Every once in a while, a talent comes along so special, the world takes notice. Such is the case with Hung Vanngo, a celebrity-loved makeup artist whose work is both prolific and undoubtedly intricate. He routinely paints the faces of notable women including Emily Ratajkowski, Laura Harrier, Ashley Graham, Selena Gomez, Bella Hadid, and Cindy Crawford, to name a few, but his stylistic choices consistently set him apart from the rest of the celebrated pack. His attention to detail, knowledge of light, and ability to play with colour are incredible if not genius. And I'll add my own humble brag (if you'll have me): While I interviewed him, he told me I had a "perfect face for makeup." I would have died right there on the spot if I didn't already promise to write this feature. Alas, back to him.
Along with all the models and Hollywood A-listers, Vanngo also works with new talent, offering those just starting out a leg up in the business. That's exactly what was on deck today, a shoot with up-and-coming model Maya Henry. Henry showed up makeup-free and ready to go, her teenage skin glimmering under the studio lights. Below, find Vanngo's take on each look, the products he used, and a special pro tip to re-create each one. Plus, we get Henry's thoughts on working with such an incredible superstar as well as her own beauty routine. Keep scrolling for a peek into my afternoon with both of them.
Face: Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation ($70); Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($100); Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil ($38); Cheeks and Eyes: Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter ($63); KKW Beauty Ultra Light Beams Powder Singles in Rose Gold ($26); Lips: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($30)
On today's looks…
"They build on each other," Vanngo said of the three chosen makeup looks at today's shoot. "First, it's iridescent, and then we work all the way up to metallics and chunky sparkles," he says. Vanngo offers a tip when you're using so much shimmer, noting, "They reflect light so much, so remember to create shape and hollowness on the face before you start adding shimmer. Do some contour and shading to first, and then put the cheek on. I like Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo ($97)," he suggests.
On why Vanngo is such a visionary…
"Hung's work is amazing," Henry gushes. "He is a true artist. He knows exactly what works on every person and makes you look beautiful while still looking like yourself. Every look he does is different yet stunning. Hung's makeup always looks flawless," she says. When I asked if she had any favorite looks, she paused and said, "I honestly have so many favorite looks. One of my favourites was the look he did on me for the Dolce & Gabbana after-party in New York." Henry opted for an exaggerated cat eye and lots of well-placed highlighter. She continued, "I also love the look he did on Bella Hadid for the Love magazine party."
On the makeup tricks he's taught her…
"I first met Hung right when I turned 16 years old," Henry says. "He did my makeup for New York Fashion Week. I didn't think he would do it because I was so young and he was working with major celebrities. But he agreed to do it, and we have been close ever since. Hung has taught me to always prep my skin before applying any makeup. He teaches me about skincare and over-line my lips a bit to make them look plumper."
Henry uses IS Clinical Cleansing Complex ($100) in the morning and applies a moisturiser with SPF. Then, at night, she adds 111Skin Anti Blemish Booster C ($168), and 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel ($218). I asked what products he used that she's fallen in love with, and she answered quickly, "Marc Jacobs Beauty lip liners, lipsticks, and eyeliners."
On how to best apply (and remove) glitter…
"When your lipstick is still moist," Vanngo recommends, "use a small brush to press on the glitter. For fallout, use a little piece of Scotch tape to gently lift it off," he advises. "Using concealer after the fact won't work. The glitter will stick to your foundation, and it'll be a mess."
On what Vanngo is like on set…
"I love working with Hung because he always has this great energy. He is crazy and funny," Henry says, adding, "And he is one of the most professional people I have ever worked with. He is very passionate and loves his work, and it shows. Everyone knows Hung does not do quick makeup. It takes him hours but that's because he is a perfectionist."
On her self-care practices...
"I first use cleansing wipes," Henry says. "Then I exfoliate my skin and follow up with my regular cleanser." She adds, "Facials are a must for me. Hung always gets on me to make sure I take care of my skin. I get facials to extract and get rid of clogged pores. In terms of self-care habits, I love to workout. I try to box twice a week and mix it with lots of ab and butt exercises. I love hot yoga because it’s relaxing but a great workout." She continues, "I also love infrared saunas. I sit in the sauna for 30 minutes and really sweat out all those toxins. Plus, you burn calories." I ask about what foods make her body feel best, especially after a workout. "My diet is super important," she answers. "I eat very healthy. Just protein, veggies, and healthy fats. I stay away from [refined] sugars."
Eyes: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Jazz Berry ($36), See-quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadow in Glamethyst, Flashlight, and Copperazzi ($36 each), and Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($39); Lips: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($30); MAC Fine Glitter ($32)
On how to achieve an expertly blended eye…
Vanngo lets us in on his secrets to blending a bold eye, explaining, "Keep it darker on the edges and add graduation. Gradually move from dark to a lighter color in the centre. You want to give depth to your eye," he says. "Also, use liner on your waterline to pull everything together."
Photographer: Matt Easton
Stylist: Connie Berg
Makeup Artist: Hung Vanngo
Hairstylist: Christian Wood
Model: Maya Henry