How to makeup like Camila Cabello

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Camila Cabello on stage in full drag queen regalia.

In 2015, when Cabello was just 18 years old, the singer released her debut album, Never Look Back. The record debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart after its release, despite being heavily promoted by none other than Madonna herself — who said it would “break [Cabello] wide open.” (She didn’t.) But even though the record wasn’t exactly an overwhelming success for the then-unknown artist, it did introduce us all to Cabello’s unique combination of sultry R&B melodies with a dash of rebellious attitude.

Fast forward two albums later, and you might be surprised to see this image from her performance at last weekend’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Instead of singing about heartbreak or longing as we’ve come to expect from her music so far, here Cabello is dressed head-to-toe in black leather and sporting some fierce facial hair. She looks positively badass.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you’re going to rock your face into oblivion at any festival, you should first master the art of makeup application. From choosing the right colors to understanding which products are best suited for different types of skin, our guide will walk you through every step of creating Camila Cabello’s perfect festival look.

The base

The key to pulling off any kind of wild transformation is having a solid foundation. This applies doubly true when you have very little time to get ready. You want something that can withstand the heat of the day while still giving you enough staying power to make sure everything stays put during your high energy set.

For Camila, I recommend checking out Glossier Matte Finish Foundation Stick ($28), because it has great coverage, doesn’t cake up or settle into fine lines, and comes in multiple shades so you can find the color match that works best with your skin tone. It also contains SPF 30, which means you’ll stay protected against sunburn throughout the entire event. If you’d prefer liquid foundations instead, I highly suggest Beauty Blender Multi-Use Makeup Brush Set ($30) because it blends beautifully, won’t break the bank, and offers a good range of product options.

If you don’t want to spend the money on either of these, you could always use a cheaper option such as CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara ($10). Just make sure to apply a primer before applying mascara to prevent clumps.

You may notice that many of my recommendations include matte formulas rather than ones containing shimmer. While shimmers definitely have their place in the world of cosmetics, they tend to emphasize imperfections moreso than anything else. When applied over a properly blended base layer, however, a subtle hint of shine can give your look a pretty glow without making you appear greasy or unnatural. My personal favorite is Benefit Cosmetics’ Illuminating Liquid Powder ($25), which provides just enough sparkle to brighten up your face without causing any unwanted glitter fallout.

Overall, try to stick to neutral tones whenever possible. They offer greater versatility than brighter hues, plus they help balance out bolder elements such as eye shadow and lipstick.

Next, let’s move onto those eyes.

Eyebrows and eyeliner

When it comes to eyebrows, less is truly more. To achieve Camila’s hairstyle, start with a brow brush, combing upward toward your outer corners. Feather them slightly outward until they meet above your upper lash line. Then fill in each individual arch with a clean stroke using a pencil angled parallel to your lashes. Finally, dust lightly with powder to smooth down stray hairs.

To create sharp cat eye liner, grab an Estee Lauder Double Wear Eyeliner Pencil ($18), available in a variety of finishes including nude, brown, charcoal, gold, silver, blue, purple, green, and orange. With a damp cotton swab, swipe across the underside of your lower lid, stopping directly underneath your pupil, to mark where your top waterline begins. Start filling in along the edge of your natural crease, sweeping upwards towards your nose bridge. Once your desired thickness is achieved, take another damp cotton swab and gently smudge the edges together to blend away any hard lines. Repeat under both eyes, lining up the bottom corner of your inner eye with the tip of your eyebrow. Now, repeat the same process only using the opposite side of the pencil — draw vertically downwards starting between your outer corner and the middle of your brow bone, ending past your lower lash line.

Finally, finish off the rest of your face with blush.

Lash love

Whether you wear false lashes or real ones, they’re certainly no friend to sensitive faces. Before slathering on any sort of fake glue, be sure to test out whatever formula you plan to use on your lids to ensure it isn’t too drying. For example, Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer Plus Lip Saver Pressed Powder Duo ($47) includes ingredients specifically designed to soften lashes without compromising their strength. After priming, follow by Lancome Definicils Long Wearing Gel Liners ($22). Lancome’s version comes paired with a double ended applicator to allow you to control precisely where you apply the formula. In terms of texture, I personally enjoy Urban Decay 24/7 Ultra Definition Ink Intense Black Permanent Lining Creme Lipstick ($21), which gives lips a nice dose of pigment without feeling overly thick.

Now that your luscious locks are well hydrated, it’s finally time to add some dimension.

Strong foundation

Foundation plays a huge role in achieving total cam girl status, so choose wisely. A light touch will provide better longevity, whereas heavy dabs can cause streaks and caking.

I’m recommending Neutrogena Oil Free Face Toner ($15) for this particular job simply due to its sheerness. Its consistency allows users to build gradually, resulting in smoother coverage overall. If you do decide to go with a heavier formulation, check out Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Compact Foundation Stick ($23). It features SPF 15 sunscreen protection, broad spectrum UV protection, and comes in four vibrant shades. One note: I used a fan brush to apply mine, and I found it worked much better than a sponge.

Speaking of brushes, I really enjoyed using this Sephora Collection Kabuki Wet / Dry Tip Applicators 1-Piece Travel Kit ($13) to evenly distribute concealer and foundation around my contours. As someone whose skin tends to react poorly to powders, it helps me avoid unnecessary irritation.

On the topic of tools, invest in a quality multitool. Not only does it serve as a handy way to keep small items organized, but it also makes putting on makeup considerably easier. There are plenty of affordable models to pick from, but I had the utmost luck with this Zojirushi 4 Piece Stainless Steel Multitool ($50).

One final thing to remember: Sometimes less is more. If you feel like your makeup needs a bit of kick, consider adding some extra drama with dark lipsticks. They work especially well alongside smokey eyes.

Blush? Why not!

After setting aside the contour palette for now, it’s time to turn attention to cheeks. First things first: What type of cheekbone shape do you possess? Are you blessed with angular chiseled bones, soft rounded curves, or somewhere in between? Whatever your preferred profile, you need to know whether you’re working with angles or round shapes.

Angled ones require a more sculpted approach. Try a cream blush such as Nars Velvet Matte Bronzing Flaké Cheek Palette ($58). Apply softly to warm up the color, then increase pressure to deepen wherever needed. Rounder cheekbones usually respond best to lighter formulations. I chose to use MAC Strobe Glam Bag Pink Loose Powder Blotting Paper ($17) for this area, as its satin finish compliments a lot of complexion types.

As for blending, dabbing works particularly well on rounded areas, and blotting papers generally excel at smoothing out sharper angles. Also, be aware that darker blushes often need more intensity, so pay close attention to your own coloring technique to determine what suits you best.

Last but not least, a quick word on finishing touches.

Mascaras aren’t essential to completing your look, but they certainly boost your creativity and help inject personality into otherwise ordinary routines. That said, if you’re new to the whole procedure, I’d advise sticking to mascaras labeled “easy” or “beginner.” Otherwise, you risk getting overwhelmed.

My favorites included Oribe Professional Finish Heavy Cream Eye Shadow Finale Edition ($26) and NYX Jumbo Eyes Smudgy Paintbrush Eyeshadow Quad Pack ($12). Both brands boast easy cleanup processes, user-friendly packaging, and reasonable prices.

Leave a Comment