From Bella Hadid to Chrissy Teigen, makeup artist Mary Phillips counts some of the world's biggest celebrities as her regular clients, but it's Kendall Jenner that taps her the most.
In a world full of dramatic cut creases, overly lined lips and seriously sharp contours, Mary makes a case for the opposite when making over the model, favouring the understated, barely there look which she's now famous for – but you don't have to be an expert to recreate it perfectly. Here's what we learned about achieving easy, natural makeup when we sat down with the pro herself.
Start with skincare
Mary preps every client's skin with a good moisturiser (Creme de La Mer, to be exact) but for the lighter, glowier finish that Kendall prefers, she will mix a couple of drops of facial oil with one or two pumps of foundation. "I apply foundation all over the face with a big fluffy brush, buffing it in using circular motions," Mary told us. "But I’m careful not to wipe the skin out. I like it when you can see through to the skin."
Keep your foundation light
To create a really dewy look, Mary says that your makeup – whether that's foundation, concealer or bronzer – needs to be kept as light as possible, as you want the skin to "shine" through. The trick is to start with less and then build up to your desired coverage. Swap traditional flat foundation brushes for something with longer, fluffier bristles to keep coverage natural. A multipurpose brush like MAC's Split Fibre Large Face Brush, £34.50, works for foundation and powder makeup.
And if you want to make makeup look fresh again at the end of the day, Mary has the smartest tip. "I take some moisturiser, put it on the back of my hand, use a fluffy brush and buff the skin with it. It’s basically like a magic eraser and rehydrates makeup without completely removing anything." That's when you can go in and re-powder or reapply foundation.
Use moisturiser as highlighter
"The whole point of highlighter is getting that pop of shine, not a stripe," advised Mary. "You don’t really want to see the highlighter, more a glow from within." She dabs just a tiny bit of moisturiser down the centre and tip of the nose and pats a little on to the high points of the cheekbones. That way, skin doesn't look glittery or overly shiny.
Ditch lipstick for lip pencil
Mary tends to swap thick, heavy matte lipstick for something more sheer and pared down. "I like to use both nude and light berry-coloured lip pencils, as well as lip stains. I then use my fingers to diffuse the product, as it results in a softer touch." To finish, Mary always pats a little lip balm on top.
Stick to one shade of eyeshadow
When creating a barely there look, you might choose not to use eyeshadow, but to pull the look together, Mary simply washes a warm brown shade over the lid and dusts a little bit underneath the lower lash line. "This is just a single swipe of colour and any fluffy eyeshadow brush will do." Try Zoeva's Luxe Soft Crease Brush, £10, and Pat McGrath Labs EYEdols Eyeshadow in Statuesque, £23.
Keep mascara to a minimum
If you want to keep your look really pared down, avoid applying mascara on your bottom lashes. Instead, swipe one or two coats on to the top lashes, focusing on the outer corners for an elongated, fanned-out effect. When it comes to mascara, there are three that Mary tends to use on loop. "I like Diorshow Mascara, £28, and Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Classic Mascara, £30, for a subtle look. The Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes High Precision Panoramic Mascara, £25.50, is also really easy to apply thanks to the little ball on the end."
Get your blush right
"I really miss the old Kevyn Aucoin blushers," Mary said, "but I've found a great match in the Serge Lutens bronzer and it’s probably the best one I’ve ever used."
Instead of applying bronzer all over, concentrate the product to the areas where the sun might hit your face naturally, such as the bridge of the nose, your cheekbones and around the hairline.