As far as we know, 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.
If you’ve ever been jealous of Khloé Kardashian’s velvety yet luminous contour or Jennifer Lopez’s smoldering eyes, you have Hrush Achemyan to thank for your envy. The Armenian American makeup artist’s career was spontaneously kickstarted when she was 17 years old doing a fashion internship at a bridal atelier. Achemyan’s boss volunteered her to do a bride’s makeup on her wedding day when the makeup artist didn’t show. “I remember literally shaking while doing her makeup,” Achemyan tells CR. “I cried so much afterwards, and I was so angry with [my boss] because I felt like it was unfair to put the person in that situation. Now, when I look back I understand what he did for me. The bride called me the next day and told me that she had never felt so beautiful in her entire life and referred me to 10 people, and then those 10 people referred me to 20 people.”
Since then, Achemyan’s talent has surpassed any certifications as she’s become a favorite among the Kardashian-Jenner clan, developed her own (often sold-out) makeup masterclass, and become famous for her contoured face beats. She has always approached makeup as an art form, and with her most recent endeavor, her YouTube channel, Achemyan hopes to share her beauty techniques in an informative and fun way. “Makeup to me is not just doing makeup,” she says. “it’s an artistic process. I want people to understand the mindset of why I apply a certain shade a specific way or why I apply creams a certain way with the powder.”
Here, Achemyan shares some of these insider tips, along with her own makeup routine and what drew her to the industry in the first place.
What initially interested you about makeup?
“My entire life I’ve been very mesmerized with the art of makeup. I was in a dance group from the age of five until I was 18 years old. I remember always looking at the older group of girls before they went on stage, doing their makeup and how they would apply it, or just how happy they would get after the application. I think that led to my thievery with my mom and her makeup when I was in the third or fourth grade. I would steal her little Lancôme samplers and take them to school with me and apply it thinking I knew what I was doing. I was always obsessed with it, but I would have to wipe it off before going home because I was brought up in a strict family.”
How has you background affected your approach to makeup?
“Starting with Middle Eastern weddings, which can last around 10 hours, I had to create a very interesting technique to make the makeup last–especially when they’re emotional, they’re crying, people are kissing them on the face and leaving red lipstick marks everywhere. I had to get creative and come up with my own way of doing it, and I think what I can attribute a lot of the technique to was that I’ve always oil painted for fun. Once I understood that makeup was literally a dimensional canvas, was when I feel like I escalated my career because I started looking at symmetry very different and applying makeup differently.”
Do you have a top tip for long-lasting makeup?
“For foundation, one key factor is that I don’t use primer. A lot of people always think that primer is what makes it stick on, but unless there is a primer on this planet that I haven’t heard of or tried, it tends to separate the makeup. If it’s silicon based, silicon spreads once it gets heated. I like to use a good cream–La Mer is a good one, Kiehl’s is a good one–to make the skin super wet, so that when you apply any foundation it automatically latches onto the skin. It marries onto the face. Also, a lot of people think that for a natural face you don’t use powders, but I believe that if you do a good cream foundation and a powder moment, that is definitely the formula to success. I don’t use pressed powder over foundation. I use loose powders that are a skin tone color to match the foundation, and set it all over the face and make sure it sits. Then you can break it down with setting sprays and make it look dewy wherever you please.”
Has your aesthetic evolved over the years?
“I’m a glam girl. I love a good beat-down. As I’ve excelled at my career, I’ve realized that makeup is about making the woman look beautiful, not the makeup. It’s like when you wear an overbearing dress and all you see is dress and not the body, but when you wear something that fits just right, it’s your body and you that stand out versus your clothing. The same applies to makeup–it’s not the makeup wearing the face, it’s the face wearing the makeup. What I’m currently infatuated with is creating symmetrical harmony on somebody’s face and making it look natural, like it’s not the makeup doing it. Low-key, what I do with contouring completely adjusts the face.”
What’s your daily makeup routine?
“Everyone always thinks I’m full glam, but I’m not. I save that for the ‘gram. As long as I have mascara on for my daily makeup…I have a couple favorites–the Lancôme Hypnôse has been a staple with me forever, but recently, It Cosmetics did this mascara that looks like a blow dryer brush for a collaboration with Drybar and it does not play around. The volume and flair it gives is kind of crazy and the price is very reasonable. My eyebrows, I’ve been blessed, I don’t need to draw them in too much. Honestly, when I put on the Dr. Barbara Sturm serum, and then the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright primer–but I use it as a highlighter not as a primer–it just makes my skin look golden and very plump. And a good lip balm, and I’m ready to go.
Honestly, as much as I live and die by makeup–it’s like my heart and soul–I try not to wear it every single day because it does clog your pores and it does age you, no matter what anybody says. I like the surprise factor, too. If you [usually] have a natural face, then when you want to be dolled up and glammed up, you get so many more compliments.”
Do you have a favorite celebrity look you’ve done?
“One of my recent favorite looks was on Jennifer [Lopez] for the Hustlers premiere in Canada. I liked it because of the creative collaboration between the stylist, her, Chris Appleton, and me. It was so abstract. The color of the dress and the Judith Leiber money bag was mismatched, but in a beautiful way. I’ve worked with her many times before, but with that look the toning was really cool because we did rose gold and a peachy-orange nude lip, which I feel like a lot of people wouldn’t have the confidence to pull off considering she was wearing a yellow dress.
Another favorite look that I’ve done would have to be Kendall [Jenner] for the 2016 Met Gala, but that was because it was my first time doing the Met. It was a challenge for me, because I did begin in Middle Eastern type makeup which can be a lot–like more is better–and when I started working with Kendall, I had to learn how to give the glam effect but tone it down 90 percent. Anything that I think challenges me, I find captivating and am interested in because it’s creating something different, new, and out of my norm.”END
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createdAt:Thu, 12 Dec 2019 18:05:43 +0000