When it comes to beauty, there are few experts better equipped to give you the run down than James Kaliardos: Makeup artist to stars such as Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Carla Bruni, and co-founder of influential fashion-and-art brand, Visionaire.

His first rule of thumb? “Beauty is not makeup application. It’s how someone feels,” he says over the phone from his apartment in New York City. Here, how the artist combines beauty and wellness to make some of the most iconic looks to date.

Hydration is key

“If you don’t properly prep the skin, even if it looks good to your naked eye, there are always issues that come up down the line," Kaliardos says. Start with a face moisturizer, like Kaya Anti-Aging Face Oil, or cream, mist, serum — “the more moisturizing products you can use on the face, the better the outcome.” Unsure of how much is too much? Kaliardos paints the picture of Bianca Jagger, the it-girl in the 70s, prepping her skin for a night on the town. “Bianca jagger used to do her makeup and then sit in the bathtub before she would go to studio 54. It would re-hydrate her face. For me, Costa Brazil brings that kind of experience of hydration.”

Massage is non-negotiable

"Even if I'm in a rush, like when I’m doing Miley [Cyrus] and she has to go on stage, massage is part of my prep," he says, explaining how working with a tool like Massage Tool gets rid of eye bags, lifts the brows, straightens your jaw line, and leaves you feeling more relaxed. And that sensation will show on your face and in turn enhance your natural beauty, he adds.

Concentrate makeup in the center of your face

"Sometimes I'll leave the outer edges free from makeup to make sure that human skin element shines through,” he says, explaining that some of his high-profile clients don’t like heavy application or even powder, save for along the t-zone. “That’s sexy.” Then, for that “glow-y highlight everyone loves so much,” Kaliardos will dab shimmer like Lua Moonlight Body Oil to cheeks, temples, the jawline, down the neck, collarbone and shoulders. “It’s not greasy nor heavy, and it smells delicious.” As for other types of highlighters, steer clear of powders, he says, which can give you “an illusion of hydration but in actuality, you’re dry.”

Don’t forget fragrance

"Francisco Costa de-coded this aura of beauty in a single scent. When I use Costa Brazil personally, as well as on my clients, there is something truly joyful about it,” he says.

How to incorporate our signature scent into your daily routine

01 Massage

Once out of the shower, massage with Body Oil for soft, smooth skin that’s hydrated and smells like the rainforest.

02 Moisturize

Apply Body Cream, a rich moisturizer that's based in aloe leaf juice and leaves skin calm and more hydrated.

03 Hydrate

Apply Face Oil, a hydrating elixir with a natural aroma that stems from its sweet, vitamin-rich fruits and oils.

04 Fragrance

Roll on Aroma in Oil, the oil version of our award-winning fragrance, for warm, smoky, and slightly sweet notes at the wrist, temples and neck.

Text by Kate Branch
Photographs by Matthew Placek and Zachary Astor