This Celeb MUA Shares Her Top Makeup Tips, Products, and How She Stays Inspired

Kelsey Deenihan shares her top tips, tricks, and inspiration when it comes to creating photo-ready makeup looks.
annkrishaannkrisha
Jul. 24
campaign, cherie
Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!Meet Kelsey Deenihan; a makeup artist who is no stranger to red carpet-worthy looks. With years of experience at her belt, Kelsey is knows how to make magic with makeup. Her collaborative style of artistry means every person who sits in her chair leaves feeling more confident in themselves and their beauty. I spoke with Kelsey for Cherie to learn more about her inspirations, expertise, and of course some tips, tricks, and products anyone can take away when it comes to creating gorgeous makeup looks.
Ever have your favorite makeup artist tell you exactly what products they used to achieve your favorite look AND IT STILL DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT...!? That's because placement is key and where you apply your makeup can make a big difference in your overall look. Concealer: Apply in an upward direction. To lift the outer corners of the eye. Applying “light” will give them the appearance of being lifted and less droopy. DONT only apply concealer under your eyes. You need concealer in other areas to balance off the light and dark shading of the face. Bronzer: Focus on the high points of your face where the sun would naturally “tan” you. The high cheeks, temples and hairline. DONT only apply bronzer to your cheeks. It gives off an unrealistic look and just looks like a deep tawny blush rather than an overall sun kissed look. Blush: Like the bronzer I apply blush very high on the cheeks. I'm talking Almost to the temple! And then of course blend. Having the concentrated color higher on the face will will give someone looking at you a higher focal point and make your face appear lifted. DONT only apply blush to the apples or your cheeks. Applying color to the centers of your cheeks will make them look more round. (And that's what we're trying to avoid!) Brows: Comb your brows upward to see the natural length of your hairs and the outline that you can fill in while still having the brows appear natural. Combing them up first will let you know how much room on top you can pencil in while still being able to cover the strokes with hair. Always use a pencil with up and down strokes to mimic the growth of the hairs. DONT pencil in your brows in linear lotions. Any side to side movement will make the brow too dark and not fluffy enough. EYESHADOW Keep your darkest colors away from the top lid/ lash line. As we age we see our eyes closing more and more (guilty!) and adding darkness on the top lid only makes them appear heavier and smaller. Keep your dark shadows to the crease and outer corners. Keeping the lid light will attract more light and make your eye appear larger and more open/awake. DONT apply your darkest shadow on the lash line/ lid. It closes the eye and make air appear smaller. EYELINER Apply 1/3 or 1/2 of the bottom lash line. (From the outer corner in) only lining a portion of the eye will give the open area a sense of width and allows the eye to appear larger and more open. DONT line your entire bottom lash line. Tracing your lash line makes your eye look smaller since your basically telling people to look at the literally shape of your eye and not the “shape” you're creating. LIPS With a pencil the same color as your lips over line ever so slightly. This will make your lips look larger and more plump which helps with and over youthful appearance. I like to over line and then run my finger over it to blend it out a bit as to not make it obvious but rather subtle. DONT over draw an entirely new mouth on. Ok these are just a couple steps that hopefully will get you excited about trying your new products and placing them in the best possibly position on the face to make the most flattering look possible!
Becoming a Pro-MUA"I had a friend in high school whos dad was a writer on Seinfeld. One day my friend was going on set to visit her dad, so I did her makeup. My friends dad was impressed with my work and was the first person who told me that what I did was an actual job; he told me that I could do this for a living, working on sets and doing makeup for celebrities and the people who showed up to these spaces. From that moment I was sold! I knew that being a pro-MUA was exactly what I wanted to do. When I got to college, I actually majored in photography so I could learn about skin tones and how people were photographed. I also studied digital media and marketing so I could learn how to build my own website and market myself. I was very strategic in my education, knowing that the goal for me was to become a pro-MUA. I had blinders on my goal, and because I'm a California native, I was able to do so many things to help me reach it—from doing lots and lots of test shoots and doing tons of free work, anything really to build my portfolio and meet people in the industry."Her Guiding Principles When Creating a Look"First, it's always a collaborative effort. I spend time with the client to talk about the event and determine what feels the best for them. We'll talk the the stylist and hairdresser to get a feel of the complete look and from there we all figure out what looks best. It's everyone talking together and bouncing ideas off of each other. We'll send each other pinterest boards and more to get each other inspired. Second, I always think about balancing how makeup will look on camera and in person. You want the client to feel good in their makeup, and sometimes heavy makeup made for the camera doesn't do that. So it's about finding the balance. It's my job to give them that confidence to look the best that they possibly can. At the end of the day, I'm there for the client, so it's always about what makes them feel great."Staying Inspired"There's a lot of different things I do to be inspired. If I know what I'm looking for, I'll search color palettes on social media or online. I love searching for scenery photos and choosing colors from there; like if I'm looking for a warm palette, I'll look at sunset motifs to help me determine what colors I can pull from there into a makeup look. I also love thumbing through old art books for inspiration. It's always great to find other tones and colors through art. I definately look to colors for my inspiration, though I can get inspired by anything."What Beauty Means To Her"Beauty means confidence. For me, I don't think that any one person is more beautiful than the other. When people ask me how to contour, I tell them not to becuase contouring is about reshaping your face; instead I give them tips on how to shape your face to enhance and flatter what is already yours. I don't change the face when I do makeup because that is teaching someone that what they already have is not pretty or is not right. And that is so not the case! So beauty for me is about boosting that confidence we all have within. If you feel beautiful and you feel good, you're going to feel more confident. Those things for me go hand and hand."Her Go-To Products For Every GigPrep:
The Rich Cream, Augustinus Bader, cherie
Augustinus BaderThe Rich Cream
Foundation:
Radiant Cushion foundation, clé de peau BEAUTÉ, cherie
clé de peau BEAUTÉRadiant Cushion foundation
Blush:
Cream Blush, Kjaer Weis, cherie
Kjaer WeisCream Blush
Eyeshadow:Mascara:Brows:Lipstick:
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