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April 18, 2021 3 min read 4 Comments

It was an elaborate collection and a treacherous shoot, but as far as the “look” for Cynthia, we kept it pretty simple.

“Cynthia wasn’t about glamour,” explained makeup guru Lisa Martensen. “Cynthia Parker was a woman of the prairie, a hard worker, a hands-on mother. It would’ve been really out of place to go dramatic with the makeup or over-style the hair. So, I went more earthy, outdoorsy, practical.”

But even a “no frills” look requires some work behind the scenes. (Nothing takes more effort than looking effortless, am I right?) Lisa shares some of her tips and tricks for creating the Cynthia look.


Key Elements: Middle part and stick straight

“On the surface, a ponytail is about as simple as it gets when it comes to hairstyles. But there’s quite a difference between ‘throwing your hair in a pony’ and ‘styling a ponytail’. On Kaylin, it needed to be sleek, secure, and structured. I started by weighing it down a little with my go-to hair moisturizer, and of course, a flat iron. Then I did the middle part and brushed it flat to her head in a low pony. And then, here’s the ‘trick’: I use a bungee ponytail holder and I double it up to make it stand out away from her head. Then, I wrapped that in a leather strap, which had a three-fold benefit; it concealed the bungee, it gave strength and structure to the ponytail, and it also provided a place for Cheryl to add accessories, like pins, to it. It ended up being a really cool look that I think will be memorable from this collection.”


Key Elements: Incorporating shades from your surroundings, soft, no mascara

“The collection was really colorful, and we wanted that to pop,” she said. “So for the eyes, I picked up some of the shades from the environment and did a reddish-brown eye to pick up the color of the red dirt and the Enchanted Rock. The key is to keep it soft, blend it, smudge it so you don’t have really drastic lines. And use a powder, that will help. I used it on the lid and also on a fine brush underneath as a soft liner.”

Lisa’s Picks:

TOM FORD EYE QUAD (Note: Lisa loves Cocoa Mirage, but it’s been discontinued; Desert Fox is a comparable substitution with shades for Cynthia.)


“I think I’ve said this to you before, but I don’t believe in change for the sake of change. It probably gets boring for the reader, but if I have a product – a foundation or, in this case, an eyeliner, that I can rely on, I will go back to it again and again. I’ve probably tried every eyeliner on the market, and MAC’s gel liner is consistently my favorite. I barely used it on the girls for Cynthia, nothing like Midnight Cowboy, but I did line the eyes just a bit for definition.”


“I did a little more contour for Cynthia than I have been for other recent collections. I did some contour up at the temple, on their nose, and a little under the cheekbone. I think you can look at pictures of the girls from this collection versus previous collections and see how it kind of shaped the structure of their face. Contour is crazy that way. BUT, beware – contour can go really wrong, really quickly. Blend, blend, blend, blend!”

4 Responses

Kari Finch Start
Kari Finch Start

April 26, 2021

Beautiful!!! love the look of Natural beauty!!!!


April 21, 2021

I love seeing the makeup/hair posts. Thank you for sharing.

Paula C Reumont
Paula C Reumont

April 18, 2021

Just want to thank Lisa for all her great advise; not only with what products to use but also how to use them. I’ve been hooked ever since the concealer; still using it!

Cathy K
Cathy K

April 18, 2021

I always look forward to seeing your complete looks! Thank you for the ponytail 101…
Love it!

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