When the Charles James theme of the 2014 Met Gala came to light, the industry (both fashion and beauty) was abuzz with the dramatic creations that were sure to sweep the red carpet. Anne Hathaway's makeup artist Kate Lee was one of them: "Not gonna lie, I had all these dreams of pastels, painterly colors," Lee tells InStyle.com exclusively. "But then I saw what she was wearing, and all of that bit the dust because I knew that wasn’t going to be the right thing."
Hathaway stunned last night at the gala in a custom Calvin Klein Collection geranium silk crepe two-piece with Bougainvillea satin lining—a dress that Lee says perfectly encapsulated the theme, which was all about celebrating the female form. And the makeup was a complement to that. To avoid direct competition, Lee kept Hathaway's makeup to a minimum, taking inspiration from Hathaway's natural beauty to create an elegant-yet-effortlessly understated look.
"I wanted to do something she felt comfortable in, so I chose colors that were flattering to her skin, and I defined her features—it was about what I was right for the dress, and I'm fortunate that she trusts me with those decisions," reveals Lee, who has worked with the actress for almost nine years ("I know her face better than anyone's," she jokes).
She first prepped Hathaway's skin with Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation in Beige Rosé ($44; chanel.com) and a touch of Chanel Les Beiges powder in N.10 ($58; chanel.com) on the chin, sides of the nose, and the hairline, before turning her attention on the eyes—the main focus of the look. For the lids, she swiped a reddish copper shade from the Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Tisse Rivoli (available in August), building up the intensity along the crease line, then dabbed the coppery Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in New Moon ($36; chanel.com) for added warmth. To further enhance her eyes, Lee traced the base lashline with creme gel-based Laura Mercier Cake Eye Liner ($23; lauramercier.com), swiped one coat of the Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Noir ($30; chanel.com) (Lee's favorite mascara in terms of lasting power and curl maintenance), and a few individual mink falsies from Velour Lashes ($35; velourlashes.com).
For her cheeks, Lee used two blush shades: Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel in Cheeky ($38; chanel.com) to contour and carve out the cheekbones and Révèlation to bring out "a little bit of life to cheeks."
As for lip color, Lee would have, under normal circumstances, matched the lip to the dress, but that wasn't the case this time around, reaching instead for the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Emotion ($35; chanel.com) for a berry stain-like bitten hue: "It's very nondescript—it balanced out the color of the dress without conflicting with it."
And that's it! Lee calls the look approachable and universally flattering, but most importantly, easy to recreate. "Anybody could wear a variation of this look—just tweak the colors to suit your complexion," she says. But her biggest end-goal of the night was for Hathaway to feel and look comfortable and confident: " I wanted people to look at Annie and think she looked beautiful and the best version of herself." We think she succeeded!