Last week, I offered a fairly comprehensive makeup tutorial for Kim Kardashian but I did so somewhat reluctantly. I’m not really a Kim Kardashian fan so it felt a little weird to be doing a tutorial recommending her look. Of course Kim’s hair and makeup choices are always spot on so she was a natural choice for my first tutorial. This week is a bit different. This week, I’m featuring a tutorial by one of my absolute favorite young actresses, Pretty Little Liars star, Ashley Benson.
Ashley Benson Makeup: The Step by Step Guide
I chose to do Ashley’s look from the People’s Choice Awards because it was really classic Ashley which means it was also classic young Hollywood. She picked a look that suited her age but also felt mature and sophisticated. This look is especially great because it works on nearly everyone thanks to the flattering hair style and color palette. In terms of hair and makeup, Ashley keeps things simple, yet glamorous which is why I think she was an ideal choice for my second tutorial. Let’s start with preparation.
Ashley Benson Makeup: Getting Your Face Ready
I’m actually going to skip getting into a step by step guide for this one because I pretty much covered the whole process in our Kim Kardashian tutorial. If you missed that tutorial or need a little refresher, you can check out that post by clicking here. Prepping your face is going to be the same throughout these tutorials because, well, there are very few instances that will call for something different. We’re going to talk about prepping your hair when we get to the hair section. For now, let’s assume you read through the “getting your face ready” section of the Kim Kardashian tutorial and move on to Ashley’s eye makeup.
Ashley Benson Makeup: Bright Eyes
Ashley has beautiful blue eyes but this makeup look can work for any color eyes with the possible exception of light green. If you have light green eyes, you can still pull this look off. You’re just going to want to go lighter with your color palette. Keeping that in mind, let’s get started. To get Ashley Benson’s eye makeup look, you’ll need:
- Primer or eye shadow base
- An eyebrow pencil
- An eyebrow brush or clean mascara wand
- Brown eyeliner
- Pencil brush
- Light brown eye shadow
- Bronze eye shadow
- Eye shadow brush
- Domed eye shadow brush
- White eye shadow
- Black liquid eyeliner
- Eyelash curler
- Black mascara
Step One: Apply primer.
I never apply eye shadow without first applying primer. If you don’t have a primer or base, you can skip this step but I feel it is necessary to once again point out why I am such a fan of primers. A good primer or eye shadow base keeps your eye shadow in place for significantly longer periods of time. The benefit there should be pretty obvious. I hate getting a great shadow look only to have it reduced to little more than a smear at the crease by the end of the night. I use e.l.f. Essential Eyelid Primer in Sheer. It only costs $1.00 but it is every bit as good as the more expensive products on the market. I’ll include links to all of the products I discuss in this tutorial at the end.
Step Two: Fill in your brows.
Ashley Benson has beautiful brows so if you want to pull off a look inspired by Ashley, you really need to make sure your brows are in top form. While plucking is important of course, for this tutorial we’re going to focus on filling in your brows. What color brow pencil you use is up to you. I have fairly unruly brows so I use e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Ash. It’s sort of a cream product applied with a brush. It costs $3.00 but I think it’s worth every penny. You can use a basic brow pencil if you prefer. I just find the eyebrow kit from e.l.f. a little more versatile because it offers two colors. Again, it’s completely up to you which you choose to do. Basically, you’re just going to apply your brow product to your brow to fill in the color and make everything look like and clean. When you’re done, take your eyebrow brush or a clean mascara wand and brush it back and forth through your brow. Use short strokes and work from one side of the brow to the other, moving the wand or brush back and forth as you work. This blends the color and helps you get a more natural look.
Step Three: Apply brown eyeliner.
I like using e.l.f. Essentials Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Brown because, again, it’s an inexpensive, high quality product that is easy to apply but you can choose to use whatever brand you want. You’re going to start by applying your liner to the top lash line and finish up by applying more liner to the lower lash line. I like starting my liner at the outside corner of the eye and carrying that line to the center using short strokes. I then move on to the inside corner of the eye, again using short strokes to bring the line toward the center of the eye so the two lines form one continuous line. I find this offers a cleaner looking line.
Step Four: Smudge your liner.
Ashley’s eyes have sort of a soft, smoky look here so that’s what we’re going to go for as well. What I like about this look is it offers the romance and intrigue of the full on smoky eye without being quite as dramatic. To get that subtle, smoky effect we’re going to take a pencil brush (a clean Q-Tip will also work) and gently smudge the liner we’ve just applied. As you smudge on the top lid, work the color up slightly toward the crease of your eye.
Step Five: Add your light brown eye shadow.
The palette I’m using for this look is the browns palette in my e.l.f. Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette. I paid $10.00 for this particular kit and have yet to need a color that isn’t in this palette. Again though, you can use whatever shadow you have as long as you have the right shade. For this step, we want to use a light brown shadow which will act as a transition color. I would recommend using an eye shadow brush for this step instead of an eye shadow wand as a brush will allow you to apply the color without the need for a whole lot of extra blending. Apply the light brown shadow just to the crease of your eyelid.
Step Six: Add your bronze eye shadow.
When selecting your bronze color, look for a shade that has a hint of pink. This is going to act as your main lid color. Apply this bronze color from the lash line to the crease but make sure you leave that light brown color showing. Take a moment or two to make sure you’ve gotten your bronze color on the inside corner of your eye. This gives a fuller look and makes your eye appear a little bit wider and brighter.
Step Seven: Blend.
With your light brown and your bronze applied, you’re going to want to blend everything to soften any sharp lines. You don’t want to over blend though. You want to see a soft transition between colors.
Step Eight: Apply your white eye shadow.
Your white eye shadow is going to act as a highlighter of sorts, making your eye look brighter and making you look more awake. This is an important step but is also a step many women don’t bother with. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it will make. Take your white shadow and tap in onto your brow bone, just below the actual brow. Tap it from the outside corner of the brow all the way to the inside corner and finish up by sweeping your brush across the dabs of white shadow you’ve applied to blend them together. By applying your white shadow this way, you ensure you don’t go overboard with the color.
Step Nine: Apply more brown eyeliner.
While we’ve already applied our eyeliner, we’re going to be adding a little bit more. This gives us the fuller, more eye catching look Ashley is sporting in the photo. This time, you’re going to take the same brown liner we used earlier and apply it to your water line.
Step Ten: Apply your black liquid eyeliner.
This is going to be troublesome step for some of you because liquid liner can be hard to apply properly. Your goal here is to draw a thin, crisp line just above your upper lash line. I would recommend applying your liquid liner the same way you applied your brown eyeliner in step three. The most important thing here is to be very careful with that liquid liner. Since liquid liner is so bold, any mistakes will show up and be difficult to correct without thickening the line. You don’t have to wash everything off and start over. If you aren’t really good with the liquid liner just yet, I’d suggest taking a little time to practice. It took me a while to get the hang of using this stuff so try not to get discouraged. You know what they say, practice makes perfect.
Step Eleven: Curl your lashes.
I have to confess to skipping this step. Simply put, I have been blessed with long, naturally curly lashes so I’ve never really needed to curl them. If you have straighter lashes though, you’re going to want to make sure you do this step. Ashley’s lashes have a beautiful curl in this photo which makes her eye look more open.
Step Twelve: Apply your mascara.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to talk up probably my favorite e.l.f. product – the e.l.f. Lengthening and Defining Mascara. I used to use more expensive brands but have found this $1.00 mascara is actually better than many of the products on the market. It doesn’t clump and it stays in place. I haven’t noticed any significant lengthening in all honesty but for a look like this, that really isn’t necessary and for the price, it’s a real bargain. So basically for this step, you’re just going to apply your mascara as your normally would – starting at the root of the lashes and working the wand from side to side until you’ve coated your lashes to the tip. With that, we’re done with the eyes. Time to move on to the cheeks!
Ashley Benson Makeup: Sun Kissed Skin and Rosy Cheeks
To get Ashley’s rosy cheeks and sun kissed skin, you’ll need:
- Large, soft bristled makeup brush
- Peach colored blush
- Gold colored highlighter
Step One: Apply your bronzer.
With this one, I like to use e.l.f. Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Warm Tan. Again, only costs $1.00 and offers a natural looking tan color which is perfect for this look. You can choose something more expensive if you prefer though. Okay, the trick with the bronzer for Ashley’s look is to avoid using it as a contouring color. If we were using it for contouring we’d stick mainly to the hollows of the cheeks. Instead, we’re going to use the bronzer to get that sun kissed look Ashley has. Take your large makeup brush and apply your bronzer anywhere on your face that the sun would fall. This means the forehead, cheeks (including the hollows of the cheeks), the chin and across the nose. This gives you a nice, fresh look quickly and easily without focusing too much on any particular part of the face.
Step Two: Apply your peach colored blush.
Now, this is where things are going to have to differ between Ashley’s exact look and the look we’re going to go for. In this look, Ashley wore a peach toned blush that had a bit of shimmer and sparkle. I don’t have anything like that in my makeup bag and I’m guessing not many of you do either. Unless you’re willing to drop a few dollars on an expensive blush, or unless you already have a sparkly peach blush, we’re going to improvise. If you happen to have the right product, go ahead and apply it to the apples of your cheeks, continuing the color up along your cheekbone straight to your temple. If you don’t have the product, you can just do what I do to get this look. Take a little bit of peach colored blush and apply it to the apples of your cheeks, carrying the color up alone your cheekbone and to your temple, just like you would do with the sparkly peach blush. To get the sparkle, take a shimmer product or even just a nude colored shimmer shadow (make sure it doesn’t have too much pigment) and apply it just to the apples of your cheeks. Don’t take the sparkle along your cheekbone to the temple. Too much sparkle with be distracting instead of complimentary.
Step Three: Apply highlighter.
I would suspect that Ashley has used a liquid highlighter here and that’s what I like to use when I’m going for this look. I use e.l.f. Studio Radiance Enhancer in Golden that costs $3.00. I also like to use Benefit Girl Meets Pearl highlighter although it is a bit more expensive than the e.l.f. product. For this step, you’re going to play up your cheeks and your lips by adding a little bit of your highlighter to your cheek bone and a little bit of highlighter just above the center of your lip. If you’re using a liquid highlighter, you’re just going to dab a little bit of the product on and gently tap the product until it’s blended in. I like to avoid rubbing products like these ones as rubbing tends to leave streaks.
Ashley Benson Makeup: Nude Lips
For Ashley’s nude lips, you’ll need:
- Light peach toned lipstick
- Clear plumping gloss OR pale pink gloss
Step One: Apply your lipstick.
For Ashley’s nude lips, you really want to make sure you don’t over apply your lipstick or choose a color that is too bold or bright. This look is all about the eyes so you want to downplay the lips a little bit. I use Revlon Color Burst Lipstick in Soft Nude for this look because it offers a nice, soft tone that looks pretty without being overpowering. You’re going to dab on your lipstick instead of swiping the lipstick back and forth across your lips and then blend it together with your fingertip. This gives you more even color.
Step Two: Apply your lip gloss.
As a rule, I avoid plumping gloss because I have naturally full lips and plumping gloss can be a little too much on naturally full lips. If you have small lips, you’re going to want to go with a clear plumping gloss over your lipstick. I use a regular gloss in a pale pink shade. You don’t want anything too shiny or glossy though. Remember, you’re playing down the lips. I would recommend using something like e.l.f. Essential Shimmer Lip Gloss in Fantasize. While at $2.00 it is a dollar more expensive than some of the other glosses e.l.f. offers, I fine the less expensive ones are a little too glossy for this particular look. If you’re looking for a plumping gloss, e.l.f. also offers an inexpensive option but I haven’t actually used it myself so I can’t really recommend it with confidence. You’re going to apply your gloss the same way you applied your lipstick, pressing your lips together to blend it all when you’re done.
Ashley Benson Hair: Beachy Waves
To get Ashley’s beautiful beachy waves, you’ll need:
- Protective spray
- Finishing cream
- A comb
- A curling iron or curling wand
Step One: Prepare your hair.
Wash your hair. Spray your hair with a protective spray such as my personal favorite, Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. It’s fairly inexpensive and does a world of good for your hair. Allow your hair to dry before moving on to step two.
Step Two: Apply finishing cream.
Personally, I like using North American Hemp Company’s Finishing Touch Smoothing Cream for this step. I just really like the product but you can use whatever finishing cream you like. You’re going to use a small dab (about the size of a pea) and work it through your hair. Make sure you spend a little time focusing on the ends of your hair so you’re sure you have enough product on them.
Step Three: Part your hair into an uneven center part.
Ashley’s messy center part gives this look a more youthful, casual feel so we’re going to want to recreate that to really set off the look. Use the pointed end of your comb and start creating the part. Wiggle the end around a little bit as you create the part so your part isn’t too straight and perfect.
Step Four: Curl your hair.
Because Ashley has sort of loose beachy waves going on in this look, we want to me sure we don’t curl our hair too tight. As you’re wrapping your hair around the curler, keep the hair as spread out on the curler or wand as possible. Hold for a few moments and then release. Repeat this process until all of your hair has been curled. If you find the curls are getting in your way, gently clip them up out of the way with a hair claw.
Step Five: Finish up by getting messy.
One of the greatest things about this hairstyle is the fact that it’s messy, fun and youthful without losing its glamour. To make sure you are able to get that same feel, you’re going to want to mess your hair up a little bit. Play with the curls a little bit to make sure they’re falling the way you want them to fall and tousle the roots to they look a little messy. Check out your curls and make sure they’re still falling the way you want them to and you’re all done!
Next week, we’ll be featuring a makeup tutorial of one of my all time favorites – Miss. Zooey Deschanel. Make sure you come back for that one. If there is a celebrity you’d like to see a tutorial for, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to oblige. Thanks for reading. See you next week!
e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit
e.l.f. Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen
e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette –
e.l.f. Essential Lengthening & Defining Mascara
e.l.f. Essential Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder
e.l.f. Studio Radiance Enhancer
Benefit Cosmetics Girl Meets Pearl Golden Pink 0.4 oz
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick, Soft Nude, 0.13 Fluid Ounces
e.l.f. Essential Shimmer Lip Gloss
Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray — 8 oz.
North American Hemp Co. Finishing Touch Smoothing Cream, 4.8 Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2)