Gayle King’s makeup artist reveals the Oprah-approved secret to her Sports Illustrated glow — and it’s under $30

Gayle King is no stranger to breaking — and making — the news.

But while she gets camera-ready on the daily for her role as a “CBS Mornings” anchor, prepping for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover shoot was a major first for the 69-year-old broadcast maven.

“It was super exciting. Gayle just never really thought that she would get Sports Illustrated,” RaeDawn, King’s go-to makeup artist, tells Page Six Style. 

To achieve the star’s “natural, dewy” look on the big day, Dawn reached for multipurpose products like her brand’s Balaeyon Dew Revive Stick ($28) — which also earned the approval of King’s best friend, Oprah Winfrey, on her 2023 “Favorite Things” list. 


Gayle King
King stars on one of the covers of the swimsuit magazine this year, along with Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton and Hunter McGrady. Gayle King/Instagram

“I use it on her face to prep her skin. That’s our morning ritual,” she adds of the hydrating stick, which she says she applies “every single day” for a dewy makeup base and under-eye smoothness.

To keep the media mogul glowing through eight hours on set and seven swimsuit changes, the beauty pro also used the balm as body makeup, mixing it with Live Tinted Hueglow Drops ($38) for an all-over shine. 

It wasn’t the only powerhouse product she had on hand, as she used another multitasking must-have — Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Cream Cover ($22) — “all over Gayle’s face” as a “one-stop shop” for foundation, concealer and contour.


Live Tinted highlighter
Live Tinted

Rounding out her shoot-day arsenal? Benefit Cosmetics Wanderful World Silky-Soft Powder Blush ($32) in the shade Butterfly, which she applied for more “natural glow” on King’s cheeks before locking in the final look with the waterproof Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($36).

“One of my tricks is to apply it on a Beautyblender, and I bounce it on her skin after I apply the moisturizer. Then, after I put the foundation on, I’ll go back in,” she explains.

“I’ll just stipple that all over the skin so that it just kind of sets everything in place.”

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray
Urban Decay

orange blush

Although King repeatedly told her team during the primping process “there’s no way I’m getting the cover,” she was in for a major surprise on “CBS Mornings” this week, when fellow cover girls Kate Upton and Hunter McGrady revealed she’d landed the front of the swimsuit bible.

“It takes a lot for her to be surprised,” says Dawn.

“She’s always surprising and doing so much good for everyone else. It was nice to see how this could make her feel so good.”

Gayle King
King didn’t know she’d made the coveted cover until it hit stands. CBS Morning

Gayle King at the Met Gala in a green dress
Dawn also created King’s glowy, green-hued Met Gala makeup look this year. Getty Images

While this marks King and Dawn’s first swimsuit shoot together, they’re no stranger to making waves with great glam; Dawn first started working with the journalist nearly three years ago, and has since prepped her for everything from the Met Gala to an interview with Jay-Z.

“It’s just been a whirlwind,” she shares. “Everybody wants to be around her. At 69 years old, she knows more about pop culture and hip hop than I do, and I’m 41.”

Concludes Dawn, “When you’re working with Gayle, the world just opens up.”