The Secrets of Keira Knightley's Tone-on-Tone Makeup Look

What makeup artist Kate Lee (a.k.a. the master of barely-there makeup) used to create this neutral, natural look for brown-eyed brunettes
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Michelle Villett
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What makeup artist Kate Lee (a.k.a. the master of barely-there makeup) used to create this neutral, natural look for brown-eyed brunettes
Keira Knightley, Tribeca Film Festival 2014 (1)

Calling all brown-eyed brunettes! Here's some gorgeousness coming your way from Keira Knightley and her makeup artist, Kate Lee. For the screening of Keira's new film, Begin Again, at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, Kate gave her makeup that was "neutral and natural, but rich in texture."

Remember this Anne Hathaway look? This Emma Watson one? Both Kate Lee, friend. The Chanel celebrity makeup artist does a natural, understated look like nobody else. With Kate's work, you never detect foundation, or even where the blush starts... never any harsh lines of liner or shadow... and the lips are always soft and muted. I love this quote of hers from an Allure interview a couple years ago: “People have this misconception that if someone is going to be on camera, you have to apply a lot more makeup. I don't buy into that philosophy. I see how those dresses go down the runway, and I take my cues from that.”

Wise words. I would even extend that to evening makeup in general—just because the lights are low doesn't mean you have to pile it on. (Timely, relevant article here.)

Now, Keira's close-up:

Keira Knightley, Tribeca Film Festival 2014 (2)

I love that there's definition, but it's not the usual brown smoky eye/glossy lip that can feel so heavy... and increasingly, dated. Here's what you need to do:

The Skin

“I started out prepping the skin with Chanel Hydra Beauty Sérum," says Kate. (She used this on both Emma and Anne too, by the way.)

Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum

"Then I added a thin layer of Chanel Le Blanc Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base SPF 30 as a luminescent primer." This is a product I was introduced to years ago by Julie Cusson, Chanel's amazingly talented national makeup artist for Canada. Julie said it was her favourite product by far; I have the non-SPF version and think it's the very best of the brightening under-bases out there, even better than Armani's Fluid Sheers. It's not too shimmery, just beautiful and brightening/luminizing.

Chanel Le Blanc Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base SPF 30

"Using only where needed, I used Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 to uniform and perfect the complexion." This is the same product we saw on Emma Watson last week! So, good for combo skin because it leaves a slight matte finish.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup SPF 15

"On the cheeks, I used Le Blush Crème de Chanel in my favourite colour, Cheeky," says Kate. These cream blushes are great, and while I must say I'd never think to reach for such a brownish tone, the effect on Keira's colouring is fantastic.

Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Cheeky

"Before she walked out, I added just a touch of Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in No. 10 to diffuse light and leave Keira camera-ready for the Tribeca red carpet."

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in 10

The Eyes

"The eyes were defined with the warm purple in the Chanel Lumières Facettes Quadra Eyeshadow in Quadrille, in the outer socket and lower lash line." Amazing shades in this eyeshadow palette...

Chanel Lumieres Facettes Quadra Eye Shadow in Quadrille

"Next, I used Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in New Moon to feather in a shimmer and melt away the edges of the socket. I love this colour!" Note what she just said there—to feather in a shimmer and to 'melt away' the edges of the socket... so that you don't see any line of where the shadow ends and bare skin begins. The key is good makeup brushes and careful attention to blending. You can't rush this technique.

Busted Image

No liner, just shadows, and then Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Noir on both top and bottom lashes. Go back up and see how much time Kate took to apply the mascara—there's no heaviness or clumpiness to the lashes at all, just perfect definition.

Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara

The Lips

Kate calls the lip colour, which is Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Scenario, "the most divine mulberry stain". See how it's brownish, just like the cheeks? Instead of a thick application, she gently dabbed it on the lips so they looked bitten, instead of lipsticky.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Scenario

One more look at how it came together:

Keira Knightley, Tribeca Film Festival 2014 (3)

You can see a little more of the purple tones around the eyes in this shot, and the super-subtle lips and cheeks. I love it—what about you?

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Have Your Say

What do you think of Keira's look here?
Are you a fan of Kate Lee's style of makeup?
Have you tried any of the Chanel products she used?