Ciara Scores a Beauty Win at the 2021 Met Gala – All About Her Look Straight from Her Pros
Ciara's makeup artist Yolonda Frederick-Thompson and hairstylist Cesar DeLeon Ramirez take PEOPLE inside her Met Gala Beauty prep
Ciara's Makes a Major Entrance
Ciara lit up the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Monday night from the moment she (one-two) stepped her way onto the carpet. Wearing a neon green Dundas creation that paid homage to one of America's beloved pastimes – football – she told Vogue livestream cohost Keke Palmer: "I am inspired by my husband's … jerseys." She also offered up a glimpse of one of her prized accessories, Russell Wilson's Super Bowl ring while adding that his Seattle Seahawks jersey number 3, "is in the building!"
To complete her look, Ciara enlisted her longtime pros, makeup artist Yolonda Frederick-Thompson and hairstylist Cesar DeLeon Ramirez to create her jaw-dropping beauty look. Ahead the two share how this unforgettable moment came together.
With the exhibition, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion", set to go on display, makeup artist Yolonda Frederick-Thompson says designer Peter Dundas' creation, "captured the theme of [this] Met Gala by bringing football into the design. And of course it was only fitting that her husband Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks emerald green and blue colors and number set this look off! [It] was perfect and a literal reflection of her real life."
To complement the vibrant design, she says they "decided to keep this look super elegant [with a] sleek pony and wispy bangs and rich, reflective green (Seahawks!)-toned eye makeup."
"We began collaborating and planning for the Met Gala about a month ago – before we traveled to Venice for the Dolce & Gabbana show," reveals Frederick-Thompson. Once the designer's vision was shared, she and Ramirez got down to business with stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn. "Once I know the overall direction, I fall into that creative space. This way we are all working as a cohesive team to deliver a well thought-out look," Frederick-Thompson says.
The Mane Change
"I was inspired by the dress to try a new hair color we have never worn before. I started prepping by coloring three Wildform wigs with beautiful light golden, cinnamon brown colors from Paul Mitchell," says Ramirez.
The Skin & Makeup Essentials
"I love skin prep: it's super important for me to have hydrated and glowy skin underneath the makeup, says Frederick-Thompson. Her formula of choice: Glow Recipe's Watermelon Glow Dew Drops. Those "really get us there," she says. "I used all around the perimeter and high points of the face to create a radiant finish on the makeup!"
The "Unforgettable Beat"
The pro applied a pea-size of Iconic London's Illuminator on Ciara's face because the best-seller "works magic," she says.
"I wanted to focus on the eyes so Iconic London's Nice to Naughty Eyeshadow Palette was exactly what I needed," says Frederick-Thompson.
"To maximize the intensity of the eyes, I first based the eyelids with a black cream base then layered a mélange of beautiful rich green shadows called "Don't Get Gel" and "Sparkler" from it. Then I popped on a double wispy lash followed by tons of Iconic London's Triple Threat Black Mascara!"
A stipple of Iconic London's Sheer Blush in Fearless added a touch of color to Ciara's cheeks.
"To seal this look and give it the star power it deserves, I sealed this look by misting the face with Iconic London's Prep-Set-Glow!"
The Hair Breakdown
Says Ramirez, "I started by center parting and smoothing one wig out using Paul Mitchell Straight Works hair gel with a few drops of their Super Skinny Serum. Leaving the center part, I brushed everything into a low pony and secured it. I left out wispy strands around the face to come back too later. Next, I diffused my two other colored wigs using Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam and Round Trip Curl Defining Serum to get a nice full, bouncy curl with volume. Once dried, I went through and added extra texture using my Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Wave Press and Express Ion MiniWave Ceramic Deep Waver."
The Face-Framing Wisps
"I also went back, waving the wispy pieces I left out around the face. Once I had the luscious exotic texture I wanted, I set everything with a nice full blast of Paul Mitchell Extra Body Finishing Spray. I truly loved this look, it's sexy, elegant and edgy all in one," Ramirez says.
The Finishing Touches
"My favorite thing about collaborating on tonight's look is that everything was seamless and flowed naturally because we were well prepared and planned accordingly," says Frederick-Thompson.
"It was an amazing day – and an amazing moment for us all to be in the same room again together after having been on pause throughout the COVID-19 shutdown. This felt so refreshing ... like we are getting back to pre-COVID normalcy!"
The Moment We'd All Been Waiting For
Ciara made a statement on the carpet, before discussion her passion for fashion to Vogue. "Fashion is a big part of how I express myself. … When you look at old photos and you're like, "What was I thinking?" But I was expressing myself, and I think that's the beauty of how in fashion we have to continuously express ourselves and challenge ourselves. It's been really fun experimenting with fashion."
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