Michelle Obama's most iconic beauty moments, according to her makeup artist



Last October, when First Lady Michelle Obama showed up to her final state dinner in a (now legendary) rose gold chain mail Atelier Versace number, it was the mic drop heard around the world. Yes, the dress was next-level glam, but as all beauty devotees instantly noted, her makeup slayed. Those smoky lids! That glowy skin!

Related: Michelle Obama at every state dinner

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All of Michelle Obama's state dinner dresses
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All of Michelle Obama's state dinner dresses
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 18: US President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2L) pose for the official picture with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (2R) and Italian First Lady Agnese Landini (L) prior to the state dinner at the White House on October 18, 2016 in Washington DC. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are hosting their final state dinner featuring celebrity chef Mario Batali and singer Gwen Stefani performing after dinner. (Photo by Shawn Thew - pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wait for the arrival of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Mrs. Agnese Landini, for a state dinner at the White House, October 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosting the last state visit of his presidency. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk out to welcome Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini on the North Portico of the White House before the state dinner in Washington on October 18, 2016. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama stands with First Lady Michelle Obama shortly before greeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the North Portico of the White House November 24, 2009, as the Obamas host their first official State Dinner. AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama stands with First Lady Michelle Obama shortly before greeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the North Portico of the White House November 24, 2009, as the Obamas host their first official State Dinner. AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC -MAY 19: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama await the arrival of the Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Mrs. Margarita Zavala to this evenings State Dinner at the White House. Photos taken on May 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Marvin Joseph /The Washington Post via Getty Images) StaffPhoto imported to Merlin on Wed May 19 18:43:28 2010
WASHINGTON - MAY 19: First lady Michelle Obama and her husband U.S President Barack Obama wait for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife Margarita Zavala to arrive for the State Dinner at the White House on May 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama welcomed President Calderon to the White House today for an official state visit that is taking place amid tension over immigration politics and Mexico's deadly drug war. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao for a State dinner at the White House January 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama and Hu met in the Oval Office earlier in the day. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Pool/Corbis via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to greet Chinese President Hu Jintao upon his arrival on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, January 19, 2011, prior to hosting a State Dinner. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer (not in picture) at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 7, 2011 for the State Dinner. Obama warned Europe's debt crisis must not destabilize the global economy, as he laid on a lavish and warm White House welcome for Merkel. Obama said he and Merkel had extensive talks about the plight of debt-stricken Greece, which needs a second huge financial bailout, despite some reluctance from some eurozone members to stump up fresh funds. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer (out of frame) at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, June 7, 2011 for the State Dinner. Obama warned Europe's debt crisis must not destabilize the global economy, as he laid on a lavish and warm White House welcome for Merkel. Obama said he and Merkel had extensive talks about the plight of debt-stricken Greece, which needs a second huge financial bailout, despite some reluctance from some eurozone members to stump up fresh funds. AFP Photo/Saul Loeb (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and first lady Kim Yoon-ok on the North Portico of the White House before attending a state dinner October 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. Michelle Obama is wearing a dress designed by Korean-American Doo-Ri Chung. Earlier in the day, President Lee held a joint press conference with Obama and addressed a joint meeting of Congress. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
First Lady Michelle Obama walks with South Korean first lady Kim Yoon-ok in the Cross Hall as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC on October 13, 2011. The State Visit comes only a day after congress passed a free trade agreement with South Korea. (Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/Pool/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stand in the North Portico of the White House before attending a state dinner March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, Prime Minter Cameron participated in a joint press conference with President Obama, topics included Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama await the arrival of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha Cameron, prior to a State Dinner as part of an official visit on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, March 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama await the arrival of French President Francois Hollande for the State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose with French President Francois Hollande as he arrives for the State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle wait for the arrival of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe at the North Portico of the White House on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) poses with Akie Abe, the wife of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, upon arrival at the North Portico of the White House on April 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait on the North Portico for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan ahead of a state dinner at the White House September 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on curbing climate change and an understanding on cyber security. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: (L-R) Madame Peng Liyuan, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama pose for photographers on the North Portico ahead of a state dinner at the White House September 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on curbing climate change and an understanding on cyber security. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. â On Thursday, March 10, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait for the arrival of Canada's Prime Minister and Mrs. Gregoire Trudeau for a State Dinner in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. â On Thursday, March 10, from (l-r), Mrs. Gregoire Trudeau, First Lady Michelle Obama, Canada's Prime Minister, and President Barack Obama outside of the North Portico of the White House before the State Dinner in the East Room of the White House. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose with Nordic leaders and their spouses before a state dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2016. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait for Nordic leaders to arrive for a state dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2016. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Obamas are hosting the prime minister and his wife for an official state dinner. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Obamas are hosting the prime minister and his wife for an official state dinner. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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The overall awesomeness created by Carl Ray, her longtime behind-the-scenes makeup artist. As Mrs. Obama's historic run as First Lady draws to a close, we sat down with Ray to get intel on everything from her go-to makeup product to the trickiest look they'd ever pulled off together (hint: It involved a shaky plane landing). Listen in.

GLAMOUR: With the First Lady, you've created some of the last decade's most celebrated looks. Was makeup always your calling?

CARL RAY: When I was 14, my parents got divorced. I used to watch my mom do her makeup when she was getting back on the dating scene, and I remember thinking, I could do a better job for her. I was already an artist, and that's when I realized I had a talent that could help people. It was a good feeling.

GLAMOUR: You've been everywhere with Mrs. Obama. And the whole world is watching. How do you keep reinventing her look?

CR: I consider context first—the dress, audience, setting, climate, time of day; what's the culture of the country we're visiting? I love taking beauty cues from the women around the world. During a trip to Cuba, I was inspired by the bright pop art colors, so I gave her a vivid coral lip. When she travels to India or Morocco, where women wear dark-rimmed eyes, I experiment with deeper eyeshadows. Mrs. Obama is a great collaborator. We clicked immediately, from the first time we worked together, at the 2009 Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Related: Michelle Obama's most fashionable moments:

13 PHOTOS
Michelle Obama's most fashionable moments
See Gallery
Michelle Obama's most fashionable moments
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: First lady Michelle Obama (2R) waves standing with (L-R) Carolyn Reed of Denver, Colorado, Astrid Muhammad of North Carolina, Anthony Mendez of Bronx, New York and Dr. Jill Biden prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech before members of Congress of the U.S. Capitol January 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama was expected to lay out a broad agenda including attempts to address income inequality and making it easier for Americans to afford college education and child care. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - January 24: First Lady Michelle Obama waves to acknowledge applause as she joins her guests before President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech, on January, 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledges applause pruior to US President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court on January 25, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rita Ora speak onstage at TNT Christmas in Washington 2014 at the National Building Museum on December 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. 25248_001_0620.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
US first lady Michelle Obama (L) and US President Barack Obama arrive for an event in the East Room of the White House December 7, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama and the first lady welcomed recipients of the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors to the White House to celebrate their contributions to the arts. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a reception at the White House for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees on December 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The honorees this year include: opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, musician Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine and musician Carlos Santana. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama and US President Barack Obama arrive during an event in the East Room of the White House December 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama attended the event at the White House with the 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees before to celebrate their contribution to the arts before heading to the Kennedy Center for the honors program. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - December, 4: Guests arrive at the Kennedy Center for tonights honors awards with President Obama in attendance on December, 04, 2011 in Washington, DC. Pictured, First Lady Michelle Obama, right, and President Barack Obama, arrive in the Presidential box and greet the honorees including Yo Yo Ma, second left, and Meryl Streep, left. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama pose with French President Francois Hollande as he arrives for the State Dinner at the North Portico of the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: First Lady Michelle Obama speaks onstage at the The Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award luncheon at The Grammy Museum on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama onstage at the LULAC/NUVOtv Unity Luncheon With Jennifer Lopez at New York Hilton Midtown on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NUVOtv)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 6: From left, first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and their daughters Sasha and Malia, wave to the crowd following the President's speech at the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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GLAMOUR: Does she feel a responsibility to look a certain way, as a role model for young girls?

CR: She's always conscious of setting an example. For Mrs. Obama it's about being polished in an authentic way. She always looks like herself. To exude the confidence she shows the world, she has to feel great in her own skin.

GLAMOUR: And what look do you think makes her feel that way?

CR: A beautiful nude lip gloss. Peach, pink, nude-nude—she's tried them all.

GLAMOUR: Have you ever secretly wanted a makeup do-over?

CR: I'm always happy with the looks we come up with. But once, I was scared that I wouldn't have her ready in time. We were on a flight to her 2016 DNC speech, but there was a bad storm, so we kept circling Philadelphia. The clock was ticking, and I kept trying to touch up her makeup so she'd be ready the instant we landed. But the turbulence made it impossible! Mrs. Obama was holding my hand steady, like, "Let me help you out," so I could apply lip liner. We couldn't stop laughing. I'm just relieved I didn't get anything on her dress.

GLAMOUR: Looking back, what are the most memorable moments?

CR: I'll never forget the 2016 state dinner when the Obamas welcomed the former Italian prime minister and his wife. That glimmery Atelier Versace gown was a statement, so I came up with an eye look that was equally high drama and fun. I blended a shimmery shadow over a dark smoky eye. It looked incredible. Also, the 2012 Inauguration. I was touched to see Mrs. Obama looking so radiant, dancing with the president. We went to, like, 10 different balls and events that night. It was such an honor to be there with her, to be a part of history.

GLAMOUR: So what's next?

CR: I'll still work with Mrs. Obama as we'll both still be in D.C. But I'm also going to have time for other bookings...so look me up!

More from Glamour:
Michelle Obama's New Haircut Is Lob Perfection
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10 Michelle Obama Quotes We Need Now More Than Ever

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