-punk princess’ golden goddess look.
“I was calling [the night’s inspiration] ‘hyper real,’ because it was very much an earthy goddess look,” Gregory told Billboard. “We wanted to celebrate her femininity and make her look like she was glowing from within.”
To get the look, Arlt used a luminous foundation mixed with a “warm, peachy color on her cheeks,” adding a pink/peach “duochrome” shadow on the apples of her cheeks that “literally changed color depending on how she moved her head.” He then layered on highlighter, “brushing an ivory shimmer shadow over her upper cheekbones, brow bone, and bridge of her nose” and used a soft, fluffy brush to apply a pale gold shimmer shadow at the highest planes of her face.
To help ensure Stefani didn’t end up looking too orange instead of bronze, Arlt steered clear of anything orange. “Believe it or not, less is more when you’re going for the bronzed look, Arlt said. “Keep your makeup simple by using warmer tones in bronze, peachy golds, and browns. Instead of a pink or cool toned blush, try a warmer tone, and if you can’t give up that liner, try a brown eyeliner instead.”
Of course, to top off the look, Stefani ditched her signature red lip for two beige lip pencils mixed with four different glosses, ranging from peach and beige to pink and pale gold irridecent. While it was certainly different, Arlt and Stefani knew what they were doing. “[Gwen and I] love exploring, and we knew this pared-down, ‘vulnerable’ look would complement her beautifully.”