Museum-Inspired Makeup

How. Many. Times...have the words "highlighting" and "contouring" appeared on ITG? It's one of those things makeup artists always talk about, which are pretty much impossible to comprehend (and, therefore, tricky to attempt) without a play-by-play visual breakdown. But, having learned myself, let me tell you that those two steps make a world of difference in the 5-minute-makeup department.

So when I met Violette a couple months ago and we got to talking (and becoming best friends, more or less) about her very specific approach to makeup—and how nobody knew how to carve out cheekbones and plump up skin like the Renaissance painters—I thought, let's take a little field trip, shall we? During Violette's recent visit to New York, we had quite a day: pedicures at Tenoverten (my new favorite nail spot...Uslu Airlines polishes!), lunch at Super Linda, and a jaunt uptown to the Met, where we met up with Maria for a quite particular guided tour... finished off with a show-and-tell on the steps outside.

Watch—and tell me you won't adjust your routine tomorrow morning.

—Emily Weiss

PS: Because I know you'll ask, and I know you will because there was an Instagram frenzy when I posted a picture that day, Violette's dress is from Dolce Vita.

*Update* Ask and ye shall receive. Here's the list of products Violette used:

Moisturizer: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light 

Foundation: Diorskin Nude

Lip Balm: Lucas Papaw Ointment

Blush: Dior Addict Lipstick in Bobo

Powder Blush (used to contour): MAC Buff 

Eye shadow (used as highlighter): Dior 1 Couleur in 006 + Lucas Papaw

Eyeliner: Dior Crayon Khol in Black

Mascara: Diorshow

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • CG

    but what about maria's shirt!

  • Marcela

    what a great post! I was watching this and taking mental notes of all the things she was saying. Loooooved the trick about applying the black eye liner pencil under the lashes, it makes a world of difference.
    Once again I have to say well done to the ITG team. You guys really are the best!

  • The Procrastinator

    That was so brilliant! The bit where she got the girl to stick out her tongue and tapped a q-tip on, I actually laughed out loud.

  • Nina R.

    Hi Emily! Could you please provide a list of the products Violette used? Thank you!

  • Eva

    Love! Any chance you'll also share the products Violette used?

  • Linda

    I love this! It's pretty much what I do every day, except for the contour which I have yet to figure out. :D Btw, what did she use for the contour?

  • Annesophiehe

    Great post, I have learned great tricks and I appreciate Violette's approach inspired by Renaissance Masters, you should apply make up as your skin is a canvas :) Maria is so beautiful!

  • Brittany

    Ahh yes! Please tell us what products she used!

  • Ayemazz

    maria has such a beautiful face that any makeup is gorgeus!
    but i love "the natural thing" in the highlighting technic thay violette showed!


  • Charu

    Emily could you please share the products used including the moisturizer? That would make a world of difference!! Thanks.

  • Jamila

    Love it!

  • VotreAmie

    That was amazing. I am literally itching to try this all out today!!

  • Cindyg

    Yes! I love Maria's tell.

  • Raissa

    Who makes Violette's lovely dress?

  • Lindsay Sue

    The q-tip part was too cute.

  • emmaattheedit

    I love this post...I definitely learnt something new about highlighting!

    Can someone tell me where Maria's dress if from? It's so beautiful!

  • Charu S.

    THis is from the post above: " PS: Because I know you’ll ask, and I know you will because there was an Instagram frenzy when I posted a picture that day, Violette’s dress is from Dolce Vita."

  • Moonchopin

    More video of makeup artists doing makeup, please ... I can watch those for is very soothing... :)

  • th

    Hi Emily,
    Could you please share what kind of brushes Violette used? That seems to be critical as well. Thanks!!! Truly adore your website; I visit it at least three times a day :)

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Wow they are both gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous and oh-so-chic! I love that she kept it simple but the look created was definitely luminous and subtle yet noticeable and beautiful!

  • Brittany

    Emily can you do a post on makeup brushes? What are some good brushes for contouring and powder? Thanks!

  • Danielle

    Maria's shirt is Dries Van Noten, I remember seeing it on The Coveteur.

    Love the video!

  • Zaden Row

    I adore this video. When it comes to the make-up game, it is fundamental to know that, as she says, "it will breathe with you." Many like to give make-up power over the face. In reality, make-up is meant to function as a garnish, a way to enhance the natural strengths of a face. It is wrong to assume that make-up makes you beautiful. You are already beautiful, make-up only makes it easier for a foreign pair of eyes to notice.

  • SimonaLaroche

    I actually tried a very similar look on my friend a few days ago except I didn´t contour her face but used highlighter quite a lot :)

  • erin

    excellent vid. exactly the technique i use for clients! x

  • Kate {Modette}

    I just watched the video and I love it! I'm bookmarking now so that I can refer back to it for make-up tips. Thank you ITG for sharing! Would love more videos like this! x

    Kate {Modette}

  • America Cavaliere

    Congrats! ITG is amazing!!
    Very fresh and unpretentious! I love it!
    kisses from Rio!


  • JF

    This may seem like a silly question, but can we find out where Maria got her wedding ring? I'm ring shopping and I want a simple gold band as we see here on Maria.

  • Nina

    love it!

  • Ella

    such a stunning makeup look-it's simple but striking!

  • Aries

    It's really nice. I want to learn how apply to make up

  • Roxana Farahmand

    I wish was a photo of the final's difficult to tell in the video.

  • Mabelandmatilda

    she is very talented, great job!

  • Lpkk09

    I'm required to look nice. . because it works a lot a lot more people. . it is because I am interested in this product thank you so muchi

  • Ivy

    great video!!! hope to see more coming up!

  • tra

    i'm so grateful for the technique session on itg. thanks emily and the itg team :)

  • Lulu

    Hi Emily,

    Beautiful post! I know you mentioned the Tom Ford Illuminate and Shade brush is wonderful for contouring.. which brushes did Violette use for the bronzer, blush and highlighting? xx

  • Poppy

    And what was that swipe of lipstick at the end? What that also Bobo? I need it!

  • BelleOnEarth


  • DE

    i really enjoyed this piece but I am not a fan of the new look of the blog. i like the more simple approach

  • 4jsc

    I love seeing makeup artists in action especially when they repurpose products for different parts of the face. Thank you for another fabulous post.

  • eastvillagesiren

    These makeup techniques are a game-changer for me. I was looking to upgrade my makeup bag and style; after watching the video I went to MAC Flatiron to buy the Buff blush. The lovely Fawn showed me how to contour (same technique as Violette ; ) and also used Buff as a natural eyeshadow in the crease. I used my Dior Garconne as blush and lips, Givenchy mascara and Sephora waterproof liner in matte charcoal, et viola, I somehow looked more sophisticated yet less "made up" than usual.

    BTW, as a contact lens user, when I tried using the eyeliner as Violette demonstrated, I looked like a hot mess in less than 10 minutes. It works better for me to work the pencil in close to my upper lashline.

    Merci Violette!

  • ROKderm

    Loved this!!! The ho-to video was super nice! I feel I understand how to do this look now, can't wait to try! :)

  • cecilia

    I'd love to know the brushes used as well!

  • Guest

    I was mildly horrified when she dabbed saliva on Maria's face.

    • Guest

      ...To properly clean and refine the inner corner of the eye she used a moist cotton bud, and there wasn't a tap around, smartest thing to do X

      • Guest

        Not really. Moisturizer prolly would've worked fine, but whatever.

        • Carly Davis

          you shouldn't really put moisturiser in your eye..?

  • Kiki

    Interesting woman but nothing new about makeup. Since when is tighlining her secret?

    • Maggi

      Seriously. I love the post but i think Laura Mercier can call dibs on tightlining.

  • climbing magnolias

    absolutely love this post. i also adore Maria's piercings!

  • Nau

    Could you tell me what brushes she used with the purple handles?


  • Rola

    The model is super pretty with or without makeup. The look is so natural.

  • Cc

    Really great look. I tried it out and loved it! I would recommend using a waterproof eyeliner under the lashes because by the end of the day my normal pencil eyeliner had transferred to my lower waterline.

  • Alice Edgeley

    this is so beautiful, i love seeing girls do each others make up, especially like here, on some steps, just like when you were kids. This is how french girls do there make up! like theyre not wearing any, so cool!

  • Olga Ramos

    thank you so much Emily this post changed my beauty life :)
    these tips are just the best - it really works ON ME.
    I'm a follower of your good work and always learning from you.
    thank you so much.
    Olga (from Portugal)

  • Linda C.

    this was one of the most fascinating things i've ever seen. if anyone argues makeup's not art, well then i'll direct them to this post. violette is an artist in every sense of the word and maria is stunning. thank you for this! going to approach makeup a little differently now...

  • beautyjunkie

    that model is quite possibly the most beautiful thing ive ever seen.

    great tip to put the eyeliner inside the lash line. I'll try that tomorrow, thankyou.
    p.s. love the white dress

  • Lauren

    I am so obsessed with this video. Please leave it up forever.


La Roche-Posay
La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light
Lucas Papaw
Lucas Papaw Ointment
MAC Powder Blush Buff
Dior '1 Couleur' Eyeshadow
Dior Diorshow Mascara