Makeup Bag: Karla Martinez of W Magazine
“Being a Latin American girl, I always think of makeup as a second skin. It’s part of a woman’s way of getting dressed. I have a mother who would not leave the house without curling her eyelashes or having lipstick on. She was someone who was always made up and put together, though never in an excessive way, always very elegant with makeup done in a very natural way. The first time I really thought about beauty and makeup, I was 11 or 12 and I have a sister who is 2 years older than me and I saw the makeup she would wear. In a way, I felt like I was different from others in my grade because my sister was already in middle school and wearing lip gloss and becoming very aware of beauty and makeup.
We went to Mexico to visit my Mom and Dad’s family and I have these two aunts on my Dad’s side that were meticulous about their beauty products and their inspiration came from the most iconic beauties of their time, like Madonna. They were perfectly well-groomed all the time, their hair was super important, and going out and getting their makeup done was something they always did. My Mom’s sister, who is about 15 years older than me, was also another person I looked up to in terms of putting on makeup, getting ready, and deciding how I wanted to look. Very beautiful but natural. But I’ve always been a fan of lipstick. I remember when I was in middle school and in Mexico, everyone was wearing a red lip and that was the one thing I was allowed to put on. A subtle red lip, for some reason, didn’t bother my Mom. Red lipstick was one thing I loved to wear when I was younger and I still love to wear now because I feel like it makes a difference in my face. My skin can get a little yellow-y-green and lipstick always helps to balance my skin tone.
When I was growing up, My Mom and I would always look at pictures of young Princess Caroline of Monaco and when my Mom was growing up she was looking at pictures of Grace Kelly — women that have timeless, classic beauty. Princess Caroline was someone I always saw in European magazines and I thought she had this really striking beauty. I still do and I think she’s aged incredibly well — someone that hasn’t tampered with her face. She still has that iconic, beautiful face. Marisa Tomei was also someone I’ve always admired, that looked great when I was younger. Demi Moore, I remember, was so beautiful too. I also remember my aunts showing me pictures of Maria Felix, who is this big Mexican movie star, and she always had these full eyebrows and a powerful lip, which I always thought were so striking. I remember when I was 17 years old I saw Cindy Crawford here in New York, she was so pretty and natural looking. For me, seeing someone like that after growing up in Texas was totally cool. She has this amazingly healthy body with pretty, long brown hair and perfect cheekbones.
During my summer interning at Aeffe, a fashion editor came in and she was doing a pull and I thought, “Wow, what does she do?” I found out she worked at Women’s Wear Daily and did pulls for different stories. The next summer I thought, I definitely want to do that, so that’s exactly what I did. And now, many summers and jobs later, I’m at W Magazine. A lot of the times I’m not on set or on shoots, but when you go on set you realize how crucial every single component of the shoot is and with beauty, there is just so much. Obviously it’s the hair and makeup and people get very hung up on having very specific makeup teams, but it’s so important because it really sets the tone. You can do so much with hair and makeup. The beauty component is almost as important as the clothes. If you have the beauty component figured out, it makes the shoot ten times stronger.
My mom taught me to curl my eyelashes with a spoon. My Mom used to say that it was ten times more effective than a curling iron, so everyone in my family does it. It’s a very old-fashioned tip but I remember my Mom and my aunts doing it all the time and I still do it, especially when I want something long-lasting. Being on set, every makeup artist has Embryolisse in their beauty kit as well as Bioderma Crealine H2O Cleansing Solution.
In my makeup bag, the number one thing for me is moisturizer because I have really dry skin and I need to wear something that is super moisturizing and heavy. I’d like to wear La Mer everyday, but I don’t. My skin needs a lot of water and moisture, so right now I’m using NARS face cream. I like it because it’s thick but it doesn’t feel like you have any cake-y residue on your face. Because I have really dry skin, it has to be heavy in moisture but not feel clumpy and NARS works really well for me. I also use it as my primer before putting on makeup.
After using moisturizer, I use under eye concealer. The one I have right now and have been using for awhile is Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer. I tend to like the liquid ones more than the matte ones because I think there’s better coverage.
I also have the Chanel Orchid Rose Powder Blush, which I absolutely adore. A friend of mine, who’s blonde told me I had to try this blush. I tried it and loved it. It looks good with different skin tones — olive skin, white skin, red skin – and everyone who has tried it, loves it too. It’s a really good shade, a nice pink.
Sometimes I like to use the NARS Multi-Purpose Stick in Lamu. I like it because it’s easy. Sometimes you want a glow and a sun-kissed look; like someone pinched your cheeks.
I have a Tweezerman eye lash curler. I wasn’t a big fan of mascara before because I have allergies and my eyes always feel itchy but I recently read in Allure that if there’s one thing you should always put on every day, it’s mascara. I don’t have a lot of eyelashes, so I really need help in the mascara department. I really like Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara by Lancome. It’s very thick and it actually helps me quite a bit. I figured that was something I was going dedicate myself to do everyday — put on mascara and curl my eyelashes. It makes my Mom happy.
Depending on the day, I’ll use an eyeliner pencil. For the day, I use a matte brown eyeliner by Korres. I was just reading, but I don’t know if it’s true, that brown eyeliner makes you look younger than black. Sometimes, if I want something a little bit more dramatic I’ll use a liquid eyeliner — my Lancome Artliner Eye Liner Pinceau Mousse in black. This guy that did my makeup once at the Bloomingdale’s counter, told me use it at night. I use it on my top lashline but I sometimes put it on the bottom because it gives a nice smokey look without having to put on eyeshadow, which I really don’t know how to use.
I love NARS lip liners. I alternate between two — Morocco and Kenya. I use those almost everyday. Kenya is a little darker, if I want a spice feel and Morocco is more natural and if I want a matte brown look. I’ll use it with a MAC lipstick that’s a true nude called Myth.
I like Poppy Lipstick Queen in Berry Sinner when I want a deep matte red. I also have Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte 21. This is an evening, dark, creamy red because it’s really dramatic. I can’t use classic red because they look really bad on me.
Lately I’ve been using Gemma Kidd Pro and it’s a face palette with an apricot corrector, a berry lip and cheek blush. I put this on when I want a little sun-kissed look. It’s very easy to use. You can use it as a blush but it also has a color corrector and a dewy glow for all over radiance.
Usually if I do a lip, I’ll put a shine on my eyes and a bit of eyeliner on the bottom — nothing dramatic at all. I use Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Mystic Eyes for eye shine. I use the little brushes that come with it and I just play around, to be honest. I use the lighter colors on my brow bone and on my lash line to add a little bit of something.
If I use bronzer, it’s the Chanel Bronzer, but never a powder. I wouldn’t even know what to use it for.
At night, I’m more aware about putting cream on and I just discovered Natura Bisse Eye Booster. My sister uses it and she has great skin. I’ve also been using an Aqua Gel from NARS that’s part of their skincare line.
My makeup bag is a small Prada one. I probably need a bigger one, to be honest. I carry it with me all the time and if there are three things it in, I’d pick the under eye concealer, a lipstick, and a mascara… and an eye lash curler. Well, that’s four things.”