Before Selena Gomez, there was the singer who she was named after — Selena Quintanilla, the beloved queen of Tejano music who was often referred to by just her first name like Cher, Beyoncé, and Madonna. By the time of her death at age 23 in 1995, Selena was a best-selling Latin artist, had already won a Grammy, and was poised for a successful crossover from the Spanish market with an English-language album. Selena was adored by her fans and to this day, she is still thought of as an icon of inspiration and style.
While Selena was widely known for her fashion — sequined bustiers, high-waisted pants, shimmery jumpsuits, and gold hoop earrings — her makeup game was also very much on point. Her signature red pout (provided by her favorite lipstick of choice, the now-discontinued Chanel “Brick”) has been replicated by many fans over the years and MAC Cosmetics is even paying tribute to the late singer with their #MACSelena collection later this fall.
As a way to celebrate what would have been Selena’s 45th birthday (which is on April 16th), here’s an easy-to-do makeup tutorial that will help you achieve her iconic beauty look. But first, turn up your volume and press play on “Como La Flor.”
What you need
- Brow pomade
- Brown eyeshadow (matte)
- Cream eyeshadow (matte)
- Red lipstick
- Darker red lipstick
- Red lipliner
- Lip brush
- Light pink blush
- Mascara or fake lashes
Base and hair prep
To create my base, I started off with Acti’mine by Givenchy, a color-correcting primer. Next, I applied Urban Decay’s Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup and topped it off with their Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder. Since Selena’s hair was wavy most of the time, I curled my super straight hair with the Bio Inic Long Barrel Styler and spritzed with hairspray. If you have bangs, separate a few pieces with hairspray to create a wispy look. My own Bettie Page-style fringe is much shorter than Selena’s, but I made do!
Selena was known for her strong, arched brows. To achieve this look, I used Anastasia’s Dipbrow Pomade and her #12 brush. The pomade goes on super smooth so I was able to fill in my brows and exaggerate my natural arch perfectly. I also used Cinema Secrets Ultimate Corrector 5 in 1 PRO Palette to define my brows since they were long overdue for a threading. Using a flat tip brush, swipe a bit of concealer underneath your brows to highlight and conceal any stray hairs you have.
Selena was a fan of smoky brown eyeshadow. One thing to remember is all of her colors are matte, so go for those instead of anything shimmery. I applied Nuance’s Long Lasting Shadow Stick to my lids in Shimmered Bark, but the shimmer was barely there so it worked. I then used Maybelline’s Eye Studio ColorMolten Duo on my crease. I didn’t have any cream shadow with me and ended up grabbing a co-worker’s Kardashian Touch Tones palette to use last minute on my brow bone.
Using your black liquid liner, draw a very modest winged eye. Start from the inner corner of your eye and stay close to your lash line, ending with a short, thin flick. I used Ardency Inn’s Punker Eyeliner for this. Next, you’ll want to use a black eye pencil to draw a thin line underneath your bottom lashes. Afterwards, smudge the liner with a small brush.
For Selena’s perfectly red pout, first use your lipliner to outline your lips. Don’t be afraid to overline them a bit to create a fuller lip like Selena’s. Next, take a lip brush and dab some of the darker red just under the lipliner, blending it together. Apply your main red shade and rub your lips together to blend. Even though we have to wait until October to get our hands on MAC Cosmetics’ Selena collection, I still wanted to use some of the brand’s gorgeous red shades. For the darker red, I used Hearts Aflame and MAC Red for my main.
The finished look
As your final step, apply just a touch of light pink or peach blush. I used Benefit’s Dandelion Brightening Face Powder.
Now, grab your sequined bra, high-waisted pants and get ready to “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” in honor of Selena!