CARL RAY’S SE­CRET WEAPONS

THIS HUM­BLE MAKEUP ARTIST HAS A STEL­LAR REP­U­TA­TION AND A DE­VOTED FAN CLUB THAT IN­CLUDES MICHELLE OBAMA

InStyle (USA) - - Directory -

SURE, HE’S DE­TAIL-ORI­ENTED and in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate about makeup, but what re­ally sets this pro apart is his unswerv­ing loy­alty. To Carl Ray, it’s the trust he builds while spend­ing time with his clients, like D.c.-area brides and for­mer first lady Michelle Obama, that in­spires his work. “You’ve got to ask ques­tions, be at­ten­tive, get to know them, and then bring out their in­ner beauty,” he says. “Some of my most mem­o­rable times with Michelle Obama are when I’m do­ing her makeup and we’re alone; that’s when we con­nect on a per­sonal level and have the chance to talk about us and life.”

Ray got his start by do­ing his mother’s makeup at 14 and later sharp­ened his in­stincts be­hind a beauty counter. Lately, he’s been trav­el­ing with his “role model and men­tor” Obama on her Be­com­ing book tour. “Carl gen­uinely wants to un­der­stand what makes a woman feel con­fi­dent and ra­di­ant, and he builds on that,” says Obama. She also ad­mires his quiet pres­ence and keen eye, ad­ding, “He is one of the most good-hearted peo­ple I know.” As for his tools, these are the ones that never let him down.

Carl has been with me for years, and there’s a rea­son for that: He’s ter­rific.” —MICHELLE OBAMA

A RE­CENT LOOK FOR OBAMA

“I love nude lips and gloss.” To guide his shade se­lec­tion, Ray usu­ally looks at a client’s un­der­tones or nat­u­ral lip color. Dior Ad­dict Ul­tra Gloss in #363 Nude, $30; dior.com.

Ray has such a steady hand that he’s even suc­cess­fully done Obama’s makeup on a tur­bu­lent air­plane. “You have to be able to work un­der pres­sure and have pa­tience, con­fi­dence, and stamina,” he says. One of the prod­ucts he re­lies on is this ver­sa­tile shadow palette. Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Palette, $39; tarte.com.

Pack­ing an ar­ray of for­mu­las, Ray of­ten mixes two or three shades of foun­da­tion for a client and blends his base with mois­tur­izer for a sheer tex­ture. Kiehl’s Ul­tra Fa­cial Cream SPF 30, $30; kiehls.com. Make Up For Ever Matte Vel­vet Skin, $38; sephora.com.

He fa­vors this shim­mery bronze pow­der for a pop on the cheeks and over the cen­ter of the eyes and the Cupid’s bow. Becca Cos­met­ics Shim­mer­ing Skin Per­fec­tor Pressed High­lighter in Bronzed Am­ber, $38; bec­ca­cos­met­ics.com.

Ray is a sea­soned ex­pert at cre­at­ing time­less bridal looks. “I like Stila’s liq­uid liner be­cause it doesn’t budge or smudge.” Stila Stay All Day Wa­ter­proof Liq­uid Eye Liner in In­tense Black, $22; sephora.com.

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