Confessions of An NFL WAGS Makeup Artist

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Before Taylor Swift became the NFL WAGS poster child — signature red lip, custom bomber jacket, and all — there have, of course, been other sports wives and partners. Behind many of them on the Kansas City Chiefs (plus 14 other NFL teams) is makeup artist Allison Kaye.

After getting her start in the beauty industry a decade ago, Kaye’s entry to the WAGS world came by way of the 2021 NFL Draft. In April of that year, she was presented with the opportunity to do the glam for Sophie Scott, who is Mac Jones (the now quarterback of the New England Patriots)’s girlfriend. From that night on, word of mouth did its magic. Other WAGS started following her on Instagram, and soon thereafter, the bookings for game day came pouring in.

“I thought doing makeup for the NFL draft was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it turned into something much bigger,” she tells POPSUGAR. “My favorite part is that now teams will fly me out to do their makeup for Sunday game days.”

Here’s exactly what a day in the life of a WAGS makeup artist is like.

Getting Ready For Game Day

First, it’s worth noting that Kaye is hired by the WAGS themselves — not the NFL. Because of that, “my schedule is random.”

Kaye splits her time between Cleveland and Miami, so during football season she’ll often glam up the WAGS of the Browns and Dolphins teams in each respective city. That means she also has to fly out to wherever another team is playing, which is paid for by her WAGS clients. “This year I was flown out by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Jacksonville Jaguars to do glam on location for a home game this season,” she says.

As for the day-of run of show, she’ll typically head to either their house or hotel two to three hours before kickoff, working with anywhere from two to eight WAGS per game, depending. “The girls like to get to the stadium early because they can go on the field and say hi to their husbands and get photos before the game,” she says, adding that she’ll send each client off with their own “makeup touchup kit” to reapply as needed.

While she has done some light-touch makeup for the athletes themselves — mostly a little foundation, concealer, and eyebrow grooming — for photoshoots, game day makeup is mostly for the WAGS.

Her Game Day Makeup Picks

While the makeup looks vary depending on the WAGS’ preference, her clients tend to opt for a “neutral soft glam,” she says, which usually entails a medium to full-coverage foundation, blush, bronzer, neutral or pink lip color, and neutral eyeshadow. More importantly, however, is that the makeup stay put all day.

To help, she leans on the Temptu Airbrush Foundation ($52) “because it is waterproof and sweat-proof.” Then, she reaches for neutral shadows like the 12 shades in the Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette ($50) and Dibs Beauty Duo blushes, both the powder Duet ($34) and the cream Desert Island ($36). For lips, Kaye swears by Charlotte Tilbury’s lip products “because they are long wear and blend nicely on the face.” (We personally recommend the brand’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner ($25) for the same reason.)

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If you’re after a Swift-approved lip pick, we recommend her tried-and-true Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick ($34) in the shade Elson 4. “A lot of teams aren’t able to wear a classic red lip due to the teams colors but I do know a few of the Chiefs girls love to wear red lipstick because for them, it matches,” she says.

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Her Super Bowl Beauty Prep

Like last year, in which she glammed six wives of Kansas City Chiefs players, Kaye was busy with her makeup brush ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl — no, not on Swift (who has her own glam team, as you would imagine a globally renowned pop star might) — but for WAGS from both the Chiefs and 49ers teams. She worked with everyone from Lyndsay Bell and Emily Winchester, of Chiefs WAGS fame, to Margaret Schmidt on the 49ers side and even Allie Heyward, of whom’s husband Cam was recognized at the game with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“When curating game day looks I always ask for [inspiration] photos and for them to tell me what they are wearing,” she says. “A majority of the clients that hire me tell me that they trust me and to glam them with what would be my signature glam, a neutral soft glam.”

Whether you’re a major football fan and watched for the game itself or you just tuned in for fear of missing out, you’ve gotta admit: it was a night to remember.

This post was originally published on PopSugar

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