See How Kelsea Ballerini Pulled Off 4 ACM Awards Hair and Makeup Changes in Her Exclusive Photo Diary!
For the country singer's Academy Of Country Music Awards red carpet look, makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan played off of the etheral vibe of her seafoam green Monique Lhullier gown when it came to her makeup. "We decided to go with a modern take on an ethereal vibe, keeping the look feminine while also earthy and sultry," she says. "The final look was a chocolate brown smoky eye with rosy cheeks, glowy skin and a nude lip color that accentuated her natural lips."
After Kelsea's skincare regimen, Deenihan started by applying the Murad Invisiblur primer to control shine throughout the (long!) night. Then she went in with the Armani Power Fabric Foundation because "leaves the skin with the perfect amount of coverage and keeps the skin looking fresh all night....even with four look changes!"
After contouring and highlighting with two Mark products, Deenihan added a thing veil of a La Prairie cream blush in Berry Glow. "It blends over powders seamlessly and really illuminates the skin," she says. For the chocolate-y smoky eye, she applied a deep brown from a Chanel quad all over the lid, up into the crease and below the lash line. "To highlight I took the Mark cream shadow and added it to the inner corners of the eye which really opens them," she says. A swipe of Mark nude lipstick completed her carpet look.
Hair stylist Bridget Brager says the idea for Kelsea's twisted, braided braid updo actually came from the star herself. "She's always wanted to try a braid on the carpet. Today was the day. But she left it up to me to create something fresh and new," Brager says.
Although the duo initally planned on doing more of a classic hairstyle, Kelsea's final reaction to the look ("A happy dance and a toast!") proved stepping out of the box works. "I finished by using my Paul Mitchell NEON Teasing Brush to add separation to the pieces I pulled down around her face to frame and soften the look," Brager says. "Fun fact: she's rocking three braids!"
SECRET HAIR WEAPONS
After drying the star's hair, Brager used a 1-in. Paul Mitchell curling iron to create textured bends. "Hold the curling iron vertical to the head and curl the hair as close to the root - this gives you a straight wave," she advises. Then she used the Paul Mitchell NEON Sugar Cream ("It's great for braids and twists") and began braiding two Dutch braids on both sides of her head, securing with long hair pins. Pro tip: "When pinning your updo, spray hairspray and then dry shampoo on the pins for extra grip and hold."
Before hitting the carpet, Kelsea paused for a quick snapshot with the ladies behind her look. "She 100 percent likes to get super involved in the creative process," Brager says. "Bless her because it makes the process so much more fun!"
GLITTERY PERFORMANCE GLAM
To complement Kelsea's fun pink jeweled bodysuit and stockings for her "Yeah Boy" performance during the show, Brager took down her braids for a messy wave. "Naturally, with a look and a song like 'Yeah Boy,' I traced her middle part with Swarovski crystals!" she says. Deenihan also added some crystals around her left eye and more pink to her lip as well to pull it all together.
"Kelsea ran backstage at a commercial break for a quick outfit change, and with the new dress obviously we needed a quick new look! We flung those crystals off her face, went back to a nude lip, and sent her on her way," Deenihan says. Brager swept her hair over into a side part and smoothed it all down before sending her back to her seat.
AFTER THE SHOW, IT'S THE...
Kelsea's dark metallic smoky eye for the ACM Awards after party was hands-down "her most dramatic look of the night," according to Deenihan. "I used Make Up For Ever black loose glitter over a black cream shadow on the lids for some fun dark sparkle," she says.
"We amped up the volume and added a massive amount of texture by further softening the wave with my Paul Mitchell Electric Youth Neon Express Ion Smooth+ on low heat for a vampy party look," Brager says. "We didn't want to take the texture away. We just wanted to expand it!"