Kristofer Buckle: Blake Lively's Makeup Artist Shares His Tips & Tools For A Flawless Face

The greatest thing about make-up is the illusion it can create. No one blends the illusion and natural beauty better than celebrity makeup artist Kristofer Buckle. He has a gift for creating glowing skin, gorgeous bone structure and incorporating color beautifully. Kristofer is like a magician in the sense that you notice the woman before you notice the makeup. His brushes and products disappear, (even when the look is bold), and revealed is breathtaking glamour.

We wanted to find out how he creates his magic and what he has learned about beauty on his way to the top. 


Is there a universal truth that joins all women together no matter who we are?

A. Yes. The one thing that all beautiful women have is a smile. It doesn’t have to be painted red or have perfect teeth. Being happy is the first step to any beauty regimen. A smile is an instant face-lift, puts light into the eyes, and sends a positive message.

Confidence is another unstoppable attribute to have and, just like thick lashes, it doesn’t have to be real to be effective.

There is a lot of range in your work, but your signature highlights bone structure and is infused with glamour. What do you do to build that look?

A. I first approach a face knowing that every face has beauty, so I decide what is distracting from the beauty and reduce it or conceal it.

Contouring is really a basic principal of makeup and I use it to add balance and reinforce shapes.

I then highlight the complexion to magnify the contouring and add light reflection.

The rest is reinforcing all of the beautiful qualities of the face using shapes and colors that are appropriate to the wardrobe, environment, or fashion trends.

What are your favorite looks or magazine covers that you’ve done?

A. I love the Rolling Stone cover of Christina Aguilera when she is dressed like a military Vargas pin up girl. It is very period correct and it’s a beautiful example of when makeup, hair, photography and wardrobe come together successfully. I also love Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic” album art. Strong, graphic and precise.

You’ve worked with Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel and many others. How do you adjust to the photographer’s artistic concepts and what’s something notable you learned from one of them?

A. Yes. Annie doesn’t like to see makeup. She likes real, not cosmetic, so I have to hold back and make sure the makeup reads “real.” Steven Meisel taught me that it’s more important to make it right than to make it quick.

What are some affordable products that you recommend from drugstores?

A. You can find some great stuff at drugstores. L’Oreal Visible Lift is a great concealer.

Revlon PhotoReady is a good foundation. There are so many great Revlon lipsticks too! 

What’s the easiest way to get dewy skin? Are you using mostly creams or shimmer powders to highlight?

A. I set makeup using iridescent powder to create a “dewy” effect on the skin. It creates a reflection that mimics moist skin without being wet or sticky. Using a dry product keeps makeup long-wearing, non-transferable and more predictable/controllable.

You can use eye shadows or I also like Laura Mercier Illuminating Powder.

If you use a cream or liquid formula highlighter without setting it, it can look less clean in photographs and become too shiny as the day goes on. My Light Enhancing Duo is a unique cream and powder duo that creates perfect light, has staying power and results in a flawless finish.


Are there any moisturizers or foundations you favor to achieve the look of a flawless complexion?

A. I love Dr. Brandt products for the skin. His line has a solution for every problem your skin may have. A perfect canvas can be faked with makeup, but why fake what you can avoid.

I really love the Tom Ford Traceless Cream Foundations. They are emollient and well pigmented. They don’t change the texture of the skin and they wear very well. They also don’t require much powder to set it.

And the Kristofer Buckle Collection! The Triplicity Perfecting Foundation is a 3-in-1 product. It primes, blurs and cover. 

Makeup artist Kristofer Buckle was catapulted onto the fashion scene when Steven Meisel booked him for the cover of Italian Vogue. He works with top talents including Blake Lively, Jessica Chastain, Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera. *personal photos courtesy of Kristofer Buckle.