A Social Media Lip Artist Reveals Her Secrets – golinmena.com

A Social Media Lip Artist Reveals Her Secrets

Photo by Sarah Steller

If you’ve ever found yourself down the lip-art rabbit hole on social media, you’ve probably seen Sarah Steller’s work. Steller (@s_steller_) is a makeup artist best known for what she calls “glitter lips”—seriously mesmerizing videos of lips that look like pulverized disco balls, coated in shellac, only colorful.

Watching Steller’s videos, you might not realize that she does it all: She’s the makeup artist, photographer and model—working late at night after putting her one-and-a-half-year-old son to bed. Needless to say, she’s a true beauty diehard. Steller taught herself to use a macro lens so her followers can see the texture of her looks up close (and so that they don’t think it’s all retouching magic).

In partnership with L’Oreal Paris Infallible Paints, we asked Steller to create three new looks that express her perspective as a makeup artist. Below, she explains her inspiration and technique, and tells us the secrets of social media makeup artistry.

What inspired this take on the “glitter lip”?

I was inspired by the color of flowers. I live in Costa Rica—a tropical paradise. Every time I see a flower, I imagine those colors on lips or eyes. I also imagine putting glitter on top of those colors, because it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time on social media. So I used L’Oreal Paris Infallible Paints DIY Red to define the shape of the lips. Then I used the Orange Envy and Cool Coral to paint in the center, blending the three colors with a brush—just like the petals of a tropical flower.

What do you look for in a lip product?

I always look for products with a lot of pigment: dark, bright colors or reds, like the Infallible Paints. Those are the colors that look great, especially for video and photography. And, well, I look for products that hydrate my lips. I’m my own model, so keeping my lips healthy is part of the job. I have an entire collection of lip balms, obviously!

Ironically, I’m probably most obsessed with eye makeup. But I’m 37-years-old, and have some expression lines, and I didn’t want to worry that people would talk about my wrinkles in the comments! So I focused on lips. It helps that I have a pretty common lip shape, and my whole family has nice teeth.

Photo by Sarah Steller

What’s the story behind the purple look?

I love to work with sequins because they reflect so much light. And I wanted to show that the Violet Twist Lip Paint can hold up to that—it looks just as cool those sequins. I use eyelash adhesive to create that fish scale effect.

How did you become a social media makeup artist?

I always wanted to be a flight attendant, but I’m afraid of water, and flight attendants need to know how to swim. So, after trying and failing to be a flight attendant, my sister Raquel, who is also a makeup artist, encouraged me to go to make-up classes with her. To my surprise, I ended up loving it. I definitely never thought this career would make me so happy. What I like about makeup is that I can be myself, I can express what I feel and what I know, and I can impose my style on everything I do.

Photo by Sarah Steller

Tell me about the teal look.

This was purely creative, and the design was inspired by L’Oreal Paris’s Domineering Teal. I followed my instincts and paired it with gold, a color combination that stands for luxury, power, splendor, greatness…I wanted to add the Nude Star Infallible Paint, plus some gold objects—Greek mythology is always on my list if I want to look for inspiration. I applied the jewelry first with eyelash adhesive. Then I used the nude on the top lip and the teal on the bottom, blurring them towards each other using a brush.

How has social media changed makeup artistry? And how do you keep your work original?

What I like about social media networks is that they push me to be a better artist. Prior to social networks, I wasn’t that picky, because only a few people would see my work. Now I feel compelled to be more active, and to work quickly and expertly to show the world what I’m capable of doing.

Social media is great for inspiration… but it also breeds flash-in-the-pan, overnight trends and plagiarism. How do you keep your work original?

The internet is a small world. Everyone knows who copies whom. There are two phrases that I always have in mind that make me push forward: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and “I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they don’t have any of their own.” (That last one is Nikola Tesla.) And when it comes to the overnight trends, well, what I like to do is start them!

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