The $12 Foundation Behind Kelsea Ballerini’s Stunning VMA Look

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Country superstar Kelsea Ballerini is not just celebrity makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan‘s client. She’s also one of her best friends. This comes through in the gorgeous, effortless glam Deenihan creates to highlight Ballerini’s natural beauty. And tonight, for the MTV Video Music Awards, that was more than evident.

“Not only is it Kelsea’s 30th birthday today, but it’s also her first time performing at the VMAs, so to say the glamming process was a party is an understatement,” says Deenihan. “We wanted Kelsea to feel light fresh and sexy in her skin and gorgeous custom Monot dress.”

Plus, her entire face of makeup was done with CoverGirl products, and not a single one costs more than $14! Here’s the breakdown of her full look, from foundation to lip gloss.

On Kelsea Ballerini’s Skin:

To give the musician’s skin a flawless canvas, Deenihan first applied Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation in 560 Medium ($12). “Kelsea just returned from celebrating her birthday with a beautiful tan, so we went a bit darker than her normal 550 Light/Medium,” the makeup artist says. It comes in 11 shades and the coverage is light. This lets the skin’s natural beauty shine through with a healthy glow. Next, she applied Clean Fresh Hydrating Concealer in 350 Light/Medium ($12) “to brighten the under-eyes and T-zone.” The formula contains coconut milk and aloe extracts to keep skin hydrated as it camouflages imperfections and dark circles.

“To enhance Kelsea’s gorgeous tan, I added TruBlend So Flushed High Pigment Bronzer in Sunset Glitz ($12) across the cheekbones and bridge of the nose,” Deenihan says. “I then added a little wash of color to her cheeks using the TruBlend So Flushed High Pigment Blush in 390 Sweet Seduction ($12).”  

On Kelsea Ballerini’s Brows:

To add a little definition to Ballerini’s brows and fill in any sparse areas with hair-like brush strokes, Deenihan used Easy Breezy All Day Eyebrow Ink Pen in 100 Soft Blonde ($12). “I then added a little Clean Fresh Brow Gel in 200 Blonde ($10) to keep all of the hairs in place,” the makeup artist says.

On Kelsea Ballerini’s Eyes:

For Kelsea’s eyes, Deenihan used the Clean Fresh Color Eyeshadow Palette in 212 Shimmering Beige. “I started by using the first shade all over the lid. To deepen the inner and outer corners, I applied the third shade from the same palette and blended into the crease. For a pop in the center of the lid, I pressed the fourth shade into the lid. I tightlined her waterline with Perfect Point Plus Liquid Eyeliner in 210 Espresso ($7). Along her bottom lash line, I swept the third shade from the Shimmering Beige Palette.” 

“Kelsea loves a lash, so we applied a few generous coats of the Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara in 800 Very Black ($13).” The formula not only gave Ballerini’s lashes red carpet–worthy oomph; it’s also infused with argan and marula oils so lashes get conditioning benefits as well.

On Kelsea Ballerini’s Lips:

To finish off the look, Deenihan applied a coat of Simply Ageless Moisture Renew Core Lipstick in 150 Elegant Nude ($12). And to add “beautiful shine,” she topped it off with a layer of Clean Fresh Yummy Gloss in 650 Coconuts About You ($11).


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