Michelle Obama's make-up artist just shared the products she wore for the inauguration

Because of masks, the eyes were understandably a focus – here's how to recreate Michelle Obama's smokey eye

Barack and Michelle Obama at the inauguration of President Joe Biden
(Image credit: Drew Angerer / Staff via Getty Images)

This week saw the swearing in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – and while they were undoubtedly the stars of the show, Barack and Michelle Obama were very much the talk of the town, too. And now, the former First Lady's make-up artist has shared the products she wore for the big day.

While Michelle Obama's inauguration hair – shiny, bouncy and blow dried to perfection – was the talk of Twitter, we couldn't help but notice her flawless skin and smokey eye too. The whole ensemble perfectly complemented her outfit; head-to-toe burgundy by Sergio Hudson.

Speaking to ELLE, Obama's make-up artist for the day Carl Ray shared the secrets to her look – including a break down of the products used. "I knew she would be wearing a mask and a monochromatic outfit," he told the publication. "I wanted her to have a powerful beauty look that would need to be achieved by playing up the top half of her face.

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"I knew that since her whole face wouldn’t be visible, the eyes and lashes would be the star of this particular look!" he added. "I wanted an impactful smokey eye for the event. was going for a dramatic glam eye that would really play well to the camera."

While Ray wouldn't share the secret foundation he used to make up Michelle Obama's skin, the whole thing was set with Laura Mercier's famous Translucent Powder.

On her eyes he used the Viseart 01 Palette, Pat McGrath Permagel Liner in Xtreme Black and Eyedols shadow in Divine Mink, Fenty Flyliner, Glossier Lash Slick mascara and a pair of Lily Lashes.

Her brows were completed with Anastasia Beverly Hills' iconic Dipbrow Pomade and Brow Definer with a little clear brow gel. You can shop them all for yourself below. 

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara, $16/£14, glossier.com

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara, $16/£14, glossier.com

Fenty Beauty Flyliner, $22/£18, fentybeauty.com

Fenty Beauty Flyliner, $22/£18, fentybeauty.com

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Liner, $28, Sephora

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Liner, $28, Sephora (UK £23, Selfridges)

Lily Lashes Goddess Lite, $20/£20, Beauty Bay

Lily Lashes Goddess Lite, $20/£20, Beauty Bay

Viseart 01 Eyeshadow Palette, $80/£69, Beauty Bay

Viseart 01 Eyeshadow Palette, $80/£69, Beauty Bay

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, $21, Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, $21, Sephora (UK £19, Lookfantastic)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, $23, Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, $23, Sephora (UK £24, Cult Beauty)

Don't know about you, but we're already looking forward to Michelle Obama's next public appearance.

Anyone else off to stock up on Glossier Lash Slick?

Lucy Abbersteen
Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week.


During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists. When she's not got beauty on the brain you'll probably find her in the company of dogs, reading, or being shamed by Netflix's "are you still watching?" message. You can follow her on Instagram at @lucyabbers.