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Beauty and religious iconography: make-up artist Aisling Kelly breaks down the 2018 Met Gala


By Holly O'Neill
09th May 2018
Beauty and religious iconography: make-up artist Aisling Kelly breaks down the 2018 Met Gala

Aisling Kelly is an Irish make-up artist that you probably already follow on Instagram, and if you don’t, you should, for her editorial looks alone. Here, she breaks down her favourite Met Gala beauty moments from Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination and the religious iconography that inspired them. 

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RIHANNA: ­ Pope, but make it fashion.

“I may be reaching, but I couldn’t help but notice the subtle similarities between the shading on this religious mosaic and the emphasised contrast of highlight and contour on Rihanna by makeup artist Priscilla Ono, whose work I was most looking forward to seeing on this year’s red carpet. The grey smoked-­up eyeshadow juxtaposed with the extra­bright cheekbones looks like it could be a deliberate reference to this representation of Pope Clement VIII. The real question, though, is who did it better? Badgal gets my vote.”

Mosaic depicting Pope Clement VIII wearing a papal tiara, c. 1600-­1601.

READ MORE: Go gold or go home: heavenly beauty looks from the Met Gala 2018

ZENDAYA: Joan of Arc

“Zendaya collaborated with ‘image architect’ Law Roach who posted the inspiration behind this look on his Instagram Stories, citing Albert Lynch’s depiction of Joan of Arc as the main influence. Zendaya gets big props from me for her direct nod to the painting, ­ bringing a contemporary edge to the look with the freshly cut bob and fringe by Ursula Stephen paired with modern brows and clean skin by make-up artist Sheika Daley. Effortlessly cool, on theme and totally her style. Perfection.”

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LILY COLLINS: ­ Modern day Mater Dolorosa

“Fiona Stiles was the make-up artist responsible for my personal favourite look of the night – the divine Lily Collins. Stiles shared her inspiration on Instagram, saying,­ “I wanted Lily’s skin to look like moonlight on marble, or like the way light seems to emanate from the Old Master’s paintings.”
The skin is angelic, ethereal perfection. The lip shade is delicious. The eyes are simply beautiful and those glued-on gems work so well to create a gothic, modern take on the shining lids of weeping madonnas. The single bloody-red teardrop pulls the whole look together and finishes it off with an elegant nod to the famous ‘blood-weeping’ statues of religious figures around the globe. Gorgeous.”

Weeping Madonna. Unknown.

Follow Aisling on Instagram @aislingkellymakeup. 

aislingkelly.com