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5 Tips to Get Michelle Obama’s Summer Vacation Glow

FLOTUS’s personal makeup artist dishes on her beauty routine.
Official White House photograph by Chuck Kennedy.

The First Family is off for vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, but Michelle Obama didn’t leave town without lessons learned from her makeup artist, Carl Ray, who has worked with FLOTUS for the past six and a half years. “I’ve been changing up her looks and makeup textures according to the seasons, as well as the location of her appearances, since I started as her personal makeup artist,” says Ray, who is one of Washington’s most sought-after beauty gurus. When it comes to inspiration for the beauty looks, Ray incorporates the cultures, style, and surroundings of wherever the First Lady is traveling, be it a trip to China or a day at the beach. 

As for Mrs. Obama’s Vineyard getaway, Ray says FLOTUS isn’t overly made up. “She’s not trying to look totally glam. But polished and comfortable? Yes.” Ray cites Obama’s flawless skin as a great starting point. “I recommend drinking plenty of water, doing a light exfoliation, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.” Not a problem for the First Lady—or for her daughters. “Malia and Sasha know this, too, and have heard me say the recipe hundreds of times!” says Ray, who is based at George Salon at The Four Seasons when he’s not with Mrs. Obama. 

Ray recommends glosses like this pink one from his line.

Here are his five top tips for getting the First Lady’s summer makeup look: 

  1. “Sunscreen and moisturizer are a must—year-round. I like to use BB creams or tinted moisturizers for hot summer months. Most are available in a variety of different shades, and some have SPF built in.” 
  2. “Instead of bold or dramatic lip color, for vacation go with a sheer lipstick or gloss; again, there are plenty on the market that have an SPF component.” 
  3. “For that sunkissed glow, you can’t go wrong with a bronzer. Focus on your cheeks, but don’t shy away from a treating your entire face to a flushed, tan look with a few quick brush strokes.”
  4. “Swap out the darkened lashes and just go with one quick coat of waterproof mascara.”
  5. “Eyebrows are key. Don’t overlook the power of a great brow. Brush the hairs in an upward direction, and lightly fill in the brows with a pencil that matches your natural color.”

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