Beauty Secrets We Learned From Michael Anthony


In high fashion, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.

Growing up, Michael Anthony remembers his aunt selling Mary Kay cosmetics door-to-door and whenever he got grounded, he would hole up in his room by himself and play with art supplies. The exposure to the makeup world from such a young age primed him for a career in the beauty industry later on in life, he says. “Eventually, everyone in my family realized that I had a passion for art and a natural skill for it,” he tells CR. “After high school, I got a job at the MAC Cosmetics and it was a rocket ship from then on.”

Anthony moved to New York, started traveling to Milan and Paris for fashion weeks, and amassed a loyal celebrity fanbase in the process, which includes chart-topping pop sensations Katy Perry and Rita Ora. Recently, the makeup artist caught up with CR about all things skincare, his biggest beauty pet peeve, and why he’ll never settle for a boring beauty look.

Walk us through your skincare routine.
“This is crazy but, I had a facial at this spa called Alchemie in Santa Monica, CA, and they used these products I’ve been using ever since! One of them is a lavender sage facial cleanser, then I use a rose mist after that. As a moisturizer I use a skin oil called Pure Vitality in sapphire from this brand called ISUN. It’s organic, natural and well crafted with only yummy ingredients. Nothing weird. Twice a day, I use a jade roller. It’s good to massage around all the water retention and puffiness. If I have the time, I use an LED facial light mask that a friend got for me for Christmas. It makes for really great Instagrams!”

Five makeup products you’re loving right now?
“I have been loving Lemon Head Glitter. Megan [Dugan] is one of my favorites and I love that she started her own company and she’s made glitter so much easier to use, because it’s suspended in the gel. I love Pat McGrath’s new lipsticks called Blitztrance. They’re matte, but they have a shimmery, metallic finish. Dior Capture Youth Serum in Matte Maximizer, because when I am doing makeup, I find that after I hydrate and moisturize someone’s skin, I really want to make sure the makeup doesn’t break it down because of the oils the skin produces. I have this lavender pencil that I got in Japan called Mitsuyoshi. It’s a color I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the states. It’s also a really nice texture, because it draws on the skin, whether it’s eyes or lips. Then, the KKW Nude Cremé lipsticks. I always take them with me because no matter whose makeup I am doing, there’s a nude that is suitable for anybody.”

What has helped your skin the most?
“It sounds very LA, but drinking cucumber juice with a shot of E3Live. I drink that every single day and it keeps me from breaking out.”

Makeup trend you’re loving right now?
“I love any alien, spacey highlighter, like using a blue or green shimmer on the cheekbones. Instead of a traditional rose gold, I’ve been loving those obscure, funky colors. It just catches the light in a different way and makes people look ethereal and cool.”

Favorite red carpet look you’ve done?
“Katy Perry was recently honored at amfAR and she wore this Tiffany blue custom dress. She had just finished being on tour, so I took her makeup really far back to as natural as possible. It was really natural-looking skin, very soft contour, feathery lashes, and natural eyebrows. She looked so beautiful and it was such a different look for her. Rita Ora was at a Save the Children Benefit not so long ago and we did this smoking hot red lip and a gold smokey eye. That was stunning. It looked like a dripping effect, it was insane. Not everybody looks that great with a red lip and gold smokey eye, it can look cheap, but she looked like a million bucks.”

Do you have a beauty pet peeve?
“I am a non-conformist. People say you’re supposed to use a gold or a silver to highlight, well I choose blue or lime green. So, I would say people who conform to traditional expectations of beauty bother me. I think it perpetuates the wrong mentality about makeup, which is that everyone has to look like this to be beautiful or wear their makeup a certain way.”

Have you ever had to convince a client to go for a more out-there look?
“Because of my background in fashion and cosmetic advertising with Maybelline and Covergirl, I have done a lot of avant-garde, kooky editorial looks in the past and I think because of that, people trust my instincts and my intuition. I always let the moment exist in real time and it’s important to collaborate with whoever you’re working with. It’s about finding a place on the map that you want to go to and it’s up to me to get you there. It’s
different for everybody, but I love using color and doing things that are a bit unexpected.”

What kind of aesthetic do you gravitate towards?
“I want people who I worked with to look in the mirror and see themselves the way that they had never seen themselves before, whether that be a super elevated version or an editorial version of themselves. I always like people to look like who they are, but completely maxed out in their individual beauty.”


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