Update Your Spring Make Up with Beauty Lessons From The 2016 VMA’s

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

Here at RESCU HQ, we love a Red Carpet and the 33rd MTV Video Music Awards from New York City is no exception. Performers are known to take risks with their fashion choices, but what about beauty?

Here are some looks we loved and a little how-to so we can all achieve these beauty pops ourselves at home.

Beyoncé (AKA Queen B)

beyonce-1image via Zimbio

To some, Beyoncé can do no wrong. I kind of have to agree, even if the feathers are a bit full on, it’s the VMA’s, have fun with fashion!

Beyoncé’s beauty to me is always flawless, done without looking overtop and very wearable for anyone to attempt at home.


I loved seeing many looks on the Red Carpet with a strong outer wing. It really accentuates the outer eye, elongating it with a lifted effect. Very anti-ageing (not that Beyoncé needs that) but also contrasting to any eye shadow used.


An outer wing is easier to achieve than you think and you can use many different products to get it.

A liquid liner, gel pot liner with an angled brush, or even a dark eye shadow with an angled brush can create an outer wing, they just change in intensity depending on product. I like to use shadow first as a guide, then if needed, deepen the look with a gel, or even deeper, with a liquid liner for sharp definition.

The best way to create an outer wing is actually not from the top lash line. Doing this (often when you open the eye) the line dips at the end and isn’t lifting like it should be.

If you keep the eye open, and trace a line from the lower lash line, continuing from the outer corner on diagonal outwards, this gives the perfect outer wing. By going from the lower lash line, you are guaranteed to push your outer wing upward, that’s what gives such great lift.


Rhiannaimages via Zimbio

Although Riri didn’t attend the Red Carpet because she opened the show, we were not left disappointed with lack of fashion and beauty looks throughout the night, about 5 looks in total.

Riri is not afraid of makeup that’s for sure, but she is still always polished, pushing the boundaries with deep colour.


Apart from her succulent deep plum and wine lip shades throughout the night, one thing that stood out for me was her love of matte eye shadow.

It slightly altered in shades throughout the evening, but matte eyes can be just as striking (and lifting) as metallic.


If you know the principles of highlight and shade, then you would know that a matte deeper shade tone can recede an area while a brighter, metallic highlight shade can make an area appear larger.

Using matte all over the eyelid and socket area gives great lift as it takes away any puffiness and or heavy lids. It’s also a great look for women that already have large eyelid space, or protruding eyes. It will give them balance and will not enlarge them further.

Use a deeper shade as a base in the socket area for lift and then a slightly matte shade on the mobile eyelid for a slight contrast to separate the areas.

Rita Ora

Rita-Oraimage via Zimbio

Rita is no stranger to bold beauty. Often opting for a smokey eye, or a classic winged liner with a contrasting bold lip. Often her looks can be a tad costume like, but this VMA’s she could have been going out with friends, it was cool and effortless with a rock chick vibe.


You often don’t see that catwalk black smokey eye these days. The smokey eye look has moved into bronze and neutrals, still giving depth, but a little more wearable to appear more natural because of tone.

But, it is the smokiness of the lower lash line that has my attention this time.


Women are often scared to place too much shading on the lower lash line, thinking it could smudge and turn into Panda eyes. I get it, it could with bad application, but it does so much to assist in opening the eyes, plus cut away any unwanted puffiness.

Our under eye area often has puffiness and most think not to draw attention to it, so don’t put much makeup under their eyes. But, leaving it, or only concealing it, the entire size of the puffy area is still exposed and visible.

If you trace a very thin line of shadow on the lower lash line, it is still exposed and often the eyes look smaller with a harsh, small thin line applied.

If you add soft shading, applying it lower into the under eye area like Rita Ora is sporting here, will open the eye. As it is the smokey eye technique, which was always used to make the eyes appear larger and the best bit, it can actually half the appearance of puffy under eyes, making your look fresher.

Such a win – go the under eye shading!

Ariana Grande

Ariana-Grandeimage via Zimbio

Someone so young shouldn’t have to worry about much with trying to look younger, but regardless of age, Ariana’s staple makeup look with her big lashes, winged liner and super fresh skin is always on point.


That highlight!! LOVE

Yes Ariana always has a fresh look, but her VMA look was even more about glow than ever.

Wearing black, and no colour on the face can sometimes get washed out on a red carpet or in photography, but when you focus on a highlight such as this, it lifts the look, gives shape and freshens what could be a little dull.


Once your foundation/concealing has been applied, it’s a great idea to then add a highlighter before you apply any shade tones for a contour.

Highlight, or strobing as it is also known, can cause light reflection on the area applied, which therefore gives great lift and a brighter complexion to diffuse any ageing.

Apply highlight on frontal bones (where sunlight hits first), on top of cheekbones (as you can see on Ariana), centre/cupid bow of lip, top bridge of nose, peak of brow and even in the lower, centre area of the forehead.

Once applied, you can see a natural glow and lift, which then assists applying other makeup products easier.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi-Campbellimage via Zimbio

What a fab beauty look from catwalk queen Naomi Campbell, definitely still The Face of beauty.

When wearing neutrals, dark or light, and when your make up shades are also neutral to your natural tones, why not wear a pop lip and if anyone can pull this look off, its Naomi!


That lip, it is just heaven!

Now a glitter lip could be confused with a drag queen lip, but it’s just enough glitter, without looking like a kids art class.

Yes Naomi’s skin tone allows her to look hot to trot in rich, wine and plum shades, but even the fairest skin and smaller lips could get way with a deep lip with the added sparkle.

Its often the matte, or the depth of a deep lip that makes our lips look smaller or that gothic vibe comes through, but as this lip has the added glitterati, it light reflects to give volume and life to the shade.


Legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath has actually created a range of these lips and boy they have got my attention.

The glitter is actually mixed through the lipstick, so it is more comfortable and creamy than just applying lipstick and then adding glitter over the top.

I love to dab lipstick on with my fingertip for it to bond and stain the lip, then only after application of lipstick, do I then apply lip liner (if needed).

Check out @patmcgrathreal on insta for more luscious glitterati lip vibes!

Taylor Hill

Taylor-Hillimage via Zimbio

Supermodel Taylor Hill is known for her big blue eyes and luscious lips and quite often sports the no-makeup, makeup look. But at the VMA’s it was Vava Voom with ever-so striking eyes, high bun and a leg split that, well, didn’t leave much to the imagination.


When you stopped looking at her stunning Moschino dress, it was all about the eyes, but with a twist.

We talk about blend, blend, blend and soft eye makeup edges all the time, but Taylor took it to another place, sharp, angular eye shadow edges to really create a lifted wing, in a different way.


This look is not for an eye that does not have a lot of space between eye socket and brow, and if you have a huge space, it might close the eyes having a harsh edge.

But, for even spaced eyes, with a good balance between socket and brow, it is almost like creating the outer winged eye (as mentioned above), but with shadow.

Start creating the outer wing as normal, but take the wing more inwards, into the eye socket area. The blunt edge will create extra focus and pull upwards to create a great outer winged eyelift.

Perfect for anyone that suffers from down-turned eyes, as it is such a contrast look, it will pull the outer eye upward.


Watch how to create a smokey eye using only eyeliner.


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