The Portrait Series: The Boy Beat

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that in the last few weeks my feed has been filled with makeup focused self-portraits. I started with one, and now it seems I just can’t stop doing them. I’ve always been more skincare than makeup focused, but it’s been so much fun to flex my creative muscles and work on something that feels like a real challenge. I am, I think, a total amateur when it comes to makeup. But I’ve been having such a good time and getting such lovely responses, that I’m just going to keep rolling with them. However! I did want to start doing somewhat longer breakdowns of my looks, because really an Instagram caption doesn’t feel like the right place to try to squeeze in the details. So here we go!

The Boy Beat is a look I first heard about through a Tamira Jarrel video where she explained the connection to Sir John (Beyoncé’s makeup artist) and executed it so flawlessly that it’s stuck in my head ever since. In my understanding, the essence of the look is fresh-faced, as little makeup as possible, and both embracing and enhancing flaws - plus a little contouring for a more boyish look. My take involved amping up the angles and freckles on my face, plus some solidly bushy brows. It’s simple, fun, and a great demonstration of how makeup can really be used precisely to alter your features.

I started out with a simple base combining Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation and a few drops of NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 8%. This isn’t too opaque, so both my freckles and some flaws still show through and give the skin a very natural looking finish. I set that with the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder and moved on to contouring with the Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette. I find the chocolate smell of the contour palette a little disturbing, but it works great even though I’m not the most experienced with contouring techniques. I used the coolest tone to carve high, straight lines beneath my cheekbones, pull in my temples, and define my jawline, leaving a more angular and less soft look to my face. The same color went in the crease of my eyelids, on my lower lash line, and on the sides of my nose, to create consistent shadows. Brows were amped up with lots of Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel, and lashes got the slightest bit of oomph from the Lune + Aster Formidable Mascara. Because they were a bit covered up by my base, I gave my own freckles a boost using a eye liner brush dampened with Urban Decay All Nighter Spray and dipped into a dark brown shadow from the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette. You could easily use a brow pencil or brown eyeliner for this! And last, I threw on a smidge of Glossier Generation G in Leo.

Overall, I love how this look turned out. It’s a bit of departure from my typical super-dewy baby-faced looks, but so fun to see how much I can change my face. What do you guys think of the boy beat?

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