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The Style Series: Cyndle Komarovski

Cyndle Komarovksi can pinpoint the exact moment that she first became enthralled with makeup: “My mother would use a lighter to warm up a sewing needle, and then she would individually separate her eyelashes,” she recalls. “I always thought that was so crazy to watch.” Fast forward to today and the Chanel makeup artist, whose subtle — and striking at that — hand can be seen in Khaite campaigns and the pages of Self-Service, has a few maquillage tricks of her own, from creating a flawless facade to a light-catching balm that offers the ultimate finishing touch. Here, she shares the five products every woman should own, and breaks down two impactfully minimalist looks made for warm weather.

What’s your earliest makeup memory?

My earliest makeup memory is of my mother. She had this very interesting technique to separate her eyelashes after she would use mascara. She would use a lighter to warm up a sewing needle, and then she would individually separate her eyelashes. I always thought that was so crazy to watch because she did it with such a steady hand. She also had this little blush bottle — a little terracotta urn — that she’d use as a blush. I was always so fascinated by the packaging, so when she wasn’t around I would steal it and put it all over my face.

Can you tell me about your career path?

It came very naturally to me; this path chose me rather than me pursining it, in a way. When I was younger, I was interested in the power of transformation, and I would always be cutting my hair or cutting my friends’ hair and putting makeup on my sister. I was really into punk rock, and I would do these really crazy makeup looks before school. A neighbor of mine at the time was working in the business and encouraged me to look into makeup as a career path, so, as a teenager, I started working in and out of makeup shops in Massachusetts, where I’m from. Then I moved to New York and pursued assisting, and Fashion Weeks, and carving out a path for myself. In 2007, I started my partnership with Chanel.

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How would you describe your makeup aesthetic?

I always start with skin; I’m obsessed with making somebody’s skin look as beautiful as possible without it looking cosmetic. Then, I’ll play with the details and choose one element, maybe a subtle twist or a pop of color. I like to keep it feeling really personal to the person, so it’s something that they’d do for themselves. It should look like a part of them, or a part of me.

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What inspires you?

Not to sound very cliché, but the women around me and women with confidence, who are charming and a bit mysterious…I had the pleasure of meeting Isabella Rossellini once, and I was just so captivated by her and the allure that she has. She has the perfect balance of masculine and feminine. She’s very sensual, in a way that’s authentic to her. Authenticity for me is really inspiring. I was on set with this art director a few weeks ago, and she had very, very bare scrubbed clean skin and this one detail, which I thought was so incredible. She had mascara on only the very bottom middle of her lash line. It was like a dot of mascara. It was so simple and almost strange, but it looked incredible and you could tell that it was her signature that she does every single day. I love people who go with a specific statement and live by that. I also look back at the 60s and 70s when there were no straight lines; everything was buffed and blurred around the edges. And I do love a nice fluffy lash and the color palette of that time with the terracottas and pink tones… They were bold colors, but they were still muted in some way.

What are five products that every woman should own?

1. First and foremost, I think everybody needs to have a good sunscreen. My favorite at the moment is the EltaMD Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. It’s really important to take care of your skin.

2. I wear Chanel La Base Nail Polish every single day. It’s actually a base coat and is very sheer, but you can wear it with two coats. It just makes your nails look so perfect, without looking like you’re wearing nail polish. Everytime I go to the salon I bring that one with me.

3. An eyelash curler. It’s instant caffeine for your eyeballs.

4. In a classic Chanel way, I think everyone should have one red lipstick in their arsenal because you can use it in so many different ways: it can be bold, or you can use your finger to create a stain, or you can use it as a blush. I’m very into a multi-use product.

5. I use Chanel’s Baume Essentiel on every model on set. If you tap it onto the high points of your face after you finish doing makeup, it just brings back that moisture without breaking down your foundation; it’s not like you’re putting on something greasy that will eat away at your concealer. It’s just the perfect finishing touch. You can also do a glossy lid with it or put it on your lips. I love the shade Sculpting. It’s almost transparent, but it has little flecks of light in it. It’s slightly glamorous, but it’s still really, really natural — and it looks good on every single skin tone.


What are your go-to summer makeup looks?

It’s so humid right now that you don’t really want to wear anything on your skin, so choosing a really lightweight foundation — or even just a concealer to spot conceal — will give you more longevity. Chanel’s Water-Fresh Tint is a really nice base that dries down, while letting your freckles and all that stuff shine through. After that, it’s about making yourself look really polished without using too many products. You can give a good curl to the lashes, and brush up the brows and maybe sculpt them out… I’ve been wearing Chanel’s Rouge Coco Balm in Natural Charm everyday. You don’t even need to look in the mirror to apply it. It just makes you look healthy and glowy. I make sure that I don’t get too much sun on my face, so I’ll dot a cream blush or even my lipstick onto my cheeks and nose to create a nice flush. And then make sure you have some blotting sheets in your purse — I love Tatcha’s Aburatorigami. That way, you’re not adding powder to your face; you’re just removing the excess oil. That’s a hot tip for the summer.

For nighttime, I like to keep the skin really clean and not use too much makeup but still make an impact… I’ll use a little red lipstick for a lip stain. Don’t worry about the edges being too perfected; it will fade as you’re eating and drinking. And I’ve been really into just rimming my eyes with a dark brown liner; you’re not going to have that crease that builds up with the humidity and the air from an eyeshadow. You can rim the top waterline underneath and the lower lash line, or you can rim your lower lash line quite heavily and then close your eyes and squish them really hard; it gives you that perfect smudged, slept-in effect. If you have any runoff, you can go over it with a little Q-Tip. It’s super quick and easy and looks good throughout the night. If I’m going out to dinner or have a special occasion, that’s my go-to, along with a special, unique piece, like a vintage Chanel dress. I like things that you can hang onto and pass down or let your friends borrow.

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