Aug 4, 2011

Makeup & Chat With Celebrity Makeup Artist Carl Ray

Carl created this gorge look for FLOTUS
Last week I had the pleasure of hanging out with celebrity makeup artist, Carl Ray. Carl is DC's most sought after makeup guru and with good reason. He not only works and travels with First Lady Michelle Obama, but he also glams up politicians, celebrities and some extremely lucky brides.

Since moving back to the District in May, I had heard his name countless times on websites and 'Best of DC' lists and had to meet him. Carl's worked with everyone from actresses like Kerry Washington and Mira Sorvino to royals like Queen Noor and Princess Hussein as well as political heavy hitters like Valerie Jarrett and Justice Sonya Sotomayor. A not too shabby client list, right!? I knew I not only wanted to get my mug made over by this talented artist but also wanted to find out more about him and his favorite products and tips.

The self-taught makeup artist has been the exclusive Artistic Talent at George Salon at the Four Seasons in DC for the past fifteen years. Although he has no specific brand loyalty, he does say he's a big NARS fan. He fell in love with the brand when he worked as a makeup artist at Blue Mercury.

Carl Ray at the George Salon
I asked Carl about his five favorite products and it came as no surprise, given his love for playing up the eyes, that most of his faves are eye enhancers. Here's the full list of his product picks:

* Fake Lashes (Strips or Individuals) by M.A.C. or Shu Uemura
* NARS Orgasm (in The Multiple shimmer stick and powder blush formulas)
* YSL Touche Eclat Concealer
* Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
* Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

He's also a big fan of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and M.A.C. brushes and lip glosses.

After getting a glam makeover by him it's clear why he's been voted top makeup artist for ten years in a row by Washingtonian Magazine. Carl has an easy, warm demeanor and understands the undertones and nuances of a woman's face. He made me feel glamorous without making me look overly done up and created the key to a beautiful face: flawless, glowing skin.

For my makeup Carl focused on creating voluminous lashes, paired with a subtle smoky eye and nude lips. Carl gave me an evening look using products that can withstand the humid DC summer nights.



To start, Carl used a primer to even out my skin and create a flawless canvas. He then applied a mineral-based liquid foundation with an SPF that's HD Photo Ready so it looks great on camera yet feels light. He applied a concealer from lid to brow to keep the makeup in place and half way underneath my eyes and in any areas where he saw discoloration. He also added concealer to my lips because he says "it gives you a truer color that will last longer ".

Carl then used a fluffy powder brush to apply powder and then a fan brush to apply bronzer and blush. He recommends investing in a fan brush because it distributes color more evenly and lightly and gives an airbrushed finish. He also added a swipe of highlighter using the fan brush underneath my cheeks to emphasize the cheek bones.


Carl used a neutral color palette of shadows on my eyes. He started with a shimmery bronze shadow all over the lid and added gray, brown and taupe in the crease and outer corner of the eyes. He then lined my top lids with a cake liner and used pencil to rim my inner eyelids. He added highlighter in the inner corner of my eyes to brighten the area and darkened my brows with a brown shadow to further frame my face. To really make the eyes pop, Carl added several individual lashes in varying lengths. He placed the lashes on the middle of my eye above the iris and worked his way out to create an exaggerated yet natural look. He recommends investing in a dark colored lash glue like Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Black because it dries darker and makes the lash line look thicker.


To complete the look Carl lined my lips with a nude liner and added a nude gloss over it for an understated look that didn't take away from the dramatic eye look he had already created.

To recreate the look at home invest in a primera HD foundationan under eye concealerbrown, gray and bronze eyeshadowsan eyelash curlerbronzer, blush and highlighter, a powder brush and fan brushindividual fake lashes with a black gluecake liner, a black eyeliner pencilwaterproof mascaranude gloss and a nude lip liner.

Thanks to Carl Ray and the George Salon at The Four Seasons for getting this beauty buff all glammed up! Get your face made up by DC's most famous and fabulous makeup guru for your big day or event. Get in touch with Carl at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter to see his latest beauty transformations.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook too!