The Primer Mix Behind Maren Morris’ CMA Awards Look

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The Primer Mix Behind Maren Morris’ CMA Awards Look featured image
Nicki Fletcher

What does it take to get a big-time star read for a big-time show? Celebrity makeup artist Emily Gray, who is responsible for Maren Morris’ CMA Awards look last night, gives us the lowdown.

Inspiration Station

“The inspiration from this look comes directly from the plunging, long black dress that Dani Michelle, Maren’s stylist, picked out for this occasion. Maren and I discussed that we did not want to do the typical ‘wearing a black dress glam’ that usually involves a red lip or a heavier smokey eye, instead we wanted a more subtle, cool toned makeup look to highlight her new hair color, and to really focus on the fine details.”

Mood Board

“It really depends. Sometimes Maren sends an inspiration board a couple days ahead of time or sometimes we figure it out on the fly. We always take in the outfit and the overall mood we want to convey through the makeup look. This particular look, we actually brainstormed way ahead of time. We had a few outfit options and Maren had told me the concepts. My brain definitely went to work thinking of looks to go with each option. By the time the final black dress decision was made, I had a few ideas!”

Mixing Up

“I love using both Milk primers: the Hydro Grip ($36) and the Pore Eclipse Mattifying Primer ($36) together. This is a ‘unique’ way because it combines the best of both worlds. You do not just have to have matte skin or radiant skin, you can have both on different sections of your face. This gives the skin a more natural, enhanced finish. This technique works extremely well for red carpet events because you want portions of your face glowy and the T zone of your face to be matte. Also, I would add, it works great with people who have combination skin.”

Regulate This

“My two concerns that I always keep in my mind when thinking about red carpet makeup are one, how is it going to look on television and two how is it going to look with flash photography. These tips can also be applied to everyday ‘regular’ folk for amazing makeup for selfies, candid photos, or even if you’re recording a TikTok. Television nowadays is ultra-HD, so I always make sure every part of the makeup is extremely well blended. After applying foundation, Milk’s Matte Bronzer, Future Fluid Concealer, and Bionic Blush, I take a clean foundation brush or damp beautyblender and go over every part of the face. Do this before you set with any powder. This ensures everything is seamlessly blended together so that you look absolutely flawless in front of any camera.”

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