Step Up Your Makeup Game with These Pro Tips from Makeup Artist Kecia Littman

You might be mistaken for a HONOLULU Fashion Week model.
Kecia Littman
Photo: Courtesy of Kecia Littman

When the models hit the runway during HONOLULU Fashion Week, Nov. 10, 11 and 12, professional makeup artist Kecia Littman is going to be behind the scenes with the team from Motives by Loren Ridinger, making them look their best in the spotlight. She’s been in the biz for 16 years, bringing creative flair to everything from HONOLULU Magazine photo shoots to movie and TV productions including Hawai‘i Five-0, and working with a long list of brands including, Adidas and Lululemon.


We chatted with Littman to get a few tips on makeup and beauty.


And if youre into makeup, or just looking great–be sure to attend HONOLULU Fashion Week, Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center! There will be a booth by Motives by Loren Ridinger with a whole team of independent makeup artists and business owners, offering complimentary makeovers.


HONOLULU: What are the latest trends you’re excited for?

Kecia Littman: I love how for spring we’re going a little darker with lips. More of a dark burgundy, dramatic red tones. We’re playing up the lips and being creative. At New York Fashion Week, I did a glitter lip for DKNY. It’s the kind of thing you’d do for a fun night out. It’s about having a different look. Even if the rest of your makeup is the same, glitter will really draw the eyes to your lips.

And then at Paris Fashion Week, we did some really fun intricate eyes. You can even use lip liner as an eye shadow. A darker lip pencil will give you a really dramatic look around the eyes.


H: Any tips for taking your makeup game to the next level?

KL: It’s important to find the right foundation match. Find out what skin type you are—oily or dry or sensitive or combination. And then, based on that, find a foundation.

Contouring is all about the right brush. A good contouring angle brush will make a real difference in the kind of look you can achieve.

It’s worth paying for a consultation with a makeup professional. You’re going to get one-on-one attention with an artist, and they’ll break everything down for you, what you’re doing correctly and what you’re not, what your eye shape and skin tone is, and how to work with that. You’ll really be able to create the look you want.


H: Any tips for people in Hawai‘i?

KL: For me, it’s all about the skin, and keeping it baby soft and healthy. Use sunscreen. Exfoliate. Moisturize. You can use makeup to cover up the damage or imperfections, but really, you should be taking care of your skin first. That’s the most important thing.

Figure out the colors that work with your specific skin tone. If I was an everyday person going to a counter, I would match three different colors. Swatch them on the side of your cheek or jawline, and, out of those three colors, the one that you don’t see is usually the right color.

You may need a couple of different colors. In Hawai‘i, our foreheads tend to be a little darker, because of the sun. Paying attention to how your skin tone changes across your face will give you a more refined look.


H: Makeup for men: Is it ever going to happen?

KL: I think so, definitely. Some brands are already catering to this new market. CoverGirl, for example, just launched its first male spokesmodel, James Charles. And guys, you can start off really simple and natural, with basic skin care. Exfoliation, sunscreen, moisturizers. And then like a little concealer, some oil blotting powder. I see makeup for grooms at weddings getting more popular. Everyone wants to look picture perfect on that big day.


H: There’s a whole world of YouTube makeup stars these days. Who are some of your favorites?

I like this girl who is really funny, NikkieTutorials. And then Camila Coelho has a little softer look. Carli Bybel is a must. And I also enjoy Marianna Hewitt. Oh, and the Maskcara blog!


H: What are your must-have essential pieces of makeup? What would be in your desert-island kit?

KL: My Cozzette brushes. They’re vegan and will last forever. You can wash them with any bar soap.

Mascara. Any kind, really; I don’t have a favorite.

A tinted lip conditioner. You can use it with lipstick to layer deeper colors, but it works by itself too, if you don’t have time and you just want a glow.

And for skincare, it’s important to have a really good serum. I use the Honua Aloha Youth serum every day. It’s got hibiscus and ‘awa, which also give you that glow. I’m all about the glow.


H: What lesson about makeup do you want people to take away with them?

KL: Makeup does take time and patience. But you can practice and have fun with it! If you make a mistake, you can take it off. That’s the beauty of makeup.

As women, we don’t take the time. We say, I only have five minutes to do my face! But it’s self-care. If you spend some time in front of a mirror and experiment, it’s a way of loving yourself. If you feel self-confident and beautiful, you’ll have that glow. The bottom line is you feeling good about yourself, from the inside.