Aaron Smith Henrikson, international makeup artist for Gucci cosmetics, shares his pro tips and tricks for ramped-up holiday beauty.
Born in Venice Beach and now based in Milan, Aaron Smith Henrikson’s journey through the beauty industry has taken him around the globe and into the private lives of top supermodels and best-selling recording artists. He’s worked as a member of beauty legend Pat McGrath’s team and was recently named the international makeup artist for Gucci’s all-new cosmetics line, a collection of facial primers, eye, face, lip, and nail products, and top-quality brushes inspired by the brand’s nearly 100 years of history.
Here, Henrikson shares a few beauty tips and tells us what to expect from the industry in 2015.
On Putting Together a Look for Your Next Holiday Party
“If it’s a holiday, you want to feel like you’re doing something special, so take your every day routine and just try to add one step more to it. If you’re just a lip-gloss user, do a little bit of lip liner to give more definition to that lip, or do a subtle highlight on the Cupid’s bow. If you normally just do smudged eyeliner or liquid eyeliner and mascara, add some shadows in there first and do a little bit of depth. Also think about what your outfits are going to be. If you’re a cool-tone person and you wear more silver, go with cooler tones and colors in your eye makeup. If you’re a person who wears more gold, go with eye makeup that has more gold shimmer or warmer tones.”
On What to Avoid When Doing Your Makeup
“I think excessive use of powder or excessive thickness in their foundation is something that people have been advised to do, but those techniques need to be updated. … Only cover where you need to instead of covering everything, and leave a little bit of natural variation in your skin. Don’t over-powder your skin. I recommend using a brush to apply powder in a light hand to the center of the face, on the sides of the nose, and at the tip of the nose, but leave a little bit of natural moisture on the cheekbone area, which will reflect more in photos—you’ll look a lot more glowing and radiant that way.”
On the Products You Need to Carry in Your Clutch
“I love powder compacts—I always use them for retouching when I work with celebrities. If you want to use a professional technique to streamline your bag, take a lip liner to touch up the lip and load up the brush end of it with extra lip color.”
On Trends to Look for in 2015
“I think fashion is still going a little bit lighter. We’re keeping our faces lighter and we’re not as heavy-handed as we were maybe two or three years ago. It goes along with some people going toward normcore, keeping their clothing almost anonymous. That way you notice the sophistication in the details, and I think that goes well with makeup that’s a little subtler and not as garish or shocking. It’s a bit more blended and smoked out, more focused on skin. It doesn’t necessarily mean fewer products, it just means more strategically chosen products.”
On the Beauty Trend He Wishes Would Go Away by Next Year
“Some people are over-contouring a bit. It’s fine to play around with the artistry of makeup and have that moment, but I think eventually those people will settle on a look that’s a little bit lighter. Hopefully that’s something that people will discover after a while.”
On How to Improve Your Makeup Routine
“A lot of it has to do with the order in which you apply the makeup. If you apply your moisturizer and then a priming serum to smooth out your skin, your foundation will go on much more smoothly. And then you set that with a little bit of powder, but lightly, and if you do all of that in the right order, your skin will have a lot more staying power. The same is also true if you apply finishing powder before you put on any kind of bronzer or blush. Many women will apply blush or bronzer directly to their foundation or to their moisturizer, but what that does is create a splotch that’s very difficult to blend afterward. The other tip I have is to apply your makeup from the outside and blend inward. Most women do it the opposite way, and I think it’s important to have that symmetry on the outside of the eyes, to start looking at yourself straight on in the mirror and establish the outside boundaries of the makeup, and then blend everything in from there. That way you’ll maintain that nice angle of precision and lift that you get.”
Gucci cosmetics are available locally at Neiman Marcus at Fashion Show (3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-731-3636) and Gucci at The Shops at Crystals (3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-730-1946)