Lijha Stewart has made up faces that fly (Cirque du Soleil), sing (Cher) and vogue (the cast of FX television series “Pose”)—and she’s an impassioned educator, with brands like MAC and Make Up For Ever enlisting her for her expertise. In fact, her teaching chops led her to cofound The Creative Makeup Bootcamp, where she brings a 360-degree view to makeup artistry, encouraging not only creativity and technique, but also self-care. It’s no wonder that she takes a studied yet holistic approach to doing makeup, and her philosophy—that makeup must be used for expression, not oppression reflects that. “I don’t feel responsible to uphold a ‘beauty standard’ [any longer],” she stresses. “Instead, we should strive to use cosmetics to help us feel like a bigger, stronger and more empowered version of ourselves.” Here, she divulges what items help her spread both beauty and empowerment.
1. For silky editorial skin: Malin and Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil “It’s a quick-absorbing treatment that provides instant hydration to help skin look and feel softer, smoother and brighter. I use it to prep the skin and mix it with full-coverage foundation for that perfect editorial skin that has a dewy, smooth finish.”
2. For foundation flexibility: Make Up for Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation “This full-coverage stick foundation glides on like a second skin. It has a natural finish and a stretchable formula that I can easily build up or sheer down. If I want a dewy finish, I mix it with face oil; if I want satiny, creamy texture, I layer it with powder.”
3. For budgeproof color: Danessa Myricks Color Fix 24-Hour Cream Color “I literally can’t get enough of this versatile waterproof liquid color. You can use most of the shades on the eyes, cheeks, lips or brows—I’ve even used it in hair! They come in bold shades, neutral mattes and gorgeous shimmers that you can mix and blend to personalize colors and textures.”
4. For seamless lash amplification: Kasha Lashes Individual Silk Eyelashes “They come in multiple sizes and shapes to customize a lash line like no other. Also, they’re knot-free, so they don’t move when applying and they blend seamlessly with the natural lashes.”
5. For a slick lip: Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in Ch-Ch-Changes “I can’t live without this high-shine gloss. It’s plush, pigmented and longwearing, yet not sticky or thick. I like to layer this shade to transform other colors; it amplifies every shade of lipstick—from nude to red—but it also looks amazing over natural lips.”
[Images: Courtesy of Lijha Stewart; manufacturers]