Christina Choi is a veteran in the beauty industry and if you haven’t heard about her yet, it’s definitely time you did! She’s been creating makeup magic for nearly 20 years as an acclaimed and in-demand artist, having worked in a number of high-profile positions with companies like Bare Escentuals and MAC Cosmetics. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, PopSugar and Shape Magazine.
Christina has come into her own with her namesake line of beauty products, Christina Choi Cosmetics. Her brand is a true labor of love, developed to meet the need for quality, high-performance products and tools that can be used to bring out the unique beauty in all women (women of color, this includes you!). With products are both luxurious and practical, Christina is bringing high-end beauty to the busy modern woman in a real and accessible way.
We recently sat down with the San Francisco-based makeup artist and beauty guru at her Union Square studio for her advice on creating a flawless and truly memorable look for gala opening night, or any special occasion. Here are Christina’s top tips and tricks.
What are some of your signature glam makeup tips for formal events during gala season?
The perfect look should always start with a flawless complexion: hints of highlight on the skin can make a huge difference and when done correctly, will look incredible in photography. When preparing for a special event, I like to give my clients a red-carpet ready look that is cohesive, modern and flawless…and that compliments the aesthetic of their gown without being too ‘matchy-matchy’. My multi-faceted BB cream provides seamless, even coverage and gives the face a youthful and radiant glow, letting your own skin shine through and creating a flawless canvas for the rest of you red-carpet look.
Lots of ladies opt to wear black gowns to ‘black tie’ events in San Francisco; are there any interesting ways to incorporate a little color with their makeup look?
Definitely! The wonderful thing about wearing all black is that the focal point becomes your face. A bold lip is an easy way incorporate a fun pop of color but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a standard, classic red lip. Instead, why not gold bold with an unexpected shade of pink, like my Luxe Cream Crayon in Ooh La La, or a super on-trend orange/coral color, with my Luxury Gloss in the shade ‘Jetsetter’. And if you’re really ready to make a statement, you can’t go wrong with or fuchsia! My Luxe Cream Crayon in the shade Noteworthy– it photographs beautifully and will be a look you won’t forget.
If someone seldom wears makeup on a regular basis but wants to create a glam look for a gala or another special occasion, what are some ideas to try?
As a rule, I tell my clients not to be intimidated by makeup, instead, try and have fun with it and focus on your best features. If your lips are the greatest asset, add some color or even some highlight to the lip area with shimmering gloss. If it’s your eyes you want to emphasize, play them up with an iridescent or satin-finish shadow, then you can add some eyeliner to bring a little drama to the look. Also, you really want to give your skin a vibrant and radiant glow by applying a highlighter on your cheekbones and bridge of the nose. My eyeshadow shades Flurry, Splendor and Champagne Bubbles are only the perfect way to brighten your eye area, but also also double as highlighters for the face. The point is to make an effort, recognize your unique beauty and have fun with makeup especially when prepping for a special occasion.
Which products should we ladies keep in our clutches to ‘refresh and revive’ our makeup look mid-event?
Blotting papers are an absolute must-have, along with a pressed translucent powder to refresh the skin, especially in the T-tone area. Doing this will prevent shine and keep you looking camera-ready all night long! Also, you should always carry your lipstick or lip gloss in your bag for quick touch ups- this is so important after you have some champagne or nibble on some goodies. My Luxe Cream Crayons pull double -duty as a lipstick lip liner all in one and they have tremendous staying power so you don’t need to touch up so often. They also pair flawlessly with my On Vacay! Luxury Gloss, which is the perfect sheer nude gloss to give your lips a picture-perfect highlight all night long.