Tune In: How A Celebrity Makeup Artist & Certified Health Coach Preps Skin For The Red Carpet
When celebrity makeup artist and certified health coach Lisa Aharon gets her clients ready to walk the red carpet or perform onstage, the skin prep goes much deeper than just a primer.
"Everything is internal. I almost feel like it's irresponsible of me to not offer that information when somebody asks me what product they should use on their face. I feel like I can't answer it until I have the other answers of what else is happening with you," Aharon says on this episode of Clean Beauty School.
In the episode I chat with Aharon about calming sensitive skin, why you might want to try a "skin care detox," and what's in her personal makeup bag (hint: full of lots of great clean makeup recommendations). I also get her full rundown on how she preps her celebs for the red carpet. In the meantime, here are my three favorite takeaways from the episode.
With skin care & life, do everything in moderation
For Aharon, her beauty and wellness habits are all about balance. "There are so many parallels between skin care and diet. For example, I find that if I eat whole foods, manage my water intake, take my supplements, and I'm on track, then I can have a day or two where I'm drinking all the natural wine I want and having a big plate of Bolognese," she says. "Because I'm being consistent most of the time, these moments don't trip me up as long as I go back on track a couple days later."
And the same is true for how she takes care of her skin. Aharon explains that she has naturally sensitive skin so can't tolerate too many fragrances, essential oils, or potent actives.
"The same is true for my skin care. I have to stick to a lot of fragrance-free, gentle formulas five days out of the week, but for two days, I can use products loaded with essential oils or those beautiful botanical actives," she says. "My skin can withstand that for a couple of days, as long as I go back to the gentle formulas. Everything in moderation."
Apply makeup in thin, precise layers for a more natural look
Aharon is known for her clean, natural aesthetic—and rightfully so. Just scrolling through her Instagram page or looking at her work on her celebrity clients, you can see that she's a master of that soft, natural glow.
"Natural-looking makeup is ultimately way less forgiving because you're not covering anything—instead you're working with it," she says. "You're doing just a bit of camouflaging or a little bit of color correcting."
Aharon says the secret to soft, natural-looking makeup is the layering techniques. "You have to be very detail-oriented, light-handed, and patient," she says. "It's a lot of very thin layers. I start with the areas that need the most coverage, then work my way out from there."
Skin prep is essential
When Aharon gets her clients ready for the red carpet, she puts in about 30 minutes of work—before ever touching a makeup product.
"I do a lot of skin prep. It's an important step to get people relaxed, first and foremost. The prep should be fun, enjoyable and feel pampering—because usually, they're about to go do something that's not as fun, like being on a red carpet or stepping in front of a camera," she says of her technique. "So this is really their time to be pampered and feel good."
For the skin prep, Aharon says she always starts by cleaning the face. "Just to make sure there's no trace of anything there," she says, before moving onto a sheet mask and a face massaging tool. "I love using Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand on the cool setting, to help de-puff and tone down any inflammation."
After massaging in the mask, she applies a warm compress to remove any residue. ("I just don't want it to mix with the next steps because it can be too much product," she says.) And then it's time to apply the appropriate skin care for the client's skin type, then work it in with a gua sha stone or the Jillian Dempsey Gold Bar ("I like to use that especially around the eyes to de-puff," she says.)
For more of Aharon's insights, tune in:
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.