As beauty lovers, there's nothing more exciting than finding out which celebrities are paired with which makeup artists and hairstylists prior to a blowout of a night out like the Met Gala. Therefore, you can imagine our excitement upon finding out one of favorite celebrity makeup artists, Vincent Oquendo, (who routinely workes with Winnie Harlow, Lilly Collins, Janelle Monáe, Hailey Bieber, and more) would be collaborating with British actress and attendee, Ella Balinska. (If she's not on your radar yet, she's starring in this year's Charlie's Angels reboot and will be soon.)
We're big fans of breaking down the mystique behind the Met Gala's most jaw-dropping beauty moments and excitedly have the exclusive details behind Balinska's eye-catching look courtesy of Oquendo. (Which beautifully complemented her eye-catching Tory Burch gown, BTW.) Curious for all of his behind-the-scenes secrets and how he preps for the big day? Keep scrolling for the entire process, exclusive photos, and every product and tip you'll need to test-drive the look yourself.
How He Preps
"On the morning of a big day like the Met Gala, I love to box. I love boxing because it clears my head and it’s important for me on a big day to walk into my client's room with a clear and focused mind.
"On a big red carpet day, it's normal for me to not get a lot of sleep the night before. On the morning of, I use Lumify's Redness Reliever Eye Drops ($13) from Bausch + Lomb. It helps reduce redness, leaving my eyes looking brighter and whiter for up to eight hours."
"The Inspiration for Ella's makeup was Anne Baxter from All About Eve meets Diana Ross. For a nod to classic Hollywood glamour, I created different liners and kept it modern by playing with different textures of silver on the eyes."
The Products and Process
"For Ella's camp-inspired makeup look, the focus was all on the eyes. I started by etching out the liners with the Shiseido MicroLiner Ink in Brown ($22) to create the shape. Once the shapes were established, I went over it with the Shiseido Archliner Ink Eyeliner ($24) to define the liners and give the eye depth.
"In between the liners on the outer corners, I added a flick of the Shiseido Kajal InkArtist in Kabuki White ($25) and then rimmed her water line to brighten. For the gun metal effect on the eyes, I used the Shiseido Aura Dew in Lunar ($25). I wanted to play with all different textures of silver to tie into the beautiful dress. I finished the eyes with corner lashes and lots of coats of the Shiseido ControlledChaos Volumizing Mascara Ink in Black Pulse ($25). Using the Shiseido Brow Ink Trio in Ebony ($24), I created a straighter brow shape."
"For skin, I concealed and highlighted with Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) and buffed the brand's Sheer Glow Foundation ($47) all over her face. I highlighted with the Shiseido Inner Glow Cheek Powder in Inner Light ($29) and sculpted with the Shiseido Inner Glow Cheek Powder in Cocoa Dusk ($29)."
"With all the focus on the eyes, we wanted a very sheer nude lip. I used the Shiseido ColorGel Lip Balm in Bamboo ($26) to complete the look."