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Gwen Stefani's Longtime Makeup Artist Explains Her New Look at the Billboard Music Awards

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images

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Did it take you a minute to recognize Gwen Stefani last night?

No Doubt's front woman performed a duet with beau Blake Shelton at the Billboard Music Awards, looking decidedly different from her signature look. Gone were her usual black eyeliner and crimson lip, and in their place was a neutral, shimmery, monochromatic face that was pretty striking.

Gregory Arlt, Gwen's longtime makeup artist, answered a few questions via email about the makeup. "For this look we wanted to go with a very pared down, 'hyper natural,' earthy look," he says. "We've been playing around with this look for shoots and videos recently and felt it would be the perfect complement to the elaborate gown and sexy hair that was done for the show. It was all about skin and highlights."

To achieve this, he used matte foundation and multiple combinations of textures and colors to achieve the shimmery effect you saw during the performance. He added a mixture of powder and cream highlighters in both ivory and gold on her cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of the nose, and chin to make her look "lit from within." He then mixed peach and electric blush on her cheeks so that it would "change color when she moved her face." The neutral lip color actually took six products – two beige pencils and four different lip glosses.

Arlt skipped eye liner altogether and instead relied on a warm palette of browns, beiges, golds, peach shimmer, and glitter on her eyes, topping it all off with lengthening mascara. Finally, for the brows he "used a pencil to get the shape and filled it in with a warm brown shadow for a chic, couture look."

If you miss Gwen's red lip, you can still snag her signature color for yourself from her recently released Urban Decay collection.

Watch Britney Spears' Performance At The 2016 BBMA