Last week's BET awards boasted a bevy of stunning red carpet looks from Beyoncé's trend-setting, shoulder-pad-boasting, Balmain mini dress to Rihanna's scene stealing, look-at-me yellow frock.
And while I adore good fashion, I'm even fonder of a flawless face. Enter Alicia Keys, whose Cleopatra inspired look turned heads on the red carpet. I sat down with Ashunta Sheriff, the makeup magician behind the picture perfect looks of Alicia Keys, to dish about the products and tips behind Keys' Egyptian beauty.
Sheriff, who has trained with the likes of Vincent Longo, Laura Mercier, Sam Fine and Pat McGrath, has a client roster that is a virtual Tinseltown who's who, including Rihanna, Hillary Duff, Ashley Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and longtime client Keys.
Sheriff has worked with Keys since 2003, creating a myriad of looks for award shows, performances and beyond. She shared with me the products, tips and inspiration behind Keys' appearance at the 2009 BET Awards.
What was your inspiration for this look?
For this year's BET Awards, Alicia wore a Moroccan inspired dress that was very mod. It was a soft sea foam color with gold decorative beadwork that was truly stunning. I wanted to give her an edgier look to complement the soft sheath that her stylist Wouri Vice selected for BET. I decided to put a spin on Egyptian eyes and mix it with a mod twist, while still making the skin stand out with glowing radiance.
Her skin looks amazing. What's the secret?
After cleaning and moisturizing, I prep skin with Laura Mercier Mineral Primer. My secret weapon to glowing skin is Mary Kay Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Bronze 1 and Mary Kay Concealer in Bronze 1. I blot the T-zone with Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Powder in translucent; it's a finishing powder to create a matte look for skin. I sculpt and shape Alicia's face with Cover Girl's Queen Collection Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer in Light Bronze.
I love the exotic eye makeup. How did you create that look?
I created Egyptian inspired eyes using Jane Iredale's 24 Karat gold shimmer in the inner corner of the eyes and Naked Cosmetics eye No. EB-03 from the Ebony Collection. Each collection includes six shades to mix and match. I used dark green in the outer corner and on the lower lash line. I used Makeup Forever Flash Color in Gold 4 Cream on the lid applied with a synthetic brush to give Alicia a Cleopatra eye affect. I used Styli Style 24-hour Black Liquid Liner and completed the look by adding three coats of Dior Show Black mascara on top and bottom lashes. Then, using Mary Kay Coral Lip liner, I lined and filled lips in completely so lip gloss would adhere to it and last. I then used TRUE Satin Lip Shine gloss in Seductive and made cheeks pop by applying Mary Kay Strawberry Cream mineral blush on the apples.
How do you create that stunning glow from head to toe?
My secret weapon body glow mix is a combination of Dior Bronze Sun Powder Spray, Smashbox Bodylights Body Lotion Shimmer and Girlactik Beauty Gold Shimmer powder. The combination gave Alicia an amazing bronzed, sun-kissed glow to make her legs and décolletage look flawless.