Recreate Kate Upton’s MET Gala look with makeup artist Tracy Murphy [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

How did Kate Upton's bombshell look come together?

From eye strobing to eyelash perfecting, make-up artist Tracy Murphy walked us through model Kate Upton’s ‘innovative bombshell’ look at the MET Gala this year.

In honor of the Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology theme, the Sports Illustrated model’s make-up complemented her Topshop dress, inspired by Wonder Woman.

When Tracy saw the dress Kate was going to wear, she knew which direction she wanted to take the look, and with Tracy’s techniques, she highlighted Kate’s stunning blue eyes and glowy skin in such a classic way.

Jennifer Graylock/
Jennifer Graylock/

Tracy shared quite a few tips from pimple coverage to what goes in preparation before even applying the foundation.

As for stand-out products? The make-up artist, who has worked with Kate in past photoshoots, used high-quality goodies from her own Lash Star Beauty line to execute the final look.

Tracy was kind enough to give’s May Chan the inside scoop on Kate’s preparation. Secret face cream? Custom lipcolor for the client? What did Tracy use on the model’s legs? We even found out what was in Kate’s clutch during her red carpet moment. Eye-strobing was definitely a big hit at the MET Gala, how did you emphasize Kate’s blue eyes?

Tracy Murphy: I wanted to let her gorgeous blue eyes be the focus, so I stayed away from any bold color and went with an intense yet understated eye look. I used our Lash Star Beauty very pigmented black kohl pencil and lined the inner water lines on the top and bottom of her lashes and had her squint and squish her eyes to get that natural bleed.

Then I softened the black smudges and layered over our metallic multidimensional pearl eyeshadow on the top lid and under the bottom lash line.

I curled her lashes with our Supreme Curler and then our Heated Lash Styler to coax them into shape. I used our individual lashes to add in even more lash drama and generously coated her top and bottom lashes with our Full Control mascara. I used a little of our black liquid liner to create subtle points on the inner and outer corner of the eye.

And I emphasized her already great shaped brow with our brow pencil in Cool Brown and set with clear brow gel I am currently developing.

FW: How did you prep Kate’s face before foundation? Moisturizer? Primer?

TM: I used Tammy Fender rosewater to start the hydrating process. Then I massaged in a secret cream Kate had from her facialist and mixed with MAC Strobe cream to help the skin radiate underneath the makeup. I love KohGenDo Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, so I mixed 003 and 123 to compliment her coloring. I used Lancôme Effacernes concealer for under the eye. I added a little light shading to face and a light pop of color for her cheeks.

FW: I watched your Instagram of you lining Kate’s eyes. What eyeliner did you use to get that effect?

TM: It’s too bad the sound didn’t come through because that clip was particularly funny! I used our Pure Pigment super dense black kohl pencil to line the eyes.

FW: I thought it was hilarious that you and Kate got down to business with that pimple. Do you have any tips in concealing pimples especially for such a big event, like the MET Gala?

TM: Yes! We love to laugh and are both very good at making each other laugh, and you can’t take pimples too seriously! I use a heavy spot cover up like Ben Nye or Demablend and then blend blend blend out, then set it with a MAC Prep and Prime loose translucent powder. And NO touching the blemish!

Follow me on #Snapchat at KateUptonSnap and watch me getting ready for The Met Gala!

A video posted by Kate Upton (@kateupton) on

FW: Did you base Kate’s look off her dress early on or was this a collaborative “wing it” effort?

TM: Once I saw the dress I knew exactly what direction we would go in. Kate is a bombshell and she would look gorgeous no matter what! But because the dress was so powerful and impactful, we decided to give her that “innovative bombshell” look with the focus on the eyes but still highlighting her features. We have history of working together so we usually make a plan and then execute—it’s pretty laid back and always FUN.

FW: You usually work with Kate for other events or shoots. Compared with those days, how long did it take to complete the look? What time did you start?

TM: For events like these, I always like at least 2 hours for hair, makeup, nails, and dressing. There is always something that comes up last minute, so it’s best to have a little padding…We arrived at 1:30 p.m. to set up, started at 2 p.m. and she left around 4 p.m.

FW: I notice you usually use Bobbi Brown products on Kate. Which is your personal favorite?

TM: I love the face oil, it’s divine!

FW: Did Kate carry any make-up products in her clutch for touch-ups or did her make-up hold up all night?

TM: I gave her some mints and a little lipgloss.

FW: You created Lash Star Beauty, which makes sense, because Kate’s lashes looked beautiful. Any tips in marrying false and real lashes?

TM: I always start with curling the lashes then I apply mascara on the existing lash to create a base for the false lashes. I love our super high quality individual lashes because they are like non other on the market! The hairs come to a fine pointed tip that looks like real lash hair, so this makes marrying them together easier. You can pop them on and they blend right in with the existing lash. I usually add on mascara on the falsie and existing lash to blend them for a seamless look. Then you can layer on the mascara endlessly to get the perfect lash.

FW: Kate also looked really great with her legs. Did you do something different from her usual routine?

TM: Her legs looking good probably have more to do with her working out than anything I did! But we did use a Mario Basdescu [sic] pearlized lotion on her legs.

FW: Please list the products used on Kate, so readers can recreate it from home.


  • Tammy Fender Bulgarian Rosewater
  • MAC Strobe Cream
  • Some secret face cream from Kate’s facialist
  • Lash Star Beauty Supreme Curler
  • Lash Star Beauty Heated Lash Styler
  • Lash Star Beauty Visionary Flare Lashes
  • Lash Star Beauty Full Control Mascara
  • Lash Star Beauty Exacting Eyebrow Pencil
  • Lash Star Beauty Pure Pigment Liner
  • Lash Star Beauty Infinite Ink Pro Liquid Liner
  • Lash Star Beauty Modern Nudes Palette #3
  • Lash Star Beauty Flash of Brilliance in Phosphorescence
  • MAC blush in Spring Flock
  • MAC Sculpting Powder in Sculpt
  • Shiseido Bronzer
  • Custom mixed lipcolor for Kate from my lip palette

Recreate your version of Kate Upton’s look and tweet us @fashionweekcom!