Pati Dubroff - How To Do Great Party Makeup
Written by Nicola Moulton
24 Feb 2023
The LA-based makeup artist to the A-List reveals her secrets to looking flawless fast.
You’ll normally find LA-based A-list makeup artist Pati Dubroff on set readying a big-name-beauty for a photoshoot or film. And if there’s one thing she knows how to do, it’s create chic, modern, red carpet looks that never look too ‘done’. (As her biography says, most recently, her beauty collaborations with Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra have defined a new benchmark in elevating the red carpet in a special way, while continuing to create timeless looks.)
Now, she’s brought her ‘event makeup’ expertise to Beauty Pie with the launch of two new must-have makeup kits. These two totally-perfect, ‘you, only party ready’ glam-face-in-a-case makeup sets, created exclusively for Beauty Pie, have arrived just in time for the holiday season. There’s a Red Carpet Kit and a Smoky Kit, and according to Pati, she’s poured her years of experience prepping celebrities for the red carpet into every single item. “The textures are easy-to-apply but with essential staying power,” she says. “And the shades will work across the board for most people. The eyeshadow palettes give the eyes just the right amount of shape and sheen. And the lip products are the ones you can’t be without - you’re going to want to buy more!”
The textures are easy-to-apply but with essential staying power. The colours are going to work across the board for most people. The eyeshadow palettes give the eyes just the right amount of shape and sheen. And the lip products are the ones you can't be without.Pati Dubroff
According to Pati, these kits are created to suit everyone - not just A-listers. “In fact,” she says, “the inspiration came from asking myself: ‘What are the items that I turn to, again and again, to get everyone ready and looking their best for whatever event they’re going to?’ Be that a red carpet, a holiday party, or a wedding. I wanted to make my own version of those things and put them together in these little sets, so when you’re getting ready to go out, you don’t really have to think.”
Colour choices were also essential, too. “I focused on the colours that would work across the board, for most people - and I think with these kits, they will,” says Pati. “And as well as suiting everyone, I really wanted to try and create shades that people would just LOVE.”
Since so much of Pati’s working life revolves around the red carpet, she looked to fill her kits with products that she would absolutely want to take in her kit bag to work. “I actually designed them for myself, selfishly!” she says. “I wanted to distill it down to the most essential items so I’m not carrying a lot of stuff, but just the right things.”
For Pati, red carpet doesn’t have to mean heavy or dramatic makeup or big looks. “It can mean something very soft,” she says. “It can be very natural - it just needs to be structured and have a thoughtful application. So, it can be soft, natural tones and look like nothing, but it still needs to have a matte shadow that goes into the crease on the eye, or just the right amount of shine in the right place.” According to Pati, there are a few key items that it was absolutely essential to have in each of the two kits: “So you have the highlighter, the eye pencil, the eyeshadow, the lip. And you know they all work together. No fuss, no muss, it’s all put together, it’s all right there and it’s going to give you that flawless finish.”
It's all about the the textures...
And what elevates the products in Pati’s kits so that they always get a place in her kit bag? For her, it all comes down to texture. “All red lipsticks are not created equal,” she says. “Some are thick and waxy; some are really glossy. You have a million different textures and not every texture works with every colour. So for example when it comes to a red, I want something that’s very velvety and not too waxy or thick because I don’t want it to look like it’s taking over the face. But then, when it comes to a nude lip, I want something that is sheer and balmy and feels really alive on my lips. With any nude lipstick, I want one that feels good and also hydrating, and that was why West Coast Nude [the lipstick in Pati’s Smoky Kit] was so important to get right for me.”
...And a great highlighter
“Highlighters are so important!” says Pati. “We want our skin to look ‘lit from within’ but also for the skin to look like skin. And if you are putting on foundation, you might be masking some of the natural glow that skin has, or maybe your skin is dull and you’re trying to get that glow from something. Highlighters are great for adding that glow of health.” But, she says, it’s also essential that they’re applied in just the right places. For example, you don’t want them too close to “crinkles or wrinkles” as she calls them. “But also,” she adds, “with these particular highlighters, it was really important to me that they didn’t have large pieces of glitter and instead just give a really subtle sheen, so that they would be very flattering for those who are more mature and those who have fine lines.” Pati’s red carpet secret tip: you can “drop a little bit of moisturiser” into the shimmer and use it for the body, too.
The secret to staying power
When it comes to lips, lip pencils really help, says Pati. “Even when you’re using a velvet lipstick like the one in the Red Carpet kit - it’s got staying power, but a little extra pencil will help. So applying a lip pencil and blotting in between applications of lipstick also helps, and applying sheer fine layers of lipstick is always better than adding a lot of gloss.”
Applying a lip pencil and blotting in between applications of lipstick also helps, and applying sheer fine layers of lipstick is always better than adding a lot of gloss.Pati Dubroff
The secret to looking well-slept
“There are a couple of tactics to distract from your eyes looking tired: one is the red lip tactic. Put on a bright red lip and no one will be looking at your eyes! They’re just looking at that beautiful mouth. Another is using the Bright Eyed Supercolour Kohl Eyeliner Pencil that comes in the Red Carpet kit. It’s a bone colour, and by putting that on the inner rims and inner corners of the eyes, it helps make the eyes look more open, so less tired. And actually, another tactic for faking a ‘wide awake’ eye is to do a smoky eye. So, the Smoky Kit, with a dark pencil, gives you a really smoldering, smoky eye which just leans you right into the ‘night before’ - as well as the ‘next morning’!”