Earth Tones, By Hung Vanngo

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There's a reason Hung Vanngo is just about every Victoria's Secret Angel's favorite makeup artist. His beauty ethos is simply “I want to make women look gorgeous.” OK, got it.

And hey, why overthink it? Not everything needs to have a complicated, artistic end to be good. So when Hung came into the office last week (to do a story with the near-perfect looking Josephine Skriver), there wasn't a ton of direction given pre-shoot. Just one goal: Make neutral makeup exciting. Earthy tones are the backbone of any universally flattering makeup look—as such, they should not bore you to tears (Similarly, these looks are built on a foundation of the Glossier Phase 1 Set, a good backbone for any makeup or no-makeup look).

Hung was game, and just as straightforward about it as one would expect. He said, “I'll give you one strong lip, one strong eye and one combination of both' (plus one extra look you won't find here—stay tuned).

The first look started with clean, clean skin and very minimal highlighter (Hung shoots from the hip and gets his glow from cleansed and exfoliated skin that's heavily moisturized— Tatcha Revitalizing Eye Cream in addition to the Glossier Priming Moisturizer). The light base leaves room for not one but TWO layers of blush, specifically Stila Convertible Color in Camellia and Lillium. Next up was a dark, very dark, almost too-dark lip that was more flattering than goth. Hung picked Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Vamp. Why it works? “We maintained the color of the eye pretty consistent to her natural coloring—soft, no mascara, there’s no liner.” Hung said. For that, the Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in 01 Neutral Matte comes in handy.

Look 2: switching from lips to eyes. The smoky eye is a Hung/VS staple—and Josephine is no stranger to a full-on shadow job to the max, if you'll recall from this summer. But smoky eyes and earthy reds are not usually synonymous. And yes, red near the eye can be tricky. The goal here is sexy, verging on editorial—not “pulled an all-nighter at the office and then got pummeled in a bar fight on the way home.” The key is looking for colors that verge on berry with a brown undertone. The CK One Color Neutrals Revealed Palette is a good example of that. This time, Hung added mascara (Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes). To let the eyes get all the attention, he nuded out the lips using CK One Color All Day Perfection Lipcolor. No need to divert attention elsewhere. You can highlight on the nose and the cheeks though. Never a bad plan.

The third vignette is at once the most subtle and the most unexpected. Because from far away, it looks like your standard “sexy makeup application.” That's awesome, but for something a little less expected, Hung went for a greenish gold on the eyes (it looks cool, not sallow) with MAC's Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow Trio in Cool Companions. “Green can actually be in the same color family as bronze.” Hung says. Which is why the warm lip—also very bronze—pairs so well. The varied wonders of OCC Lip Tar, particularly the metallic Authentic shade, never cease to amaze.

'I hear a lot that women use the same colors that they used when they were 16 years old.” Hung mentioned while he was working. “And when older women use neutral colors, they tend to wear a lot of taupe. But sometimes if you add a little color, it gives a little youth to the face.” Or maybe it's a little excitement just when you thought makeup was getting too dull to care about. Either way, “That's something you should consider.”

Josephine Skriver (The Society) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Hung Vanngo (The Wall Group). Styled by Anna Santangelo.

Josephine is wearing a By Malene Birger top and Arianne Elmy dress (look 1), a Matthew Adams Dolan t-shirt, Karen Walker skirt and stylist's own hoops (look 2), and a Rodebjer top, Rosetta Getty belt, and her own pants (look 3).

Paint by numbers: when you're done going natural, try six purple looks, 11 orange lips or 14 blue eyeshadows.