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violet look:

the ’90s
neutrals

with jane moseley

Mai Quynh creates a daytime smoky eye that harkens back to the supermodel heyday.
 

Photography By GUY AROCH

Written By ERICA LOPEZ

Makeup By MAI QUYNH

Hair By JOHN RUGGIERO

Nails By ASHLIE JOHNSON

Styled By WILLIAM GRAPER

Casting By EVELIEN JOOS

In Hollywood, as in beauty, anyone can be anything. Makeup artist Mai Quynh proves the point in her new story for The Violet Files, wherein she transforms a quartet of models and shares the secrets behind their dramatic looks.

Follow along as Quynh paints a glamorously grunge smoky eye on Los Angeles–based model Jane Moseley, below. Then study the inventive makeup tutorials she crafted for three equally inspiring LA ladies: Kenya Kinski-Jones, Lindsey Wixson, and Ayako Comte

THE ARTIST

Mai Quynh | @storyofmailife

THE INSPIRATION

Model Kristen McMenamy in ’90s Calvin Klein advertisements.

WHERE TO WEAR

To accompany a dirty martini and a crew of LA locals at The Varnish.

MEET THE FACE

Jane Moseley | @oodlesofpain

THE ’90s
NEUTRALS

BY MAI QUYNH

1

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I applied this cream on Jane as an allover moisturizer and to prep her for foundation. I love using it underneath makeup because the formula is light, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue, and it is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

2

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5

This cream blush is the perfect ’90s throwback. I used a small amount on the apples of her cheeks to add definition and warm her complexion. I especially liked how the muted brown tones complemented the rust-colored smoky eye (see below for further instructions).

3

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5

To create the smoky eye look, I used the Boudoir palette, applying the lighter plum shade (third row from top) all over the lid using the large, flat end of Stila’s double-ended brush to pack on the color. With the same brush, I applied the deeper plum shade (bottom row) into her crease, blending both colors upward toward her brow bone and smudging them along the lower lashline.

4

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5

I finished the smoky eye by blending NARS Matte Eyeshadow in Blondie into the crease. The taupe color worked perfectly with the plum hues I used earlier, and the matte texture gave it a modern edge.

NARS
BLONDIE MATTE EYESHADOW

5

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5

Finally, I applied the Hourglass Nude Stylo No. 4 on Jane’s lips—the terra-cotta–beige hue felt very ’90s but still modern. This line is great—it has a nude shade to suit every skin tone. 

ARTIST 
PROFILE

MAI QUYNH

ARTIST STATS

Name: Mai Quynh

Known For: Dramatic eyes and dewy skin

Where to Find Her: Los Angeles

Clients: Saoirse Ronan, Daisy Ridley, Chloë Grace Moretz

Years in the Industry: 18

Instagram: @storyofmailife

Beauty Essential: BeautyBlender Pro Sponge

Mentions in The Violet FilesAll Things Eyeliner, The Lavender Smoky Eye, The Artist’s Cat Eye, The Modern Mod

Agent: Samantha Jeudy @ Starworks

Makeup artist Mai Quynh is a thoroughly ’90s girl. She grew up watching Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford sing with George Michael in “Freedom!” while flipping through issues of Vogue covered by Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer. “They were everywhere,” says Quynh of the models who inspired her to pursue a career in beauty. “There was a way that they were painted, a presence they had. They looked so powerful and strong and beautiful and confident.”

Thusly transfixed, the California native enrolled at Studio Makeup Academy in 1998 and established her craft assisting makeup artists Stéphane Marais, Paul Starr, and Frank B. on music videos, commercials, and photo shoots. In 2006, Quynh got her big break when she landed her first Harper’s BAZAAR cover with a brunette and pregnant Britney Spears. “It is quite a memory,” Quynh says.

Since then, Quynh has become a red carpet regular. Her work is readily on display at premieres and awards shows via the glowing faces of celebrity clients such as Saoirse Ronan and Chloë Grace Moretz. “I take everything into consideration—her hair, her dress, her accessories—and I apply makeup that is specific to that moment,” Quynh explains of her approach.  

But some things never change. When asked who she would love to get in her makeup chair for a dream appointment, Quynh’s answer harkens back to her ’90s fangirl days. “Naomi Campbell,” the artist says. “She’s so fierce.”

MEET
JANE moseley

In her Q&A with The Violet Files, Moseley, a true Californian, reveals her favorite sunscreen and the burger she just can’t quit.