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Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Ermahn Ospina

The man behind Darby Stanchfield's stunning looks:

Ermahn Ospina is an editorial + celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Colombia, his passion for makeup began when he fell in love with the faces of women in Hollywood films.

darby_scandal_You can see his work in famous films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, Sin City and Sin City 2 A Dame To Kill For directed by Robert Rodriguez.. and many more. He also works with top celebrities, including one of America’s favorite redheadsScandal‘s Darby Stanchfield.

“One of the biggest joys in my life is to enhance a woman’s unique natural beauty through make up application,” Ospina says. “Its power to change a woman’s attitude or feeling about herself is beautiful to witness. I love being a part of it.”

We had the opportunity to talk with him about how to get Darby’s looks, his favorite redhead makeup tips .. and more!

H2BAR: What’s the best foundation tip you have for redheads? 

EO: Redheads should focus on getting a warmer foundation for the skin tone. It will ultimately make you look more healthy and radiant.

If you are going for a very natural look, my favorite foundation for a redhead is Sisley-Paris Phyto-Teint Eclat Oil-Free Fluid Foundation in Soft Beige #02.

H2BAR: Most redheads say mascara is their best friend because most have fair lashes. What is your favorite ‘redhead friendly’ mascara?

EO: I love Orlane Paris Volume Care Mascara in black.

H2BAR: Many redheads are afraid to rock a bold lip. What’s your favorite color lip on a redhead?

EO: Really, any color of lipstick or lip gloss that has a blue/purple pigment is perfect for a redhead. Some of my favorites are Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in 46 La Malicieuse, Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Ballet Pink and Dior Rouge Dior in 565 Vogue Pink.



H2BAR: Let’s talk smokey eye! How can a redhead rock a smokey eye? Any tricks or secrets?

EO: The easiest way for a redhead to rock a smokey eye is:

1. First, use a dark brown pencil like, Laura Mercier in ‘Special Brown’.

Use it on the bottom part of the eyelid, right on the lash line, and in the bottom water line, also on the bottom lash line, connecting the liner in the outside corners of the eyes.

2. Go over the top and bottom line that you have just created, using a beautiful eyeshadow, like Kevyn Aucoin’s eyeshadow in #106 Coffee Bean. Smudge it gently and connect on the corners of the eyes, just like you did previously with the eyeliner pencil.

3. Add a couple coats of L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black.

4. Finish it up with a natural soft lip. Some of my favorite lip glosses are ‘Be Legendary’ and ‘Pink Lady’ by Smashbox Cosmetics.

smokey eye redheads


H2BAR: We love the looks you do on Darby Stanchfield. So stunning! What’s your favorite look you’ve ever done on her EVER? 

EO: Thank you so much for the compliment! I really enjoy doing Darby’s makeup. She has such a beautiful face, therefore is hard for me to pick just one specific look, because every single one of them is my favorite. But, if I had to narrow it down, it this past spring in NYC for 2015 TV Upfronts when she was promoting Scandal. I loved how her makeup came out!


See Ospina’s step-by-step tutorial in the video below:

H2BAR: What should be the first step when applying makeup?

EO: The first step before any makeup application is to start with a very clean face and a good moisturizer. I can’t emphasize the importance of skin care enough; it is the key for any successful makeup look. I use some moisturizers that work amazing underneath any foundation. A couple of my favorites are Orlane Paris Super Moisturizing Light Cream and Sisley Paris Moisturizer With Cucumber.


H2BAR: What should be the last step?

EO: Use a loose translucent powder lightly with the brush on your T-Zone to take care of excessive or unwanted shine. Another last step when applying makeup is to take off the excess of your lips gloss by gently kissing on a tissue. Remember, you want your lips to look moist not drooly.

H2BAR: What eyeshadow colors should redhead embrace?

EO: When it comes to eyeshadows, redheads should use the variety of earth tones, including some shimmers and metallics.

Bright shades of blue or green eyeshadows are also great to experiment and play with, after all makeup is all about creativity, but you shouldn’t embrace them as your go-to colors for daily use.

Some of my favorite eyeshadows for redheads are Chanel Multi Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 214 Tissé Mademoiselle, NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Cordura and Tom Ford Eye Quad in Nude.




H2BAR: There are so many ways to blend in makeup these days. Beauty blenders, brushes etc. What’s your favorite?

EO: My favorite way to blend makeup is all the above! Sometimes, I even use my finger tips to blend the eyeshadow, cream blush or lipstick. With that being said, I always have my Beauty Blenders in all sizes. I love using the very small ones; specially when I’m working close to the inner corners of the eyes. Also, one my favorite blending brushes is actually the Good Karma Optical Blurring Foundation Brush by Urban Decay! It helps me leave any foundation, contour or blush looking flawless.

H2BAR: What is your favorite ‘redhead friendly’ blush? 

EO: My favorite ‘redhead friendly’ blushes are Chanel Powder Blush No. 55 in Love, Tom Ford Cheek Color Blush in ‘Frantic Pink’ and Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Eclat in 5 Pink Coral.


For more tips + tutorials, follow him on Instagram, @ermahnospina