'I'm the head makeup artist at Stila. I do all TV appearances, trend forecasting, and designs for each season. It’s a creative platform that I love, so I feel like I’m really calm even in the chaos. If it was stressful, I don’t know if I would want to do it—that feeling just gets in the way of your own creativity. I have responsibilities for work, and then I have a responsibility to myself to do what I love, so I think of it as weaving these responsibilities together to make something beautiful. I keep a loose-goose agenda if I can. If it’s too scheduled, I'll never make time for going out. A makeup test can run eight hours long, and if you have too much to commit to, then stress affects your night. If I have a free night, I have a couple friends I'll go see. It’s very much last minute—but I like that. I’m a great last minute friend because I am not going to be upset if you cancel or things come up. I think being open to changes and saying yes to something, even though it’s not on your calendar, is favorable because that’s when you meet new people or you might experience something you never even knew existed.
My ideal night out would be going out for sushi or just something easy and light in California, where I live. Nobu in Malibu has a good outdoor area, and you can sit for hours. We usually end up somewhere dancing, but I feel more comfortable at house parties with friends. I know more hip places in New York than back home because California is so mellow. [Laughs] I’m very chill and like to be alone. I feel like as I get older, I discovered that within me. When we're in New York for something like Fashion Week, my husband films and edits the backstage and show footage. I’ve been married for 19 years. My husband gets along with my friends and can talk to anybody, but we never go out drinking together—that never ends well, no matter what! [Laughs] Girls Night is important, and Guys Night is important. It’s important to have your own thing and your own time. I will go all night. I am definitely the one who wants to keep the night going if we’re having fun. You have to be open for that element of surprise.
If I just got out of work, I usually change and put something comfortable on—maybe a robe or like an intermediate outfit! Then I can go and make myself a glass of wine or tea and have a hard boiled egg before I go out—you know, I don’t want to be starving. I don’t really do my hair. It’s always just a little messy, and it’s fine. Usually I'll fake a blow-out with Percy & Reed Dry Instant Volumising Spray. Depending on where I'm going is how I'll pick my outfit for the night. I just have to go to my closet and figure it out. I love to mix-and-match and anything fringe. I feel like I have to be comfortable, and I have to be me, so I just go in and see what’s happening. I like misting my face after a day at work to freshen it up. Caudalie Beauty Elixir is one of my favorites because it smells like a spa. I also like Avène Eau Thermale and Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner. When I use Dr. Hauschka's, it makes my skin feel tight and ready in a good way.
I feel like I get tanner as the night goes on. It’s bronzer—I don’t know why I love it so much. I rotate my favorites. Stila had a bronzer that’s discontinued now, which I adored, called One Step PrimeColor in Bronze Babe. After bronzer, I tap on Stila Convertible Color in Poppy on my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, and a little on my lip. A dewy product like MAC Strobe Cream is amazing—very sheer and not super frosty. Madina Chic & Shine Highlighter Stick Illuminante is amazing as well, though I would say there is a little bit more of an iridescent pinkness throughout the MAC Strobe Cream. I'll put it on my eyelids too and do a little here and a little there. There's also the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Ibiza for shimmer. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but when I do it’s different. I like clumpy lashes and things that looks a little imperfect, but I think that’s me.
I touch up my makeup, put on mascara, and definitely add more eyeliner to go out. I also like my makeup to look worn-in, so it works to my advantage if I'm adjusting the day's makeup. I'll do a little liner and then smudge it up a little bit—that’s my version of a smoky eye. I do a deep burgundy pencil in my lower lash line. Burgundy, to me, is like the new black—so very dense, but it’s got more of a warmth to it. Then I’ll do a black liquid eyeliner on top with Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Cat eyes are like the Little Black Dress of makeup—it always looks good, looks a little polished, and done. No matter how your eyes look, round or smaller, a cat eye can enhance your eye shape, but you can’t do the same technique on every one. I haven’t worn eye shadow in a while, but if I did, I'd do it in a way where it’s blocky, thick, and really not blending into the skin because I have really deep-set eyes. I'm obsessed with this Chanel Eye Gloss that they don't make anymore! There's a black, white, gold, and burgundy shade in there. I can dip in a liner brush, blot it, then kind of 'ruin' my makeup with this. It's amazing.
After I do my eyes, I conceal my under-eyes with Charlotte Tilbury's The Retoucher. It’s a pen like the YSL Touche Éclat, which is great, but this one is more of a foundation-beige while the YSL ones are more sheer and peachy—I'd use that more for brightening. I love anything that’ll give me full, thick volume so I apply Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes 5-Star Mascara continuously throughout the day to build. I have done lash extensions too. I think they could be amazing if done by somebody who is an artist. There’s a technique that I’ve seen where it looks good when they layer the medium, short, and long lashes. If they are all one length, I can tell and don’t like it. Otherwise, I would say just do some falsies. I love doing little clumps of the flares—I’ll drop a little flare in the edge of my eyelashes, and it widens my eye.
I stay away from bright-red lips. I feel instantly too-done if I have red lips on, so I’m much more comfortable with a neutral lip. I'll just use the La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Perfection à Porter. This is for lip and eye! It’s worth the money because it’s the first thing I reach for when I’m traveling on an airplane. The eye cream has such an interesting texture—you can put it on over makeup. Then I might do Kevyn Aucoin Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Medium. It's an easy color to wear because it mimics my natural lip color.
At the end of the night, I take my makeup off with Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths. I think there’s some type of astringent in them that makes my skin feel really toned. Some of the generic wipes are great, but they leave a residue, so I’m really picky with wipes even if I work with other people because it can change everything. These cloths are really durable, they take everything off, and it feels like I just got a facial or something. I guzzle a ton of water—especially if I’ve been drinking—just to avoid headaches the next day. And near my bed, if there’s a lip balm or hand cream, I’ll maybe put that on. There’s a lot of moisture masks, but I like Dr. Hauschka's Hydrating Mask. Sometimes at the end of the night, I'll sleep in it after I wipe my makeup off.”
—as told to ITG
Sarah Lucero shot by Tom Newton. Video edited by Atif Ateeq (The Wall Group).