Artist In Residency: Misha Shahzada Finds The Silver Lining In Metallic Eyes
Welcome to Artist in Residency, our series that brings the industry's most innovative makeup artists to Rose Inc. for a month of creativity and inspiration. Each week, you'll discover an original look—and the story behind it—created by an artist we love.
From a young age, Misha Shahzada knew she wanted to work in beauty, but becoming a professional artist felt beyond her grasp while growing up in a small town in Northern California. “I wanted to do makeup, but I didn't know how to be a freelancer and be successful,” she says, so she studied finance in college with the goal of becoming a beauty buyer instead. Soon she’d accepted a job as a stock trading assistant in New York City, an opportunity many would covet, but she still couldn’t shake the beauty bug.
“I had all these dreams and goals to do editorial, so when I was 21 I decided that I was going to do makeup,” she recalls. For four years Shahzada traded days off for hard work. She worked her assistant job on Wall Street during the week and built her portfolio on the weekends. A decade later she’s accomplished her goal many times over. The Lebanese-American artist’s work can be seen in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, i-D, and Interview Magazine. For these reasons and more, Rose Inc. is delighted to welcome Shahzada as our March artist in residency.
When approaching this editorial shoot, Shahzada had one overarching goal: “I want to spread some optimism,” she says. Living through the global pandemic in NYC has given the artist a new perspective and a desire to find the silver lining in the everyday. Whether whimsical artwork or a soothing color palette that inspired each look, Shahzada left breadcrumbs by way of silver on her eyeliner throughout the four looks, which she created on longtime client and friend, model Emily DiDonato.
Her Residency Inspiration:
Invigorating shades of icy blue swirled through a post-storm sky. Hints of silver framing rolling clouds. The sun peaking through just when you need it the most. It's the emotions felt when viewing a clearing sky that inspired Shahzada’s entire residency—and translated directly into her second week. “Mimicking the shapes of clouds, with imperfect brush strokes on the ends, is what inspired this look," she says. “Finding the literal silver lining.”
Behind This Look:
After prepping DiDonato’s face with Covey‘s three-step skin-care range—plus a touch of Maybelline Fit Me Foundation and Concealer—Shahzada patted MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow—onto the model’s lids. Pro tip: Select a color close to your skin tone or lighter than your shadow when using cream shadow as primer.
Then the artist moved onto creating her clouds. “There is this really beautiful silver shade in the Mehron Makeup Paradise palette,” Shahzada says about the color SIlver Argente. Using a flat, wet brush (Rēphr Brush #02) she dipped into the product before crafting circular shapes above the model’s lids, then filled them in. “Then I went in with the Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil in Sparkling Silver to perfect the clouds a little bit and added more liner on her lower lashline.”
Believe it or not, this look is pretty straightforward.
For Shahzada, restraint is key. “Whenever I focus on a bold eye I tend to keep everything else minimal,” she says. “I really wanted the eyes to stand out.” To provide subtle balance, Shahzada lightly patted Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow Pot in Chill Girl onto DiDonato’s cheekbones for a touch of highlight and Chanel Powder Blush in In Love (which has a slight shimmer as well) onto the apples of her cheeks.
Maybelline Lip Liner in Gone Greige under Victoria Beckham Posh Lipstick in Pixi provided the perfect natural lip color. “Believe it or not, this look is pretty straightforward,” Shahzada says.
Emily Didonato photographed by Elias Tahan. Makeup by Misha Shahzada. Hair by Clara Leonard using Hair by Sam McKnight. Styled by Lottie Elisa. Written by Lexy Lebsack.