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The Japanese Makeup Brushes Behind Quinta Brunson’s Met Gala Look

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What a banner year for Quinta Brunson. Her banger TV show, Abbott Elementary, filled the feel-good, primetime sitcom hole in our hearts (The children! Principal Coleman! The deadpans!). But watching her off camera was even more fun, with the notorious “teacher styling” gone and “holy crap wow styling” in its place (please see exhibit A, B, and C). This year’s Met Gala continued her styling streak, with Quinta wearing an Atelier Prabal Gurung gown and a braided updo anchored by cascading baby hairs. But it was her eye makeup that caught our, um, eyes the most, so we talked to Quinta’s makeup artist for the night, Jessica Smalls, to hear how she did it. Here’s what Jessica had to say:

“We started off the day with 90’s R&B music. It was a big sing-a-long. Nostalgic. And not before long, everyone was feeling good. Before I started the makeup, I gave Quinta 111 Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond eye patches to depuff.

For her eyes, I used Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer and rimmed Quinta’s eyes with Glossier’s No. 1 Pencil in Black. Then I used a firm eyeshadow brush to press the matte pink shadow from Natasha Denona’s Love Palette into the inner corner of her eyes. You don’t want to use a fluffy brush to apply matte eyeshadow–fluffy brushes kick it up and dust it all over the eye. You need something that’s firm and will press the eyeshadow into the lid—I used the 02 brush from Rephr. Then, using the 15 brush from Rephr, I blended the pink color out with the matte rose color in the Glossier Heather Monochromes palette. I used the black liner again and gave her a soft elongated, diffused liner to accentuate the outer corner of her eyes. I finished her eyes off with Glossier’s black liquid liner and Lilly Lashes Faux Mink lashes.”

And as for her lips, Jessica says: “I lined Quinta’s lips with Makeup by Mario’s liner in Jeff and used Glossier’s G Suit Lipstick in Lane, followed by Glossier’s Lip Gloss in Clear for a juicy pout.

The look took an hour and a half. I was going slow and wanted to be super intentional about everything I did because it’s such a big night and cameras are everywhere. And I also wanted the experience to be relaxed and chill since it was her first time [at the Met Gala]. I wanted her to be able to look back and say ‘I started my Met Gala off strong.’”

—as told to ITG

Photo via Jessica Smalls

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