Inside Look at Brian Tyree Henry’s MET Gala Grooming Routine from Pro Makeup Artist Ruth Fernandez

8 minutes
June 21, 2023

Actor Brian Tyree Henry's skin looked absolutely radiant as he walked the MET Gala red carpet back in May. While many might assume that the average male celeb simply slaps on a moisturizer and puts on a designer suit, prep for the MET Gala is much more extensive. Celebrities and their grooming teams begin preparing months in advance for the big night – including implementing a consistent skin regimen. 

We tapped Brian's go-to groomer, Ruth Fernandez to get the inside scoop on all things MET skincare prep. In the blog below, she shares his grooming routine and the exact products she used to create his A-list (flash-friendly) complexion.  

Brian Tyree at MET Gala Red Carpet

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a celebrity makeup artist/groomer and how you started working with Brian Tyree Henry?

My journey to becoming a celebrity makeup artist and groomer (btw, I don't refer to myself as a "celebrity artist" because I have worked with some amazing non-celebs throughout my career) began about nineteen years ago. I was assisting at a salon in Chelsea, and the manager's friend needed an assistant for a day on an indie movie. Since I needed extra cash, I said yes. I remember going to work that day, and when I saw the cameras and the actors, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was my aha moment! From that moment on, I began assisting that makeup artist, and the rest is history. I started working with Brian in 2016 when his PR agent hired me to do grooming for him on a press junket in NYC. I already knew him from the show Atlanta, which had been getting rave reviews.

Can you describe his skincare prep process for the Met Gala and the key products you used to keep his skin looking refreshed, firm, and youthful?

I have to mention that Brian has GREAT skin to begin with, however, as we get older, we start noticing little things on our faces. Therefore, my focus with him (and everyone that I work with) is skincare and prep. I prefer to accentuate rather than cover someone's beauty.

The MET Gala was no different, however, I knew I had to step it up, and I believe I did! I started by using the Bioderma Micellar Water all over his face and neck, and then I applied Jaxon Lane Eye Masks while his hair stylist worked on his hair. After about fifteen minutes, I placed the DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro mask on him and turned it to the first, anti-aging red-light setting. After the three minutes were up, I took a dime size amount of the DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum and massaged it into his face and neck. After about two minutes, I began the makeup portion of his grooming. I went in lightly with a concealer to cover any spots, applied it under his eyes, and then blended any excess outwards. Lastly, I set him with a light wash of the Fenty Invisimatte Powder to control shine in the T-zone. 

Why is it important to use a plumping and hydrating serum like the DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum before makeup application?

So before using the DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum on Brian, I used some on myself the day before. This is something I tend to do because I want to know how it will work on my skin before I use it on a client. It was heavenly! It wasn’t too oily or too silicone-ish and when I put on a little concealer on top, the makeup melted into my skin without leaving a residue or creating flakiness. I knew then that I would have to try this serum on Brian! Also, just for some context, Brian’s skin is already plump and has a natural glow, so I am careful about what kind of serums and moisturizers I use on him because some formulas can leave him looking shiny, which doesn't always show up well on camera. The DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum left his skin perfect! 

Dr Dennis Gross Faceware Pro LED Mask, DermInfusions Serum and Alpha Beta Peels used for makeup prep

What are the benefits of using a red-light therapy mask like the DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro before a big red carpet event?

Honestly, I am always trying new red-light therapy devices because skincare is a huge part of my process when doing makeup or men’s grooming, especially for a red carpet or during award season. I love to make my client feel taken care of, and believe it or not, the technology in skincare has come a long way, and some of these devices deliver results instantaneously when used correctly. The DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro was a no-brainer for me!  I had done some research and wanted to use a device that could work in conjunction with skincare and would not aggravate the skin. Plus, how cool does this mask look?!

Insider Tip:

The DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro can be used right before a big event to help to calm redness, promote collagen production, and boost radiance in just three minutes. Use the device every day leading up to the event to prevent day-of breakouts. To use, place the mask on clean, dry skin and follow it with an Alpha Beta Daily Peel to create the ultimate smooth and even base before makeup application.   

As a pro MUA you have access to so many different skincare brands, why did you want to use clinical skincare before the Met?

Have I mentioned I love skincare? I wanted to use clinical skincare before the MET because I wanted to see results beyond just the makeup. For more context, I often see beautiful makeup, but the facial features get lost in all that masking. People complain about cakiness and dull skin, but that’s usually because they aren’t taking the time to prep their skin for makeup. When I see pictures of my work or even candid pictures that I have taken, I can see luminous, healthy skin and lovely freckles. That’s when I know I have used the correct skincare for that skin type because the skin looks radiant, which in turn gives me a great overall look, whether it is a male actor in his 30s or an actress in her 50s.

Insider Tip:

We recommend using clinical skincare (aka medical grade skincare) like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare before a big event because our products are formulated with stabilized, concentrated actives that are able to penetrate deep into the skin to deliver fast, visible results. Also, our products have been formulated to keep skin in balance, so you never have to worry about a product causing irritation before a big event.

Written By

Ruth Fernandez

Read More from Ruth Fernandez

Written By

Ruth Fernandez

Read More from Ruth Fernandez

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