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Expert Tips

Talking Beauty With Mary Greenwell

Talking Beauty With Mary Greenwell Mary Greenwell

When it comes to beauty, there’s really no one else quite like Mary Greenwell. A true beauty tour de force, the who’s who of household names queue up to have her on their speed-dial, from the Royals to the A-listers - think Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman and Jessica Chastain, to name a few - while her editorial credits run long and wide alongside some of the most iconic names in the business.

From her make-up essentials to her ultimate tips, we quizzed Mary on all things beauty...

How does make-up change with the seasons?

In the summer you can get away with much less make-up, so no foundation, and you have more skin showing so it’s much more about the skin. Come winter, when you’re wearing gloves, a scarf and a hat, what becomes very important is your face. So you actually have to punch-up your make-up to work with the winter that we have in this country. I always go back to the tradition of using more in the winter. There’s nothing better than a red mouth, or a berry mouth - whatever suits you - but a mouth that’s very pronounced. It will bring your face into focus and away from the heaviness of your clothing.

  • Strong lip vs strong eye?

    Due to technology, it’s become really easy to do both without looking too made-up. Before, you wouldn’t want to over-do the eyes, the lips and the cheeks because it would make your skin look too matte and mask-like. But because of the quality of foundation, you can get away with doing anything you want now.

  • Talking Beauty With Mary Greenwell
  • Talking Beauty With Mary Greenwell
  • "It’s become really easy to do both without looking too made-up. Products are so good now..."
What's your favourite look?

I’m totally about what is best for you as an individual. I’m more into make-up that looks a little more casual; well applied, yes, by all means bright colours but not every feature has to be totally done and perfected to the hilt. So perhaps miss out one product - never a mascara but perhaps a blush, no lipstick but perhaps just some lip gloss, something less to break the perfection of what you’ve done to your eyes.

Do you find that by doing make-up for so many people, that you've completely honed your routine?

Absolutely, it’s down pat and I’m out the door. I never change it, it takes about 10 minutes and I use my fingers for everything - I never use a brush.

"The key to being successful in this industry is extremely hard work and loving what you do - having a passion – #ILoveMyJob!"
What are your thoughts on the trend for darker brows?

If you want to bring out your eyebrows, that’s fantastic, but your brow make-up could be fighting with your eye make-up - it will take away from your eyes and eyes are the first feature you look at. Just dark eyebrows could be a look in itself, but with very dark brows, very dark eyes and a very dark lip, one of them is going to fight and more than likely it will be the eye and brow. Personally, I love a dark brow and a dark lip - with lots of mascara and no eyeshadow.

What are your make-up bag essentials?

I will always have a foundation, usually from the Les Beige line. And I would always have a Les Beige powder. I’d also have a cream eyeshadow, the Illusion D’Ombre, a bronzer and a blusher, although I don’t always use blusher as when you have a round face you don’t need it! I will always have the Sublime De Chanel mascara and a classic berry shade of Rouge Allure.

Mary's Top Tips

When prepping skin... consider using serum instead of cream. Serums tend to have water-based formulas and soak more rapidly in to the complexion.

The better the skin... the lighter coverage foundation needed; always choose the lightest option and build concealer where needed. Keep powder strictly to the T-zone for a modern finish.

Always apply lipstick... directly from the bullet; it’s what they were designed for and is the most artistic approach.

After lipstick application... put your little finger between your lips and pull. This will remove the excess product that can smudge onto teeth.

Q-tips are... a make-up artist’s best friend; use to tidy mascara smudges and blur and correct lipstick application.

If the brush is good... you can use it for whatever you want. My favourite brush is CHANEL’s Concealer Brush which I use everywhere, it’s perfect for eyeshadow application.

I love mascara... Lengthening, separating, thicker, fuller, longer - I also love clumping mascara. Without mascara, eyes can look half as big as they will with it on - it is instant glamour.

Red lipstick... takes confidence to wear, but once you get used to the colour it suits almost everyone. Pure red is the easiest shade to wear, while blue- and orange-tone reds can be more difficult. Red lipstick can be a look in itself.

With eye pencils... pull back on shadow, but use lots of mascara and pencil in between the lashes.

If you have dry skin... don’t ever think you can over-moisturise.