Mila Kunis is a force to be reckoned with: she’s the rare celebrity, or even human being (!), who is all at once beautiful, hilarious, intelligent, ballsy, self-deprecating, honest, and humble — at least, she appears to be all of those things. (Who said girls couldn’t be gorgeous and sidesplittingly funny? Oh yeah, that was you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) Every time I read a new interview with Mila, I’m consistently impressed by how well she carries herself and how “in touch” she is with real life and herself, and how much better she could do than Ashton Kutcher (though actually I’m erring on his side of favor what with Demi’s rumored brand of crazy).
Her August cover of Interview magazine reveals a soul-searching conversation with James Franco (a glorified “interview” between friends in Interview fashion) and an equally compelling photoshoot, but I’m really just partial to the front image. While I’ve been steering clear of eyeshadow and heavy-handed bronzer lately given the makeup-melting heat, this look is forcing me to reconsider my stance. It’s one of the simplest faces to create, but it’s so sultry and so effective, if “summer sexpot” is what you’re going for, and of course it is. Tips, tricks, and products, after the jump!
- It’s important to anchor your face with a strong brow, regardless of what kind of makeup you’re wearing or if you’re even wearing any at all. Mila has fantastic brows naturally, but us mortals should turn to a waxing, tweezing, or threading professional once every few months to keep things in check with tweezing in between. Make the best of your brows by brushing them upward with a designated comb or clean mascara spoolie, filling in gaps and darkening hairs slightly with a brow pencil or powder.
- I’m sure Mila has a ton of primer, foundation, powder, etc. on, but if you’re not under an HD lens, you can get away with just a smoothing primer and a touch of foundation or concealer where needed. It’s summer, you don’t want to feel coated in spackle! I love a tinted primer or BB cream to narrow things down to a single step, like Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer ($48 at Barneys) or Smashbox BB Cream ($39 at Sephora), which comes in an array of shades to suit every skin tone.
- A kohl pencil is perhaps the easiest of all eye pencils to use — it requires essentially no skill or even coordination. You just close your eyes, place the pencil in between your lids, and smudge it around, then clean up the line afterwards. L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner ($4.49 at Ulta) is cheap and super-easy to handle. If you’re a bit more experienced with kohl, you can line both your upper and lower water and lash lines like this. The kohl look goes all around the inner rims of the eye, top and bottom, inner and outer corner, though you’ll see that Mila has a bit of a gap at the outside, which you can either leave or simply smudge away after applying.
- I only see one eyeshadow being used here, and it’s a slightly shimmery, smoky mushroom taupe. Because of the sheered-out nature of the shadow, I recommend a cream version or one in stick form because you can just smear it on and go from there — Jane Iredale Eye Gloss in Champagne Silk ($15.50 at SkinStore) is incredibly easy to apply and long-lasting, even without a primer. Concentrate on the lid when applying, then sort of pull it out lightly with your finger up and around the brow bone toward the outer corners. The “gloss” won’t cake, so you can do this over and over until you reach your desired intensity. Really blend it past the lid to get that smoky look.
- Mila has a ton of contouring bronzer on, which looks beautiful in photoshoots but can’t be worn outside of an editorial context. Sheer, natural contouring will do the trick — dip a big fluffy brush in your favorite (matte!) bronzer, place it at the highest point of your cheekbones (roughly around your temples), and sweep it down into the hollows of cheeks to create a subtle shadow. Don’t overdo it, because it can start to look garish pretty fast. Brush a tiny amount of a brownish pink blush like Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed ($25 at Tarte) just above the bronzer to impart a more naturally flushed look. It’s the contrast of contouring and highlighting that gives Mila this sculpted look, so take a thin brush to a light-catching (but not sparkly) highlighter, like NARS Copacabana ($30 at NARS Cosmetics), to line the tops of cheekbones, the bridge of the noise, the center of the forehead, the brow bone, and the center of the chin. Blend, blend, blend.
- Too much clumpy mascara can take this look straight into drag queen territory, so use an eyelash curler and a light hand to apply two coats of a lash-lengthening formula with a great separating wand, like Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! ($23 at Sephora).
- Mila’s neutral lips are really natural-looking, but there’s definitely a layer of a nude lipstick or gloss on there. While gloss might better compliment the smoky eyes, I hate the sticky texture, which is why I turn to the perfect non-sticky nude, NARS Buenos Aires ($24 at Sephora). The pencil packaging makes it incredibly easy to line and apply and has a shine to it without being too eye-catching.
Several (hundred) more steps were likely involved in the making of Mila’s picture-perfect face, but this toned-down version is so much simpler while giving the same dramatic effect, and the minimal products make it appropriate for hot weather. Will you take Mila’s makeup out for date night (or girls’ night)?