behind the look

Erin Kristensen

Makeup Artist

Erin Kristensen
Dec 2017

On her Metropolitan Magazine shoot!

For December 2017, the MARVELOUS Erin Kristensen takes us Behind The Look of her absolutely incredible shoot for Metrolpolitan Magazine October issue. Featuring impeccable skin and brilliant feature hues across the lids and eyes, this look is a striking take on the classic red lip and cat eye flick. We caught up with Erin to get all the goss from the shoot and her tips to recreate it at home.

Erin, take us behind the scenes! What was the concept of the shoot? Did you work with the photographer to come up with the idea for the look, or was it already decided?

I was given a general brief from the magazine of features they wanted to cover, e.g. a bold lip, highlighter, etc. From there, I put together a mood board of looks together with the photographer of things that inspired us or features we wanted to include. Aleksandra (the photographer) always has a colour palette in mind for her shoots beforehand, so I made sure the colours I wanted to use fitted in with her vision. Then from there, we got approval from the magazine. Having each look mapped out like this helps ensure we had enough time to both create the multiple, time-consuming beauty looks and also shoot everything. It’s really satisfying seeing it all come together after such intense planning!

I love the versatility of Dr.Lipp – it means I can have several products in one: lip balm, eye gloss, dewy skin highlighter, adhesive for applying glitter… you name it. And when you already have to carry a heavy kit everywhere, multi-use products like this are a godsend! For me personally, I always have a tube in my bag for on the go. I suffer from dry lips and hands, particularly around this time of year, so it’s a relief knowing I always have something on hand to help. And it’s natural! What’s not to love?

We’re dying to know how you did it! Let us in to your secrets! What were your steps for creating the look and do you have any tips for readers to recreate?

For the winged liner, my personal favourite technique is using a gel liner and a short bristled angled brush; I cover the brush in product and then basically stamp where I’d like the flick to go out from the corner of the eye and then fill it in from there. If you’re a little unsure about how to apply your own perfect flick, I’d suggest getting a kohl eyeliner pencil and sketching out the shape – you can always tidy up afterwards with a thin pointed cotton bud dipped in makeup remover (Muji do excellent, tiny cotton buds). Then once you have the shape right, you can go over it with either a liquid or gel eyeliner, whichever medium you feel more comfortable using.

Had you worked with the team before? We’re imagining a photographic/make-up artist marvel duo! 

I work with Aleksandra all the time. It’s always nice when you get a team of people you’re familiar with – both because you go in knowing what everyone’s style is and also because it’s basically like getting to hang out with your friends all day!

What products did you use to create the look?

I used Bobbi Brown’s Ink Liner in “Blackest Black” paired with Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara. For the base, it was Tom Ford’s beautiful Traceless Perfecting Foundation. And for those awesome blue lips, I used MAC’s Liptensity lipstick in “Blue Beat”.

Erin Kristensen
Dec 2017
Erin Kristensen
Dec 2017

Gorgeous! Do you have a favourite look that you looove to create for clients or a signature look that you’re known for?

My style is very much natural, effortless beauty but with a twist – I love taking my time on the skin, making sure it’s glowing and then, if I can get away with it, I love adding a bright lip or a cool liner. It’s amazing how a little pop of colour can totally transform a face or a look.

Erin, think back to when it all began: what’s the best piece of career advice you ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever been told is that nobody’s career is a linear arrow straight to the top; everybody has highs and lows on their way to success. It’s especially difficult to see this clearly in today’s social media heavy world because most people only ever post their highlights so it looks like they’re just constantly winning – they never post about doors they’ve had slammed in their face or when they’ve had a difficult day at work. But it’ll cause you so much less stress if you just focus on the bigger picture with your own career and don’t let every little setback bring you down. Persistence and a thick skin are key.

Such great advice! We’ll have to keepit in mind! What about the best piece of beauty advice you ever received?

That less truly is more. You can always add and build up product if you need to, but practicing using a light hand can really elevate your technique. I think most people are surprised at how little product you often need to achieve magazine-worthy results. It’s much easier to add than it is to take away, so take your time and think more in terms of building layers rather than just slapping the colour on all at once.

Imagine you could makeover absolutely anyone! Who would be your dream client?

I tend to think more in terms of faces I’d like to work on. My ultimate dream girl is Adriana Lima but I’d also love to make up girls like Lara Stone, Natalia Vodianova, Ming Xi, Freja Beha Erichsen, Luma Grothe… way too many to name! I’m always studying faces when I’m out and about too, daydreaming about what makeup I’d do on them.

What was the most challenging shoot you have ever worked on? Any diva tantrums? Make-up mishaps?

I recently shot for US Vogue on top of a 4000m high mountain in Switzerland. It was a lot of fun and the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful but it was also extremely hard practically speaking! First of all, I had to slim down my kit as much as possible, because you literally have to take everything on your own back up and down the mountain. Then once you’re up there, some products don’t work as well as they usually would because of the freezing cold temperatures (for example, cream foundations/lipsticks aren’t as pliable). And on top of all this, you’re constantly fighting against bright red noses once the photos start! It was a challenging one for sure but lots of fun.

Dec 2017
Erin Kristensen
Dec 2017

Wow that does sound challenging! What about the most fun shoot you ever worked on?

I did this shoot about a year ago for a small independent fashion magazine called Arcadia, up at a castle in Scotland. It actually started off a bit of a disaster because our model, who we were flying up with from London, overslept and almost missed her flight. By a weird stroke of luck, our flight ended up being over 3 hours delayed and because of this, the model actually managed to make the flight in time. But everything kept going wrong: our rental car wasn’t big enough for all our luggage; we had less than 24 hours to shoot a 10-page feature (even less actually once you’d factored in our flight was late), and so on.

But the shoot just turned out to be magic – the styling and everything came together beautifully, despite the time crunch. And funnily enough, while it was cold and pouring with rain down in London, we had 25-degree sunny weather up in Scotland (which I’ve since been told by Scottish friends is HIGHLY unusual!) Overall despite the initial bad luck, it turned out to be a really beautiful story and one I’m still proud of today. It’s ones like these that make me love what I do.

Well that sounds like it could have been a disaster, darling! We’re thrilled it all came off! Who or what inspires your work?

Oh I get inspiration from absolutely everywhere – travelling, art, history, pop culture, film, a lot from Instagram, too. I love the Collections feature on there; I have so many boards saved with images that inspire me in some way. Not even necessarily pictures of makeup, it’s a lot of colours or textures I’d like to play with one day. It probably looks a bit mad to an outsider’s eye, but it’s a great source of inspiration if I ever get artist’s block.

What are your passions outside of beauty?

As you can see from my Instagram, I’m a huge travel lover! I also get so much inspiration for my work while I’m abroad. I love browsing through local pharmacies to see what beauty products are popular or flicking through different countries’ fashion magazines or even just people watching to see what the local style is like. I always pick up inspiration from the colours and cultures of the place I’m visiting; every place seems to have its own colour palette.


Dec 2017