Stacey Nishimoto On The Art Of Using Lots Of Blush


To me, nothing says “iconic” or “‘80s” or “blush” like Kate Bush in one of her music videos. And if Kate Bush lived in America today, she’d probably be pals with Stacey Nishimoto, a very old friend of ITG who loves blush and is—I think—equally as iconic. Stacey, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist, also owns the online vintage shop The Corner Store, where she hawks dresses in what she calls “storybook style.” Think Laura Ashley in the ‘90s, Gunne Sax in the ‘80s, all paired with lots of hot pink blush. I really love Stacey’s work, so when she was in New York a couple weeks back my team and I had her come by. Here is what happened: Stacey did the makeup, styling, and hair on model Rachel Darby, and Tom shot it all. Keep reading; everything you need to know about what you see above is below.

First step is complexion. Stacey says, “I sparingly applied Dior’s Forever Undercover in #022, a honey hue, with a damp Beautyblender. Then, I gently brushed Stila’s Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Bronze along her cheekbones, temples, nose bridge, and chin, and a touch on the eyelids for a golden, sun-kissed-all-over look.”

Next in line is blush—obviously. “Blush is one with the skin,” Stacey says. “Using a rounded brush, I generously blended a cream blush by Flesh in Shiver around the temples and into the hairline. With a blending eyeshadow brush, I continued the blush into her lower lash line, creating a smoky rose effect below the eyes. Lastly, I applied a Dior powder blush in New Red [Ed note: discontinued, but this one is similar] softly onto the apple of the cheek, just to make her complexion glow and to unify the look.”

Skin done, complexion complete, moving on to the eyes. “Since the blush is the main character of this story, the eyes need to be delicate and dreamy in an understated way,” explains Stacey. “I used a whisper of Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Transcendence by Stila—an iridescent pink with plenty of blue undertones—on the entire lid, from lash line to the brows.” This was followed by Tom Ford’s Shadow Extreme in Bright Gold, which Stacey applied using her finger—“just a dab in the center of the eyelids, blended out with my finger into the crease of the eye.” This added a wash of gold, “in contrast to the cool shell-pink backdrop." Finally, she topped it off with Hourglass Caution Mascara in Ultra Black.

Lips?! “Lips play an important part in this story as well,” Stacey says. “They partner up with the sheer red glow on her cheeks and temples.” The breakdown goes like this: “First, you create a “cried for a few hours” pink halo around your lips. The perfect liner for this extremely romantic look is Stila’s Stay All Day Lip Liner in Rose.” Once you’ve gone over the lip line lavishly with this, Stacey advises filling it in, starting with the center of the mouth, with a rich blue-ish red like this Lancôme X Proenza Schouler Lip Kajal Duo Chroma in 03. “Use your finger to sheer out the lip color to the lip line. Try to keep the center of the lip with most of the lipstick.” To finish, go over with a gloss. “This is not about a perfect red lip,” says Stacey. “It’s a lived-in, cried in red lip.”

Photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Stacey Nishimoto.