This Is What Happens When You Ask a Makeup Artist to Create Whatever They Want

A face chart describes a piece of paper featuring the black outline of a blank, bony face. A completed face chart has been brushed, painted, and trimmed with powder and pigment to create a makeup artist's rough draft. They are the wallpaper of choice backstage at Fashion Week, where a chart will disseminate from a key artist to the 10 or 20 assistants working under their guidance. Cosmetic counter employees stock stacks of them, so they can illustrate to former and future prom queens the blush placement that would flatter them most at their high school dances and reunions. I took a very brief and pathetic stab at trying to find out who invented the face chart, and got absolutely nowhere, so you will have to imagine that they have been around for decades.

The funny thing about face charts is that they are perhaps the fifth or sixth best way to suggest makeup placement. (The best way, the video makeup tutorial, has emerged as a lucrative form of instruction in the 21st century.) Face charts do not suggest dimension, nor do they account for the millions of variances in human facial phenotypes. They represent texture nicely! In the age of Instagram, they are probably more closely aligned with high art than a YouTube video or extremely detailed verbal instruction. And they are nostalgic, both for a time when we went to the cosmetic counter, and perhaps the millions of years before that, as we discussed earlier.

To illustrate the fifth or sixth best way to suggest makeup placement, Allure gave a small council of artisans one custom face chart by artist Christina Zimpel, and asked them: How are you feeling right now? 

And do not worry: There is a virtual option, too! You can try on these looks by downloading the YouCam Makeup app.

Mai Quynh

“I don't really wear a lot of makeup on my own face, but I have been lately. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people have been asking me, ‘What’s a good way of playing up your eyes [with a face mask]?' So I’ve been working on eyes a lot, and having fun with that. When Allure asked me to do this chart, at first I was like, 'Oh, I’ll do natural, pretty makeup,' but it’s so much fun to try on something bold and bright just to see how it would look. This blue color stuck out."

Get the look: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eye Quattro Eyeshadow in Hollywood, Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil in Deep Sea, Clé de Peau Beauté Perfect Lash Mascara, Jill Stuart Bloom Mix Blush in Mellow Daisy, and Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Mirror Lip Gloss in Eclectic.

Sir John

"I'm known for two things: One is spotlight makeup; makeup that works for stadium lighting. [Editor's note: Sir John is Beyoncé's makeup artist.] The other is my love of people. My job is to make people feel good. In a Zoom window, you want to make sure you're seeing health. It's less of a look and more of a feeling. I didn't want this look to be too dark and vampy. It's nice for a socially distanced block party, or a happy hour. Lashes are always the icing on the cake. They give a sense of punctuation."

Get the look: Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow in Violet Velvet, Huda Beauty Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Lilac Obsessions, L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Liquid Shadow in Amethyst Quartz, L’Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara, Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick in Bronze Venus, and Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Underdawg.

Delina Medhin

"As soon as [social-distancing] began, I started practicing on my own face to stay sharp. Having a steady hand is something you have to practice every day — my line work has improved. I toe the line between natural and bold. The skin always maintains this natural look, and then I focus color on the eye or the lip or both. We didn't get to experience summer in New York, so I wanted elements of summer in a fall look — purple feels very summery. I just turned on some music and let myself paint."

Get the look: Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix in Royalty, Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Foils in Venus, Clarins Waterproof Pencil in Fig, Maybelline New York Falsies Lash Lift Mascara, Mented Cosmetics Bronzer in Yacht Life, CoverGirl Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick in Opal Dreams, Nars Lipstick in License to Love, and Dior Lip Maximizer in Berry.

Doniella Davy

"When we all went into quarantine, I had so many Euphoria looks bouncing around in my head [Editor's note: Davy is the head of the show's makeup department], and for a while I was like, ‘Well, let me just save them or shelve them for a couple of months.’ Then I realized I didn't know when we'd start [shooting] season two, so I started doing them on my own face, which became a really fun outlet. This look feels like [two Euphoria characters]: There's the more experimental, electric color palette of Jules, and then Maddy's adornment, with the rhinestones and the wing liner shape. It's definitely inspired by my current reality being the opposite — casual, at home, in bed."

Get the look: Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst and Topaz, Lime Crime Diamond Dew Liquid Eyeshadow in Pixie, KVD Vegan Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment in Satellite, Nyx Epic Wear Liner Stick in Pink Spirit, Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset, and Folly Fire Matte Manipulation Lipstick in The Supreme.

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