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Janelle Monáe’s 2019 Met Gala Look

The stunning style icon and award-winning musician wore 100% PURE™ to the 2019 Met Gala – here’s how to get her look!

Written by: 100% PURE®

There was a LOT of eye candy on the Met Gala stairs last night – Lady Gaga in four different outfits, Katy Perry dressed as a chandelier, and the gorgeous Janelle Monáe with three hats, a long-lashed *winking* bustier, and a braided ponytail full of kisses!

Sound a little campy? That’s the nature of Camp: Notes on Fashion, the theme for last night’s star-studded 2019 Met Gala. This fundraising event for the Costume Institute is a veritable who’s who of celebs, musicians, show stopping fashion, and lots of stunning makeup looks – all held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Fresh off her win at the GLAAD Awards for Outstanding Music Artist, singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe and her newest album Dirty Computer are pretty much running the world right now – and we’re more than OK with it! Monáe is a gorgeous musical genius who has long been an advocate for equality across all fronts – making her a source of endless inspiration and a complete honor to work with for the 2019 Met Gala!

Monáe is also a renowned style icon, who has rocked some seriously trailblazing looks throughout her career: the androgynous tuxedo, the flapper girl pixie cut, and an overarching style portfolio that’s so chic, it’s basically become a fashion gold standard. Her style was specifically highlighted by Refinery29 as an icon whose looks are “bursting with camp motifs”. How over-the-moon are we that she wore 100% PURE™ to this megawatt fashion event?!

We partnered with the insanely talented Makeup Artist Jessica Smalls, who’s also worked with stars like Soniqua Martin-Green (The Walking Dead) and Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), and partnered with KKW Beauty. She created a dramatic glam makeup look with soft touches from fruit pigments and gemstone shimmer – all to perfectly compliment Monáe’s color blocked pink, black, and white Christian Siriano gown, complete with campy cutouts and joyful surrealism details. Get the details below on exactly which products were featured in Janelle Monáe’s 2019 Met Gala look!

Janelle Behind behind the scenes

“I was squealing the entire time doing @janellemonae #metgala look. “EYE” couldn’t wait for y’all to see it!” - MUA Jessica Smalls

5 Steps to Janelle Monáe’s 2019 Met Gala Makeup Look

Don’t worry – this look has WAY fewer steps than the staircase at the Met Museum!

As Janelle’s MUA of choice, Jessica Smalls knew exactly which tones would compliment the singer-songwriter’s deep, warm skin and doll-like almond eyes. She was ready to serve stunning hues of pink, copper, and nude for this year’s Met Gala look. “Janelle’s Met Gala makeup had to shimmer and shine. I wanted the cameras and light to catch the sophisticated glitter pop of her eyes and the radiant glow from her skin. I wanted Janelle to look like she was going to a ball hosted by Michelle Obama.”

Sounds pretty gorgeous – and grand – right? The steps for recreating this iconic look are a lot simpler than you’d think: check out the breakdown below!

Before any makeup look, you should be sure that skin is primed with a blend of hydration and moisture that’s suited to your skin. We love our Sea Culture Replenishing Serum for any skin type, though it’s super beneficial for normal to dry skin. Hydrate your skin pre-moisturizer with a hefty pea-sized pump, gently pressed into skin. Allow to set for 90 seconds.

Follow with a lightweight daytime moisturizer that suits your skin type, or opt for a lightweight oil like Smalls used for Janelle. She used a light facial oil and mixed in a bit of Cocoa Pigmented® Bronzer in Cocoa Glow for a warm, glowy base to compliment Monáe’s gorgeous skin.


To get a red-carpet-ready complexion that won’t smudge or slip, it is crucial to start with a makeup primer! Smalls used our best-selling Luminous Primer on Monáe, to illuminate her complexion and keep her makeup looking fresh all night long (super important with cameras flashing around every corner and a hundred stairs to climb).

To create a totally flawless finish for Monáe’s complexion, Smalls used our Fruit Pigmented® Healthy Foundation in a blend of Cocoa and Mousse. Using a cruelty-free kabuki brush, replicate this supersoft finish by applying to the center of the face and buffing gently outwards in small, tight circles until completely blended.

To correct any imperfections, Smalls applied the 2nd Skin Concealer in Shade 6 and blended out with a small brush.


If you got even a glimpse of Janelle Monáe’s 2019 Met Gala gown (our Project Runway fangirl is loving this Christian Siriano moment), you’ll know that pink was on the menu for the night. To get a creamy, dreamy satin cheek with a blush of vibrant pink, Smalls dabbed and blended Fruit Pigmented® Pot Rouge in Posey onto Monáe’s cheeks. This vibrant, pinky coral blush absolutely popped on Janelle Monáe’s deep, chocolatey skin and tied into the bold, bright pink of her gown.

To create a dramatic shape and amplify warmth, Smalls contoured Monáe’s cheekbones and forehead with more Cocoa Glow bronzer and a flat kabuki brush. For highlight, Smalls used our Luminating Créme in Northern Lights: “...when I put this on Janelle’s skin, it melted into her skin like heaven.” Made in a base of pomegranate and argan oils, this liquid highlighter is designed to melt into skin while reflecting light with natural, glow-boosting mineral pigments.

With the skin care base of lightweight oil, Luminating Créme, and Luminous Primer, your cheeks and temples will be dewy and glowing, with healthy pigments from cocoa and fruit to amp up the glam (see the glow in action while Janelle spins in her ‘winking’ dress).


For this multifaceted pinky-nude eye makeup look, Smalls went to town with Fruit Pigmented® eye shadows! Our formulas have definitely proven themselves worthy of the red carpet with this look, featuring our stunning Rose Gold Palette and classic pressed Eye Shadows.

Smalls started with a base of soft, shimmery hues from our Rose Gold Palette: first Glimmer all over the lid, then Luster smoked-out near the lash line. Next, she buffed reddish brown Bronze into the crease with a small eye shadow brush. She finished with a light layer of Teddy over the lid to pull all four shades together, and traced the lash line with pink glitter.

To add depth and impact to Monáe’s beautiful almond eyes, the super pigmented Blackest Creamy Long Last Liner was traced around the entire eye for a crisp, smokey effect. Smalls finished by coating the singer’s lashes in Fruit Pigmented® Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea, before layering on a pair of custom lashes for appropriate Met Gala drama.


Janelle Monáe is known for bold, bright pops of color on the lips – but Smalls surprised us all with a gorgeously muted, skin-toned lip and a pop of gloss. To get Monáe’s nude lip look, grab your trusty Cruelty-Free Lip Brush and gently line your lips with Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick in Agave. With your fingers and a tiny touch of lip balm, buff the pigment lightly to blend into your lips for a diffused lip liner effect. Top with a balm or clear gloss, for a leveled-up nude lip that’s designed to make your skin and eyes the star of the show.

Now that you’ve gotten the complete behind the scenes breakdown of another iconic beauty look, we’re gonna go recuperate from watching Janelle Monáe absolutely SLAY the 2019 Met Gala! As Essence put so eloquently put it in their breakdown of her fruit pigmented® look: “Janelle Monáe’s beauty is undeniable” – we couldn’t agree more! You can check out with more celeb looks on our blog, and keep an eye out for upcoming events and more makeup breakdowns and tutorials.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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