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EXCLUSIVE! Master MUA Jordan Liberty Decodes The Latest Makeup Techniques

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On a busy LA morning in 2006, a young art director rose to the occasion when the makeup artist didn’t turn up at a fashion shoot. From having zero experience in the competitive professional makeup space to becoming one of the most sought-after MUAs in the world, the last decade has seen Jordan Liberty turn the world around.

Though the love for makeup comes to him naturally, this ‘accidental’ MUA has honed his craft and used the internet to turn his passion into worldwide success. A YouTube star and an Instagram sensation, this makeup maven doesn’t just stick to the studio. He also dons the hats of a photographer, an educator and a creative director. Add to that the fact that Liberty has conducted professional masterclasses in over 21 countries! Oh, and it doesn’t end there. As a two-time cancer survivor himself, the man is also the ambassador of the American Association for Cancer Research.

As a part of his global beauty tour with NYX Professional Makeup, Jordan was in the capital for his first ever masterclass in India. Amid his excitement of seeing the Taj Mahal the next day, Beauty Book squeezed in a quick chat where we spoke about the makeup techniques he swears by and what he loves most about Indian brides.

Beauty Book: Why does the reverse foundation technique have such an edge over the regular technique?

Jordan Liberty: Before we move on to the ‘why’, let’s go over the ‘what’. As the name suggests, the reverse foundation technique is just that; instead of applying foundation on first, you put it on last. You’re basically swapping steps in your routine; you powder first and foundation later.

What most women don’t realize is that saving the powder for the finishing step doesn’t help in making your base last longer. When it’s applied as the final layer, the biggest culprit – your natural oils –gradually eats away at your foundation from underneath. Powdering your face first creates a protective layer between your skin and the foundation.

Nykaa Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation

Beauty Book: You’re big on light shaping. How do we go about picking the right highlighter for this technique?

Jordan Liberty: Light shaping is all about using a darker shade of highlighter to create a contoured, chiseled effect. Ideally, you should opt for a highlighter that’s 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone. The darker shade provides greater depth, otherwise, it’s just like strobing. Watch out for formulas that are too glittery. Look for lightweight matte formulas instead of heavy, metallic ones since you’re aiming for a soft, luminous finish that’s almost pearlescent.

Nykaa Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Highlighting Palette

Beauty Book: We live in a time where blurring the lip lines has become a craze. Do you still believe that lip liners are required to give better definition?

Jordan Liberty: Honestly, I rarely use lip liners. Apart from the times when I’m lining and filling them completely, I mostly stick to a fine brush and the lipstick to draw out the shape.

Nykaa Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Suede Matte Lipstick

Beauty Book: Are there any makeup tricks you’ve picked up from supermodels that you’ve worked with? Alternatively, have you taught them tricks of your own?

Jordan Liberty: Ummm… a trick that I’ve picked up along the way is using lipstick as blush. I like how it doesn’t look powdery and gives a fresh flush of color.

The one thing I’ve taught my models is the importance of a full eyebrow. In fact, most of them come back, all ecstatic about how grateful they are to me for changing the way they’ve perceived their arches all their life. One of them even went on to become the face of a major brow campaign! So yes, full brows are very, very important.

Nykaa Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Powder Puff Lippie Cream, NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil

Beauty Book: Three cult products by NYX Professional Makeup you continue to swear by and why?

Jordan Liberty: Oh, tough one! Firstly, the NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Highlighting Palette is amazing, for both light shaping and otherwise. The NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil helps me ace the brow game every time. Last up would be the NYX Professional Makeup Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette - Color Correcting Concealer, very few correctors do a job as splendid as this one.

Beauty Book: On a rare day when your muse has troubled skin, do you do anything special to prep her skin before starting the makeup routine?

Jordan Liberty: I always start by asking them to use an exfoliating wash or a wipe that helps them get rid of dead skin and any product residue. Next up is guzzling down water right until the shoot starts.

I also heavily moisturize their face, while they get their fittings sorted and hair done. This allows their skin enough time to absorb the nourishment, giving me a fresh slate by the time I’m ready to start with makeup. In fact, this is something you can also incorporate in your daily skincare routine, especially after a long night of drinking. When you’re hungover and it shows on your skin, slather on lots of moisturizer and let it sit for a while.

Beauty Book: As a makeup artist, what do you think is most unique about Indian brides? Also, while creating a bridal makeup look, how do you make sure that the base looks flawless, both off and on camera?

Jordan Liberty: I absolutely love how Indian brides are fearless when it comes to the choice of colors and intensity of their bridal makeup look. While Western brides go for softer, more romantic hues, bridal looks in India are so much more about the celebration, which is beautiful. Also, I get to use loads of glitter so I’m happy!

Coming to nailing a flawless base, both reverse foundation and light shaping are better suited for brides than models. Your makeup on your wedding day needs to last much longer than usual, hence the need to powder first. Also, since you’ll be the star of all the pictures on your big day, light shaping helps light reflect off the high points of your face, creating a dazzling glow that’ll be captured on celluloid for eternity.

Beauty Book: You’ve been travelling so much around the world for masterclasses, what are your thoughts on beauty trends in different parts of the world? And where do you think India is heading in this space?

Jordan Liberty: Well, with social media, all trends are worldwide. In fact, during my first tour with NYX Professional Makeup, I was surprised by how similar makeup is across continents. What I love about makeup in India, in fact pretty much about the whole of Asia, is how women here love enhancing their softer, feminine features. Back home, everyone’s only crazy about chiseled jawlines!

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