matthew ray

Behind the Look: Matthew Ray


I'm excited to introduce you to my friend and Lancome Resident Artist, Matthew Ray.  He's worked with A-Listers like Cameron Diaz and Deborah Messing and gives great makeup advice that'll guarantee you run out to buy a taupe brow pencil.

Describe the most exciting project you’ve worked on lately.

I did makeup for friends and clients going to the Glam Awards, which is a unique awards show for NY nightlife; celebrating the best in DJs, bartenders, and drag queens. The overall theme was the more eccentric the better, and it was an amusing departure from my comfort zone. It was fun to take tangerine blush where it’s never gone before.

What’s your beauty philosophy?

As your artist, we are a team, and I need you to communicate, let down your guard, and trust me. I am a proud department store makeup artist. My client might not be prepping for the cover of Vogue, but after a session with me she will leave with the confidence that she could rock the runway; or at least Park Ave.

Confidence is my philosophy. I am most inspired by a woman’s smile. The glow that comes from happiness is the best look a woman can wear. Makeup conjures confidence. Confidence allows you to be comfortable in being yourself, and there is nothing more beautiful than being happy with who you are.

What are the top five must-haves in your kit and why?

a. If I was going to be stranded on a desert island and could only grab one thing, it’d be my bottle of Lancome Genifique! I am obsessed with how it makes my skin look and feel, and as someone that enjoys a cocktail or glass of wine, Genifique keeps me glowing, despite the dehydrating effects of such libations. It’s the first step in all my client’s daily regimen, men and women. We’ve heard it before, great makeup starts with great skin, and for me there is nothing better in the game than Genifique.

b. L’Oreal’s Revitalift Miracle Blur is FLAWLESS! It is like having an Instagram filter for real life. If you are like me, you will not let anyone post a photo of you without approval; and only after using a good filter— or two. These blur products make my crow’s feet less visible, my large pores look so tight, and my oily complexion and texture much softer and smoother.

c. It’s not one product in particular, but I am crazy for Birchbox! Getting a box of samples tailored to your personal beauty preferences once a month is like having an unexpected Christmas in your mailbox. I subscribe to the men’s box. The day my Birchbox comes I take a moment and luxuriate in trying out all these awesome new additions to my arsenal.

d. A taupe brow pencil! Ladies. You NEED this! From the fairest to the deepest tones, you can use the taupe pencil to fill in your brows, trust me it’ll work; and then taupe is also a universal shade for contouring. Most brow pencils are in the condensed powder form, which makes it easy to blend. Depending on your face shape, draw a line with the pencil underneath your cheekbone and blend downwards. This will cause the illusion of a shadow that will help to chisel those cheekbones. Great for nose contouring too! Taupe brow pencils— get into it!

e. Black liquid liner… I repeat… black liquid liner. It’s the fiercest, classiest, most feminine product you can own. When applied properly, which is so easy to do- just use your lash-line as a guide, it looks like you spent all morning on your eye makeup, probably only took you thirty seconds, and is sure to get you noticed. Master the liquid liner and you’ll own every room you enter!

Have you discovered any new products lately that you find impressive?

I’m a Lancome guy, and we have the mascara game locked down! We are the number one company in the world for mascara, and recently we launched Grandiose. In it’s design you can see Lancome used an artist inspired approach. They reinvented everything. The brush has different bristle lengths that find even the smallest of lashes, the wand is shorter with a swan-neck shape, and the formula is much more supple preventing those hard, dry, crispy lashes. Bad mascara can go very wrong and make the wearer look downright crazy. You owe it to yourself and your eyes to have the best quality mascara.

Spill your best beauty advice.

Fake it till you make it! Own your uniqueness and live your truth. If you have a blemish that nothing will cover, then tell yourself you have the fiercest blemish anyone has ever seen. Next thing you know your coworkers will WISH they had a blemish. Having a bad hair day? Put on some gorgeous lipgloss, smile, and have a sense of humor on things we cannot change.

What’s the one tip or trick that you think all women should know?

In general I see women applying their blush far too low on the face. By placing it so low, you are dragging the eye downward, and who wants a droopy looking face?? Apply your blush directly on your cheekbone, maybe even cheat it up a little, and sweep it up into your hairline. You will achieve a lifted appearance. Just make sure your blush has the same undertone as your lipstick. They should compliment each other and be from the same color family; do not match a warm lip with a cool blush. This makes me cry. But regardless of anything— what you ultimately do should make YOU happy before anyone else.