First Lady Michelle Obama's Best Makeup Moments

ESSENCE.com caught-up with the beauty guru, Ingrid Grimes-Myles who gives tips on how-to achieve Mrs. Michelle Obama’s natural glow.
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 30, 2009

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According to Ingrid Grimes-Myles, makeup artist to Mrs. Michelle Obama, working with the First Lady is a breeze.

“Mrs. Obama is a very thoughtful person. What you see is what you get,” she reveals.

“She’s also very funny and has a great sense of humor, adds Grimes-Myles.

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Grimes-Myles knew the Obama family long before either of them became a household name.

“I’ve known the First Lady a little over five years. I met her when the President was running for state Senator,” remembers Grimes-Myles. “We were neighbors in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood at the time,” she says.

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The beauty industry veteran has developed a system all women can benefit from called “The 10-Minute Face.” She says she has taught Mrs. Obama this system as well.

“Makeup is something that should make you feel confident and comfortable. And something that you shouldn’t have to worry about from sunup to sundown. The only thing you should have to do is powder yourself and touch up your lip,” warns Grimes-Myles.

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Our First Lady is always fabulous and flawless without looking “made up.” To minimize the look of fine lines, consider using a liquid powder. Try Prescriptives Magic Liquid Powder Deep Translucent, $35, macys.com, to get the prefect golden brown finish of your own. You’ll appreciate the weightless feeling this powder provides your skin. It can be combined with a foundation or used alone.

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Clean and pretty makeup are two of Grimes-Myles’s industry trademarks.

“When we wear blush it doesn’t show. It looks unnatural to me to have big red or pink cheeks. So I tend to go for a very minimalist look on blush unless I’m doing something for print and just need to pull out some color,” says Grimes-Myles, who also made up Mrs. Obama’s face for the September 2008 cover of ESSENCE.

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“I didn’t know what she was going to wear until the very last second. I gave her a very clean, neutral evening face. Almost like a bride. I gave her faux, full lashes and a full liner. I also gave her a touch of bronzer—more yellow bronze than red bronze—and then a glossy, nude lip. So, I knew that whatever she put on, as long as it wasn’t black, her makeup would be fine,” says Grimes-Myles.

“I don’t want to use a lot of gleamers and shimmers on her because we want her to have a very stable look, one that she is comfortable with and one that is befitting of her position as the country’s First Lady. I am very mindful of that,” she adds.

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Grimes-Myles doesn’t take credit for the First Lady’s gorgeous, clear complexion.

“Mrs. Obama is very blessed. Her skin is poreless. A lot of it is genes. What can you say? That’s just that,” she confesses with a laugh.

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Our First Lady typically enhances her oval-shaped face with a high-arch brow shape. “An oval face can carry an eyebrow that is not too defined and not too round but right in between,” says celebrity “Eyebrow King” Damone Roberts. Get wow brows with these precision angle/slant tip tweezers from Roberts, $28, damoneroberts.com.

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Grimes-Myles reminds us that money cannot buy beauty.

“I don’t think you have to spend a lot. My advice is to go into a drugstore. Look for a simple cleanser and a very good moisturizer for your skin that don’t have a lot of additives in them,” she suggests.

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Grimes-Myles believes that beautiful skin begins from the inside out. One way we can attempt to improve the condition of our skin is by drinking plenty of water.

“The First Family takes their health very seriously. What they eat, how they exercise—they take it all very seriously and it really is a lifestyle for them,” she explains.

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Get the prefect pout like Mrs. Michelle Obama with a natural nude lip. The First Lady goes for subtle glam and often wears lip glosses rather lipsticks like she did on her husband’s big night. We love this Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Ambre Rose, $22, sephora.com, that is sheer and packed with shine.

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A Chicago native, Ingrid Grimes-Myles is a lead artist on the city’s WGN-TV news makeup team. In addition to the First Lady, she has worked with a diverse group of talent including deceased R&B songstress Aaliyah, Caroline Kennedy and Alice Walker. The 15-year beauty vet, who is also affectionately known as Ms. Ingrid, is very passionate about her craft and her clients.

“The first question I ask anytime someone gets out of my chair is, ‘Are you comfortable?’” shares Grimes-Myles.

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