Makeup artist Mai Quynh amplifies the model’s eyes with an inventive liner look.
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
- MAKEUP BY MAI QUYNH
- HOURGLASS ARCH BROW SCULPTING PENCIL IN BLONDE
- BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR CREAM SHADOW IN SAND DOLLAR
- BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR GEL EYELINER IN BLACK INK
- CHANEL LE CRAYON KHÔL INTENSE EYE PENCIL IN NOIR
- MAC EYE SHADOW IN CARBON
- KOH GEN DO MAIFANSHI MOISTURE FOUNDATION IN 123 AND 002
- NARS BLUSH IN SEX APPEAL
- TOM FORD LIP COLOR IN SPANISH PINK
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 creates an innovative, undomesticated take on the cat eye for Los Angeles–based model Lindsey Wixson, below. Then study the inventive makeup tutorials she crafted for three equally inspiring LA ladies: Kenya Kinski-Jones, Ayako Comte, and Jane Moseley.
Mai Quynh | @storyofmailife
Guy Bourdin’s “Diamond Mouth,” 1970.
WHERE TO WEAR
To the opening night of Cabaret at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre.
MEET THE FACE
Lindsey Wixson | @lindseywixson
I used two different shades of foundation on Lindsey, Koh Gen Do Maifanshi 2 and 123. I applied a sheer layer of the lighter one in the center of her face, then used the darker one as a contour color around her hairline and sparingly underneath her cheekbones.
To make the Twiggy-esque shape, I rubbed Chanel Le Crayon Khôl in Noir against the back of my hand, crushing the pencil into a loose pigment. Using Laura Mercier’s Smoky Eye Liner Brush and the crushed liner, I swept the product across her upper and lower lashlines. Next, I made a line just above her natural crease, stretching from the inner to outer corners of the eye—the idea is to see the line when her eyes are open. I then traced over it with MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon, making the liner appear more dense and setting the pencil.
To complete the eye look, I used Black Ink on the Make Up For Ever Extra Fine Liner Brush to carefully trace over the lines one last time, starting again from the inner eye to add definition. The end result is a rich, textured eyeliner that looks smoky but polished.
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
Beauty Essential: BeautyBlender Pro Sponge
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.”
The model shares her LA beauty essentials—and plans for the perfect Sunday surf excursion.