Ashley Graham's America's Next Top Model Makeup: All the Behind-the-Scenes Scoop

The 23rd installment of America's Next Top Model is officially underway with Ashley Graham on the judging panel. And you better believe the 28-year-old supermodel is dishing out advice to up-and-comers all while seving up fierce beauty looks herself. For what's sure to be a season of unforgettable makeup moments, she turned to her trusted makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, who's revealing their backstage beauty secrets to PeopleStyle after each episode all season long

01 of 22


Ashley GrahamCredit: Courtesy Vincent Oquendo
Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

While India Gants emerged victor of ANTM season 23, and Graham got to wear dozens of notice-me beauty looks throughout the process, her trusted makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says he's the real winner. "I am grateful to Ashley because she's so inspirational and that kind of energy is contagious. She was so adventurous and so excited." Oquendo says if Graham returns to the show he hopes to be by her side creating even more amazing looks. "I think we inspired women to have fun with their makeup, so if I could do it again, I 100 percent would!"

02 of 22


Ashley GrahamCredit: Courtesy Vincent Oquendo
Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

When your outfit sparkles, it's only natural that your eyes should match, says Oquendo, who was mesmerized by the sequins on Graham's jumpsuit. "I was like, I am gonna do a crystal eye on her — we have to take it there! YOLO!" After applying black eyeliner and mascara, Oquendo got to gluing — first her falsies, which he made sure to push down super-close to her lash line "because if there were any gap between her falsies and real lashes, it would have been accentuated by those crystals," then her Swarovski bling. (Fun fact: The crystals were different colors). Oquendo says the look, for which he needed special effects glue, is surprisingly comfortable: "I always try things on myself before I do them on my clients." He kept the rest of her makeup "muted" so as not to compete with her power lashes and the diamond-like effect on her lids.

03 of 22


Ashley GrahamCredit: Courtesy Vincent Oquendo
Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

"Let's just make you look amazingly flawless!" were Oquendo's exact words when he saw Graham's off-the-shoulder outfit and accessorized braid. On her eyes, he created a base using Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Cocoa, and layered that with Giorgio Armani Beauty Eye Tint in Obsidian. A bit of that liquid eye shadow goes a long way, so "apply just a little at a time," Oquendo says. Next, he layered a few coats of Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara "to give her lashes that feathered, fluffy look," and intensified her eyes with a black kohl Sephora Collection pencil. To complete the look, he sculpted her cheekbones with an Hourglass blush, and topped off a beige-tone Bite Beauty Multistick topped off with a swipe of Sisley Paris lip balm for a subtle sheen.

04 of 22


vincent oquendo

This look was all about luminosity and Graham's beauty mark, says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, He started this fresh-faced look with the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial then applied a light layer of Burberry's pearlescent primer, followed by Giorgio Armani Beauty's Crema Nuda. "It's the holy grail of tinted moisturizers, it's so buttery," says the pro, who applied it with his fingers. Throughout the session, Oquendo spritzed her face with Mario Badescu's Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater Facial Spray "because it was all about supple skin." Lastly, to darken her beauty mark, he applied Anastasia Brow Wiz (the duo use either Ebony or Granite). "It's always the finishing touch, but sometimes I forget, so she'll say, 'My mole!' She embraces it."

05 of 22


Ashley Graham beautyCredit: Courtesy Vincent Oquendo
Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

After weeks of mesmerizing lid and lash-focused looks, it was time to make a major switch up, says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo. First the pro prepped her lips with Charlotte Tilbury's scrub. Then to create her very berry lip, he applied an Hourglass Cosmetics liquid lipstick, then perfected the shape with a M.A.C Cosmetics lip liner in Cherry, which also prevented the product from feathering. "The lip had enough punch, but I still wanted it a little glossy, so I added the clear Lancôme Juicy Tubes on top," Oquendo says. To tie the look together, he applied a ruddy blush on her cheeks and in the crease of her lids (blending the powder on her lids with a creamy red shade for more depth and staying power). The finishing touches? A heavy dose of mascara and black Kyliner on her lash line. Says Oquendo: "Ashley will be the first to tell you she doesn't really love a lip — but she loves this lip because it was a very sexy look."

06 of 22


Vincent Oquendo

With so many stars embracing Cher hair lately, it was only a matter of time before the risk-taking supermodel put her own spin on the diva's iconic style. With her hair pin-straight, makeup artist Vincent Oquendo swooped in to give her a lash line that could turn back time (yeah, we went there). "I really customized her lashes using a strip from Make Up For Ever as well as House of Lashes individuals. Then I used the Bite Beauty lipstick in Honeycomb to keep the lips almost-bare, fresh and pretty," he said.

07 of 22


Vincent Oquendo

"Everybody likes a little sparkle," says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo who insists that this eye-catching look didn't even take him five minutes to create. First he put a sheer layer of a taupe cream shadow on her lids and coated her lashes with mascara. Then he put a clear lash glue on her upper lash line, and while it was still tacky, he sprinkled Make Up For Ever's square graphic glitter pieces there. "When it stuck to the lashes I thought it was so pretty I just left it!" he says. "Because the makeup was so metallic and bright, I didn't want a dense lash look so I added a few long, wispy House of Lashes individual falsies."

08 of 22



The silhouette of Graham's dress, plus her romantic plait, "made me think of an ethereal Greek goddess," explains Oquendo, adding, "I look at the clothes and what mood she's in and I see where it takes me." To create this wash of color on her eyes, Oquendo applied a teal green cream shadow that he blended at the crease with a creamy cinnamon shade, then he says he "swept a taupe shade underneath her eyes because I felt it rounded out her eyes beautifully." He finished the look with a generous coat of mascara. "When you're using creams you can sheer them out or pack them on, so this is one of my favorite looks because it's surprisingly wearable," he says.

09 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

For this lash-centric look, Oquendo channeled one of his wide-eyed beauty idols, Audrey Hepburn (whose makeup artist famously separated every single one of her lashes with a pin after applying mascara to play up her doe eyes). To begin, Oquendo applied a soothing eye mask on Graham's lids. After gently wiping that away, he drew a thick line along her upper lash line using a coffee-tone pencil, which he buffed using a fluffy brush. Next he applied the illuminator in Wander Beauty On-The-Glow duo on the inner corner of her eyes and brow bone, and the bronzer color in the same duo in her crease "to warm it up." Lastly, he applied a generous set of falsies (he loves House of Lashes). Says Oquendo: "I just love that nostalgic feel. When you can do that with makeup, and especially with a supermodel like Ashley, it's special."

10 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

To play off the feline vibes of her leopard Givenchy, makeup artist Vincent Oquendo created an exaggerated winged eye using waterproof liquid eyeliner. "This was a very sexy look," he says. "Ashley's adventurous with makeup. She likes to take risks, because she knows the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff!"

11 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

"This look was all about blush," says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo of his client's radiant skin. His secret for her perfect flush? Mixing three tinted liquid illuminators (Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer in No. 6 red, No. 8 pink and No. 10 bronze) which he applied to her cheeks and lids, before setting the look with even more shimmer using Laura Mercier's Face Illuminator Powder in Indescretion and Seduction. "I wanted shine all over," he says. The pro finished the look off with rosy tint on the lips courtesy of Dior's Dior Addict Lip Glow.

12 of 22


Vincent Oquendo

"Wispy lashes" were makeup artist Vincent Oquendo's directive for his client's latest beauty look. To make them pop, he prepped her skin with Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum for extra glow. Then using Kat Von D eye shadow and M.A.C loose pigment, he created a metallic copper color on her lids to provide the sparkly backdrop for her lengthy lashes. Lastly, he cut up a strip of House of Lashes falsies, applying the longer pieces to create "a stiletto-like" effect.

13 of 22


Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

"Every supermodel has an understanding of what does and doesn't suit her," says makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, who often makes Graham's eyes the star of the show. Inspired by '60s bombshells, Oquendo created a mod makeup vibe using Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel in Black. "When it sets it doesn't budge, which is great for big eye looks like this one." For the finishing touch, he applied a nude shade of Giorgio Armani Beauty lipstick to her lips.

14 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

Makeup artist Vincent Oquendo sees his client and the show's risk-taking style as an opportunity to break makeup boundaries. "At the beginning of ANTM, I sat down with Ashley and I said, 'Because you wear makeup so well, let's get people's attention — let's make a statement!'" For this Balmain outfit and faux bob, the pro "wanted to give Ashley a graphic eye that felt a little dangerous," he says. "I created the shape with the Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl eyeliner in Bedroom Black. Then I applied a Swarovski crystal in a gunmetal color under each eye to add a little sparkle." To complete the look, "I used the Lancôme Juicy Shaker in the blue Mint to Be shade to create a cool tint on her lips."

15 of 22


Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

"I wanted to show the wearability of avant-garde looks," explains Vincent Oquendo, who created Graham's striking silver eye look using Pat McGrath Labs Metalmorphosis 005 Kit in Silver. "To create the shape, I found a concealer brush that had the perfect oval shape to fit Ashley's eye then I wet the brush with the Mario Badescu Facial Spray before swiping the color from her inner to her outer corners … Even Ashley wouldn't think that some of these things that I put on her wold be comfortable, but they were."

16 of 22


Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

For a shoot with legendary photographer Ellen von Unwerth, makeup artist Vincent Oquendo used a mesmerizing matte lipsick. "I wanted Ashley to have a vampy yet sexy look because I know Ellen loves a girl in a red lip," reveals the pro, who applied a Lipstick Queen shade (which the model showed off with her oxblood nail polish).

17 of 22


Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

A makeup artist for 15 years, Oquendo (far right) got a chance to showcase his own talents while creating a snakeskin eyeliner appliqué for Graham using turquoise watersnake leather. "For the makeover panel, I knew that I wanted to make a splash but stay true to Ashley's look, too." After measuring her eye, he carved out the crescent moon shape with an X-acto knife. "To finish the look I kept the cheeks soft and bronzed with a Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette and a bit of her Beach Stick in Moon Beach on the apples, and used Laura Mercier Lipsticks in Raspberry Ripple and Ameretto Swirl for the perfect puckered nude."

18 of 22


Ashley Graham ANTM BeautyCourtesy Vincent Oquendo
Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

"I love Ashley's eyes! They have a fire in them," says Vincent Oquendo, who wanted Graham's gaze to give off "major drama." To balance her "statement lash" (which Oquendo achieved with Ardell strips), the pro gave her a bold black wing with Marc Jacobs Beauty liquid eyeliner then softly defined her brows using Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown. "She just wears things with confidence," he says.

19 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

Vincent Oquendo has been Ashley Graham's go-to makeup guy since ever since her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover made her a household name in February. The pro, who also beautifies stars including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, is not new to America's Next Top Model; he got his start there as a makeup assistant in 2009 before eventually becoming the show's key makeup artist in 2011. Despite his ANTM background, Oquendo (seen here on set) let his client find her own stride: "She really made it her own!"

20 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

Oquendo tests out lipstick to find the perfect shade for Graham during a scene in the first episode. "That open lipstick (Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Infamous) is a really good rosy color that's one of our favorites, so we used it." Another of the duo's favorite lip shades? Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colorbalm in Raspberry Ripple, which they turn to for a more subtle effect.

21 of 22


Courtesy Vincent Oquendo

Oquendo found out he'd be Graham's makeup artist for the show "like the day before," he reveals. The two immediately swung into action concepting ideas. The pro's suggestion? "Let's come up with interesting looks that'll make a girl might think, 'I want to wear that!'"

22 of 22


Courtesy of Vincent Oquendo

"We were just like, 'Let's be goofy!'" says Oquendo of this candid moment with Graham. He and the supermodel have clicked since the beginning, he shares: "We just got along really, really well, from the first moment that I met her. I just thought she was so beautiful — and fun."

Related Articles