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Back To Matte

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Zahara Davis (Next Models) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Benjamin Puckey. Hair by Adlena Dignam. Styled by Brie Welch.

Was it J. Lo. who started it all? Or maybe it was the power of Instagram, or our colleagues down the hall. It’s tough to say exactly who’s to blame, but the result is clear: dewy makeup is everywhere. You can’t scroll on your phone for too long without confronting a glistening, highlighted face. And for good reason! Glowy is good. And easy. Matte, on the other hand, is trickier and takes a little more effort. Teaming up with makeup artist Benjamin Puckey, Into The Gloss played with the idea of a modern matte look. Drawing inspiration from the sculpted, powdered looks of the ‘80s, Benjamin dressed model Zahara Davis’ face in light-absorbing powders. Unlike the powders of decades past, however, these newer formulas are more finely-milled than their predecessors. This makes for softer, diffused makeup that lasts way longer than a cream. For the record, dewy makeup isn’t going anywhere, but here are three matte makeup ideas to explore when you dare to crave something new.

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Subtle Peach

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The secret to a contour that doesn’t look crazy? Layers, and a fluffy brush. Benjamin applied Surratt’s Artistique Blush in Ponceau over Ben Nye’s Orange to Zahara’s cheeks. And then working slightly under the cheeks, he layered Ben Nye’s Creme Contour under a Nars bronzer in Casino. All of the face powders were applied with Chanel’s Powder Brush—Benjamin’s favorite, he says, because it doesn’t shed. Even the foundation (Bobbi Brown Long Wear Weightless Foundation in Honey) got a coat of powder—Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Pale Yellow under Zahara’s eyes, and Soft Honey everywhere else. And that's just the base makeup. Fortunately the eye look is an easy smoke—MAC eyeshadow in Brown Down blended over Make Up For Ever’s Artist Color Shadow in M-853 did the trick. And those lips? A quick swipe of Mull It Over Powder Kiss, followed by a few dabs of Balm Dotcom (try the Mango).

Zahara wears a vintage blazer and Versace earrings.

Grownup Pink

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“I love how creams blend out and give you time to ‘sketch’ the shape you want to create before setting it with a powder,” says Benjamin. A perfect example of this is seen above, where he blended Surratt’s Artistique Blush in Rougeur over Ben Nye’s Fuschia Pink. As for Zahara’s eyes, grab Viseart’s Eyeshadow 01 Neutral Matte palette, and go for the Dark Brown and Bone shades. Benjamin blended the two over Zahara’s lids, and then used Lancôme’s Le Crayon Khol in Black Coffee to line. Milk’s lip color in Hype, along with Vinylic Lip in Blow-Up completed the look.

Zahara wears an Acne button-up.

Lilac Lids

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You want to know about the eyes, right? Let’s start with that. Benjamin used Zena from Natasha Denona’s Tropic palette, followed by Lancôme’s Le Crayon Khol in Black Coffee one last time. The contour formula was a mix of the lightest shade from the Ben Nye Creme Contour Wheel, followed by Nars’ Casino. For blush, credit goes to Reddish Brown from Ben Nye and MAC’s powder blush in Coppertone and Raizin. And the lips were given a swipe of Nars’ Audacious Lipstick in Juliette.

Zahara wears a Miu Miu top and Chanel earrings.