“Anyone who knows me knows that I do it all,” Jaime King says matter-of-factly on the set of her Byrdie feature shoot. Lest you think she’s talking about her Wonder Woman-esque ability to multi-task (she has a lead role on the hit CW show Hart of Dixie, has graced the pages of Vogue and walked the runways of Dior, and is a doting mother to her one year old son, James), allow us to clarify: what she’s referring to her chameleon-like beauty style. “I can be very androgynous, very feminine, very edgy…I’m always changing the way I look.” A quick glance at her hair history proves it’s true: her blonde locks have been dip-dyed blue, glossed with red, chopped into a piecey lob, grown out and dyed chestnut brown…all pulled off with her inherent model-esque grace, of course.
With this in mind, we made the focus of the shoot her (at-the-moment) naturally blonde locks. Hairstylist Rob Talty braided, bunned, and sprayed her hair to create four breezy summer styles, while makeup artist Georgie Eisdell gave her a fresh take on the term “golden goddess” with shimmery, peachy, and pink tones. “I’m very fair-skinned,” King says. “I know that everyone thinks ‘summer’ and immediately pictures tan and beautiful, but not everyone can pile on the bronzer—I love the idea of creating a different kind of beauty look for summer!”
Click through our slideshow to see how King shows off a softer side of summer beauty!
Talty declares this look formal, yet chic: “The basis is that the center part should be absolutely perfect—it allows the rest of look to be more natural,” he says. He parted King’s hair straight down the middle, secured it with an elastic behind her left ear, then twisted her strands into a perfectly-imperfect bun. “The heroes of this hairstyle are the little wispies around her ear and the nape of her neck—it’s very retro, with a hint of romance while still being modern!” he declares.
Meanwhile, Eisdell kept things simple on the makeup front and made King's porcelein skin the center of attention, mixing La Mer's Moisturizing Cream ($155) with Tom Ford's Illuminating Primer ($72) for a smooth base. Then, she applied Bobbi Brown's Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm ($54) with a Beauty Blender ($20) to give her skin a soft, airbrushed finish. For King's softly flushed cheeks, she used Tom Ford's Cheek Color ($56) in Flush, and added a tint of rose to her lips with Nars' Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($25) in Mexican Rose and Korres' Lip Butter ($12) in Wild Rose.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Mohair Fur Cardigan Coat ($1595) [Available for purchase at By George 512.472.5951], Fleur Du Mal Rose Lace Cami ($248) in Coral, Jennifer Meyer Gold Star By-The-Inch Necklace ($1950), Jennifer Fisher XL White South Sea Pearl Ring With Single Diamond ($2800) in 14K Yellow Gold, Jennifer Fisher Brass Eye Cuff With White CZ ($405) in Plated 14k Yellow Gold, Triumph Nightingale By HC Front Closure Bra ($90) in Sea Fog, Jennifer Meyer Diamond and Gold Hoop Earrings ($300)
Though it was hard for King to pick her favorite look from the shoot, she finally settled on this thick, undone fishtail. “I’ve been doing fishtails since I was a kid, and I remember how they were the coolest thing in the world,” she says. “It’s a younger, youthful, more modern take on the basic braid!”
Talty took a casual approach to this perfectly imperfect look. “I pulled strands out as I braided, making it soft and messy,” he says. He sprayed Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($42) intermittently through King’s strands as he braided to add volume. Instead of securing it with a rubber band, he backcombed the ends and sealed them with a spritz of hairspray. “This is totally achievable in real life, too—I think it would even look a little cooler with some pieces falling out!” he says. Meanwhile, Eisdell dabbed Nars' Lip Gloss ($26) in Triple X (a clear, slick gloss) on King's eyelids for an unexpected touch, then mixed Chanel's Le Blush Crème de Chanel ($38) in Chamade with Lucas Papaw Ointment ($30) to give her lips a hint of color. “I could paint this face all day!” she says.
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King channeled her inner prima donna for this modern take on the ballerina bun. “A messy topknot is always chic, fast, and easy, can dress down a formal outfit, and seems at home on any style,” Talty says. To add texture, he rubbed his fingers in a circular motion on the little hairs around King’s face and pulled them out (a technique he calls “waking up” her hairs). Eisdell gave King's lips a pop of color with Chanel's Glossimer ($30) in Sonate, a glossy red that looks more pigmented than it is. "It's a bright pigment but also sheer, so it’s perfect for summer," she says. "I like to use it more in the center of the lip, rather over the whole lip to give more dimension!"
The key to this modern milkmaid is where you start the braid: Talty says to begin each braid higher up on the head, behind the ear area, instead of low on the neck. Then, just flip each braid forward and pin it in place in a crown. “It’s super simple, yet it looks so regal!” he says.
Eisdell focused on King’s eyes with a shimmery copper smoky eye using just one product: Tom Ford’s Cream Eye Shadow in Pink Haze (which, unfortunately, was Limited Edition—but Givenchy’s Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow ($23) in Beige Mousseline and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream ($23) in Golden Copper are similar). “I took a fluffy, flat eyeshadow brush and blended the color halfway up her eye, then increased the intensity in her crease to give the illusion of a smoky effect,” Eisdell says.
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