At every Met Gala, there’s always a celebrity you see over and over again as you scroll down Instagram during the live event. Think: Katy Perry in 2017, Blake Lively in 2018, Lady Gaga in 2019. As for this year, it is undoubtedly the tennis star Naomi Osaka and her beauty moment Met Gala 2021 who won the cake. Thanks to its glam-squad, made up of hairdressers Marty harper and makeup artist Jessica small, the athlete’s look has created a buzz with viewers around the world.
“The look is all about [the] cross talk about culture, fashion and homage, aware of youth, fantasy and a new American – a new us, ”Harper told TZR of the inspiration behind Osaka’s hair for the event. “History is embodied in the hair and its structure. We were inspired by the style of Haitian schoolgirls and Onna-Musha warriors from Japan. ”
When designing Osaka’s hairstyle for the event, her extravagant outfit was taken into consideration to create a truly stunning moment. “Naomi and Mari Osaka designed the look in tandem with Louis Vuitton,” says Harper. “The look was recognition of their culture and their love. When they showed me the dress, we literally started to think about the marriage of hair and clothes.
To get the tennis star’s unique hairstyle, Harper first went in and cleaned Osaka’s hair using NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Texture Shampoo and Conditioner. Then he prepared his wicks with the NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Smooth Blow Out Lotion, then blow-dry the hair in one-inch sections using the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Once Harper was done blowing the hair, he then entered with NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Smooth Hair Oil from the middle of the shaft to the ends. Taking half-inch sections of hair from Osaka, he pressed those parts using the Dyson Corrale straightener until he got the desired smoothness.
After that, the hairstylist sectioned the strands from ear to ear, then smoothed the two sections into two ponytails, using a mixture of Perfect Smooth Hair Oil and NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Shine Oil Mist. To finish off the look, he braided both ponytails into an architectural shape and finished the braids with a spritz of Perfect Shine Oil Mist.
As for Osaka’s makeup for the night, Smalls tells TZR, “She wore a Japanese-inspired look so I wanted to pay homage to her, giving her a modern day Geisha look.” The makeup artist did not make her face white (which, traditionally, Geishas used white foundation to achieve that cultural look) and instead, kept the skin very dewy and glowing. “We used lashes instead of a natural lash – just trying to plump it up and make it look more modern,” she adds.
Smalls first prepped Osaka’s face with Kinlò’s Hydrating Golden Mist, and then on top of that, she applied the brand’s Golden Rays sunscreen. “Then I used the Futuredew Glossier as a luminous base for the look, that way you can see it through the foundation and concealer so that she has that ethereal glow all night long.”
To shape the lips, Smalls used Kiss n Tell by Charlotte Tilbury. Next, Osaka’s lively lip was courtesy of Glossier’s Gen G in the Zip shade. “And on her eyes, I combined Generation G lipstick and Spark Cloud Paint,” explains the makeup artist. She adds: “And I used the Hollywood Exagger Eye a bit. [from Charlotte Tilbury] pencil duo to add some definition in the outer corner of her eyes. The tiny lashes placed over Osaka’s eyes were individual KISS lashes. Finally, the artist applied Glossier’s Monochrome – a new must-have eyeshadow trio that will be available on September 28 – in the center of the lids. “It really made a pop.”
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