In a new photoshoot for Paper magazine, Bynes appears with long blonde hair and makeup that'd qualify as a make-under for the star, with eyes simply lined in brown pencil and lipsticks in autumnal shades. Her new look, as Paper had hoped, nearly broke the internet, with fans immediately going bonkers over just how different — and serenely happy — Bynes looked. For makeup artist Edward Cruz, whose clients include Anna Wintour and Frankie Grande, the pressure was on from the beginning.
"Amanda has been so under the radar, I had no presumptions of what I’d be walking into," Cruz tells Refinery29. "However, I did know that I wanted skin to be polished and glow, without distracting from beauty statements that still needed to be nailed down. When Amanda and I met, we went straight into meeting mode."
Photographer Danielle Levitt wanted Bynes to channel early-career Meryl Streep (think Kramer vs. Kramer), and so Cruz and Bynes got to work strategising on how exactly the makeup should look – deciding on a soft eye and a bold lip in warm tones like brick red, burgundy, and warm beige that'd compliment Bynes's complexion. Cruz used mostly Laura Mercier products, including Radiance Primer, Secret Camouflage Concealer, Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow, and Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder on Bynes's face. But for the lips, for which Cruz used Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick, Bynes got to put her own spin on things.
"Amanda has a beautiful way of applying her lipstick, which creates a perfectly balanced upper and lower lip," Cruz says. "It’s really cool, and I hadn’t met anyone before that preferred their lip in this shape. She actually taught me her technique, so I love her for this."
This was clearly more than just another photoshoot for Bynes. For the past few years, the former child star has publicly struggled with substance abuse, bobbing in and out of the public eye. In the hour it took Cruz to do her makeup, he says that not only was Bynes thrilled with this new look, but clearly thrilled to be back on set, too.
"She hadn’t been in 'the chair' for a quite some time, so I really wanted her to enjoy it," Cruz says. "She’d look up into the mirror every once in a while and say, 'Oh, I love it.' The lashes and the final application of the Translucent Glow powder made her jump out of her chair for a closer look. She looked at me and said, 'Thank you, I feel so good, I have never looked better.' I think my heart grew two sizes."