Issa Rae’s Blue Eye Shadow Moment Was Inspired by a Disco Icon

Issa Rae was a beautiful breath of fresh air on the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet. (Photo: Getty Images)
Issa Rae was a beautiful breath of fresh air on the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards red carpet. (Photo: Getty Images)

For the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards, Issa Rae — out-of-this-world actress, director, and star of the HBO hit series Insecure — was nominated for the Next Generation award and Insecure was nominated for Show of the Year. And while strutting along the red carpet, Rae flaunted a glow that was equal parts bold and beautiful.

Creating somewhat of a monochromatic moment, Rae wore a royal-blue spaghetti-strap dress along with makeup that included sparkling indigo eye shadow. But it was a matchy-matchy moment that was far from tacky.

Makeup artist Joanna Simkin has worked with Rae on various occasions, and for Sunday’s awards show, she created an absolute “Glam Slam,” as detailed in one of Simkin’s Instagram story videos. She also shared a photo showing off Rae’s complete look, with a caption that read, “I spent three weeks saying I was gonna do a disco blue glittery eye on her and I’m pretty sure @issarae didn’t believe me till she saw me pulling the shadows out. All we ask is trust.”

Providing more insight on Rae’s knockout look for Yahoo Beauty, Simkin says, “I was inspired by a ’70s look I saw on Donna Summer a few weeks ago — blue eye shadow and a spiked lash. I wanted to recreate it and make it modern. We definitely collaborated so that the hair also lent itself to the overall disco vibe.”

To create an even-toned and glowing complexion, Simkin used Kat Von D’s Lock-It Foundation. “It has a beautiful satin finish with great staying power. She got caught in a hail storm on the red carpet and her face didn’t budge!” she says, noting that she also added in Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Topaz and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Gold Deposit for added radiance.

For Rae’s epic eye look, Joanna used a mixed of eye shadows, including Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in ME-232 Turquoise Blue for sparkle on the middle of her lid, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Shadow singles in Star Cobalt and Noir on the outer and inner corners, with a touch of Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Glow Kit on the inner corners as well. As a pro tip, Simkin also shares, “I used Pro Pencil in No. 1 to line the inner waterline, which helped open the eye and kept it bright and ’70s, rather than overly smoky.”

To round out everything beautifully, Simkin painted Rae’s lips with Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in Work It and topped it off with a touch of YSL Gloss Volupté in 20 Nude Carat placed at the center of her lips for added depth and shimmer.

“Issa is an amazing client because she is not fussy about her makeup,” says Simkin. “But she also likes to look natural, so I usually try to keep the tones I use pretty muted. So I had mentioned a week or two before to her that I wanted to do a blue disco glitter eye look for the MTV Awards, and I definitely saw her eyebrow pop up. … I definitely appreciate her trusting me because I think the whole idea, in theory, was out of her comfort zone, but when she saw the final look, her whole face lit up.”

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