Makeup

New York vs. L.A.: How 2 It Girls Do the Season's Top Beauty Looks


When I think of my fellow Angelenos, “low-maintenance” isn't exactly a term that comes to mind. We're talking about a city where it's normal(ish) to get Botox before your 30th birthday and everyone is somehow connected to the entertainment industry. Not that I imagine NYC to be much more chill: Streets are jam-packed, the hustle and bustle is no joke, and people are out until the crack of dawn (and then some). Different coasts = different types of daily insanity = different beauty routines.

To get a better picture of how NYC and L.A. girls approach beauty, I reached out to a few beauty pros-namely, L.A. transplant Sona GasparianВ and native New Yorker Arshia Moorjani. Do girls on the West Coast really keep their looks laid-back and natural? Is it true that New York girls prefer a little more edge? We figured there was only one way to find out. We had Gasparian and Moorjani each create their take on day, night, and weekend looks.

In New York City, the days are either sweltering hot or insanely cold, but that doesn't affect Moorjani's makeup preferences. “As much as I love myself without makeup, my preferred look is full glam, no matter the time of day,” she tells us. “I usually pick one feature to accentuate depending on my mood.” Here, she's all about the eyes; Moorjani created a smoky eye look and paired it with a natural pink lip.

To get the look yourself, it's important that you know this look is as much about the skin as it is about the eyes. So startВ by prepping yourВ skin with a dose of hydration; thenВ move onto foundation, concealer, and blush (every look needs a pop of color, no?). Next come the smoky eyes-sweep a light base color onto your lids, then work a darker shadeВ into the outer corners of your eyes. Finally, swipe on some eyeliner and finish up with mascara. BringВ it all together with a pink lip and a hint of gloss on top.

Products used: CliniqueВ Dramatically Different Hydrating JellyВ ($28); Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion de Rose Nourishing CrГЁmeВ ($68); Kiehl's Creamy Eye TreatmentВ ($48); Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in SuntanВ ($48); NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in GingerВ ($30); Laura Mercier BlushВ ColourВ Infusion in RosГ© ($30); MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid in Love YourselfВ ($22); Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eyeliner in BlackВ ($30); Trish McEvoy Lash Curling MascaraВ ($32); Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Boss PinkВ ($38); Sulwhasoo Essential Lip Serum StickВ ($38).

Gasparian likes to embrace Los Angeles's more low-maintenance aesthetic. “In general, L.A. is a more casual environment, so simple makeup is the go-to,” she explains. “When I think of NYC, I think of a more corporate environment with more polished makeup.” A New Yorker may prefer sophisticated matte lips, while an L.A. girl may opt for a comfortable lipstick or lip balm, she says.

When you're doing a look that can only be described as "fresh,"В your skincare routine is crucial. Start with products that hydrate the under-eye area, de-puff, and always, always include SPF. Next, to even out skin tone, apply a tinted moisturizerВ and concealer as needed. Remember, the point is to have an effortless complexion. To finish the low-key look, you can use your fingers to apply a cream blush, fill in brows with a pencil, and then add lip serum for a hint of shine.

Products used: SHIFFAВ Jade Facial Massager RollerВ ($63); Kiehl's Glow Formula Skin HydratorВ ($38); Kiehl's Creamy Eye TreatmentВ ($48); Trish McEvoy Even Skin Water FoundationВ ($60); Trish McEvoy Jumbo Instant Eye LiftВ ($45); The BrowGal Highlighter PencilВ ($20); Sulwhasoo Lip Serum Stick ($38).

Makeup-wise, when hitting the town in New York City, anything goes. “NYC is such a melting pot, and evening looks totally reflect that,” explains Moorjani. She loves going bold by adding a hint of sparkle to the eyes while toning down the lips. Case in point: this sparkly smokey eye.

If you want your makeup to last even through the latest of nights, start your going-out look from scratch. Prep and hydrate skin, add an eye cream, and work it all in with a jade roller, which will help depuff tired end-of-day skin. Then add new life to your complexion with base makeup, concealer, and a pop of colorВ on the apples of the cheeks.

To make this a true night-on-the-town lookВ dress upВ your eyes with a dab of sparkle atop a classic smoky eye using a liquid shadow or cream formula.Top it off withВ a swipe or two of mascara, coating the top and bottom lash lines.В And for the grand finale, addВ a nice neutral lip that'll balance out the perfectly extra eye look you just created.В

Products used: Kiehl's Glow Formula Skin HydratorВ ($38); Clinique Pep Start Eye CreamВ ($27); SHIFFAВ Jade Facial Massager RollerВ ($63); NARS Natural Radiant Foundation in SyracuseВ ($49); NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in GingerВ ($30); Sulwhasoo Radiance BlusherВ ($55); MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid in Love YourselfВ ($22); Trish McEvoy Lash Curling MascaraВ ($32);В Sulwhasoo Lip Serum Stick ($38).

“In NYC, the makeup is cooler-people take more chances,” says Gasparian. “You'll probably see a vampy lip and a wild eye look. L.A. girls are more hesitant to take those kinds of chances.” But that doesn't mean the makeup isn't unique: “We're really into glowy, dewy skin, lots of highlighter, and shimmery eyes, and most likely a nude or natural pink lip.” Gasparian also likes to think of all the photo ops that'll happen throughout the night-you know there will be a selfie moment.

To get this photo-ready look, start with a primer as well as long-wear foundation and concealer, and secure your base with setting powder. Add subtle definition to your cheekbones by sweeping bronzer into the hollows of your cheeks. Then apply a matte blush to the apples of your cheeks. For shimmery eyes, start with a creamy matte brown shade as a base. Then draw on gel liner, winging it out slightly at the outer corners of your eyes. Finish with “eyelight” (a sparkly, highlighter-like shadow) in the inner corners of your eyes, lining the waterline, and adding mascara. Apply a neutral lip gloss, and make everything smudge-proof with a matte setting spray.

Products used: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation ($48); NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer  ($30); Laura Mercier Blush Colour Infusion ($30); Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eyeliner  ($30); Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara ($32); Vamp Stamp Black Liquid Eyeliner Ink ($19); NARS Duo Eyeshadow  ($35); Laura Mercier Lip Glacé ($27).

Weekends are the best, not just because we're typically out of office (although that's definitely a big part of it), but also because we've got more time on our hands, meaning we can take as long as we need to get ready. Even though Moorjani likes to keep her weekend looks simple, she does take advantage of the extra time by focusing on her skin.

Start by exfoliating and moisturizing the skin,В plus dabbingВ on an under-eye cream. Then make sure it's all absorbed by going to town with a jade roller, massaging the products into the skin. The goal is to make your skin look refreshed, just as if you strolled out of a luxurious facial. Keep your face makeup extra light,В only using foundation and concealer where absolutely necessary, plus a hint of color on the cheeks.

Fill in the brows, add a touch of eyeliner, and swipe on a little mascara, because no one can live without it, even on the weekend. Since you kept everything else soft, why not go all out with a statement lip? You can't go wrong with red-but if you want to tone things down, layer on a gloss.В

Products used: Shiffa Jade Facial Massager RollerВ ($63);В CliniqueВ Dramatically Different Hydrating JellyВ ($28); Trish McEvoy Beta Hydroxy PadsВ ($67); Kiehl's Creamy Eye TreatmentВ ($48); Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion FoundationВ ($48); NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in GingerВ ($30); Sulwhasoo Radiance BlusherВ ($55); Trish McEvoy Lash Curling MascaraВ ($32); Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eyeliner in BlackВ ($30);В Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in PowerВ ($28); MAC Plenty of Pout Plumping Lip GlossВ ($19).

Gasparian, on the other hand, likes wearing a bit more makeup on the weekends. It depends on her plans, but you'll likely see her in a little bit more concealer, subtle bronzer, and a toned-down lipstick or pink lip gloss. “People in L.A. love skincare and comfortable, natural-looking makeup. It's more about enhancing our beauty on the weekend than trying to make a statement or look perfectly done-up,” she explains. And this look is all the proof you need.

Nourish your skin with an oil, like Gasparian does,В then follow up with an eye creamВ and your base makeup. Fill in your brows; then focus on your eyes: add a neutral shadow as a base, layer on a shimmery but neutral shade, and line your upper lash line and lower waterline to open up eyes.В FinishВ with a pop of mascara. Coat on some gloss and you're ready for a weekend in L.A.

Products used: Clinique Pep Start Eye CreamВ ($27); Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Rose Nourishing OilВ ($65); Trish McEvoy Instant Eye LiftВ ($45); Sulwhasoo Radiance BlusherВ ($55); The BrowGal Skinny Eyebrow PencilВ ($23); Trish McEvoy Lash Curling MascaraВ ($32); Clinique Pop Splash Lip GlossВ ($20).