Make-up artist Florrie White is the latest industry expert to share her personal take on beauty in our How We Beauty series. The Brit behind the radiant complexions of red carpet stars including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Blunt and Salma Hayek, watch as Florrie talks through her skincare and make-up regime, and the three simple steps that elevate her look for evening.
Florrie credits her fashion-conscious mother and grandmother for her early passion for make-up: "One of my first memories is sitting in the bathroom watching my mother apply make-up from little glittery Biba pots, and transforming herself from 'Mummy' into an exotic night creature," she says. In Florrie’s boarding school dormitory, which she shared with seven other girls, evenings were spent rebelling against the strict minimal make-up policy and "pouring over fashion and beauty magazines and pooling cosmetic bags to practice looks on each other." But in terms of a career in beauty, Florrie was a relatively late-starter. She enrolled on a make-up course aged 29, following advice from her then-boss to do something she really loved. Securing a coveted job working as an assistant to Charlotte Tilbury, Florrie began her solo make-up career in 2005.
"The rewards of the time and money invested literally stare back at you in the mirror."
An exuberant character that fizzes with enthusiasm, not to mention talent, it’s not hard to see how Florrie has created a portfolio bursting at the seams with work for British Vogue, Stella McCartney and Emilia Wickstead. Despite travelling the world to a gruelling schedule, the make-up artist is hyper-aware of how her environment has an impact on her skin. "Your skin reflects your health, wellbeing and lifestyle," she explains. "In an ideal world we would all eat the appropriate diet, get enough sleep and live in a non-polluted world, but we don’t, so we need to support our skin with high-grade products."
"I really believe in investing in good skincare, because by doing so you are investing in a higher level of research and a stronger grade of ingredients," Florrie says, citing Sisley and La Prairie as two of her favourite brands. "The rewards of the time and money invested in a beauty regime, morning and night, literally stare back at you in the mirror."
"I use the term technical make-up as I prefer to use products to enhance my features as opposed to using make-up to create a certain trend-led or classic look," Florrie explains. "It’s about using neutral tones and playing with light and shadow on your face to create the most glowing result, while still looking natural." And, she adds, it shouldn’t need to take long if you’re prepped: "With practice and good products, a full look can easily be achieved in five minutes. This is also when investing in a good skin routine reaps its rewards, as you can then use the time to focus on your features."
When it comes to creating light, opening up the eyes is an important step: "Always start with curling your eyelashes, then use a nude eyeliner, like Dolce & Gabbana’s The Eyeliner, which cuts out any redness and gives the appearance of a larger eye. Then add a little highlighter in the inner corner of the eye and middle of the eyelid, apply a clean coat (not clumpy) of mascara, like YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Baby Doll, to the lashes."
The Elevated Look
With a hectic lifestyle, time-saving is key. When on-the-go, Florrie ditches brushes in favour of smudging products with her fingers, and reveals a particularly useful eyeshadow hack: "When creating a quick smoky eye, I use my ring finger to feel around the curvature of my eyeball for precise application; I call it 'the lazy girl smoky eye'." Similarly, she adores multitasking products, like the Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, using "the bronzer for warmth and contouring, the highlighter to illuminate the complexion and lips and also as a nude eyeshadow. Then the mirror is perfect for applying other handbag essentials like concealer, eyeliner and lipstick."
Florrie’s Top 3 Tips
Curling my eyelashes is one of the only New Year’s Resolutions I have been able to keep but there is no point curling your eyelashes in a steamy bathroom, the hair is too heavy to curl and stay lifted.
I like to use uplifting, sweeping-up brush strokes, as I believe it lifts the complexion.
Follow the natural contours of your face, as opposed to painting by numbers and looking generic.