Mary Greenwell; Makeup Artist Profile

We may be in the depths of Fashion Month as we speak, but lest we forget, it’s Awards Season! That time of year when celebs treat us to a bit of old Hollywood glamour on the various red carpets of the world, we’ve already had the Grammys and the Baftas, and of course the Oscars are yet to come. So I thought it only right to pay tribute this week to one the planet’s finest red carpet makeup artists, the legend in the field that is Mary Greenwell.

With over 25 years in the industry, and a client list stretching from Princess Diana to Cate Blanchett, Greenwell is one classy lady and her client list and makeup style fully attest to that. Her looks, across red carpet and editorial somehow manage to be classic and contemporary at the same time, and are always 100% flawless. She often turns out naturally glowing red carpet beauties but also loves to use colour in a soft, elegant way, never overpowering the the natural beauty of the wearer. Happily playing up both eyes and lips at times, she always manages to keep strong makeup effortlessly chic – something that many of us have struggled with over the years!

Perhaps the most impressive element of the work of red carpet specialists (such as two of Mary’s old assistants, a pair of little known makeup artists by the names of Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury anyone?!), is that unlike in the world of editorial and advertising, or even movies and music videos where things can be retouched or lit to perfection, on the red carpet there is no room for error. Your makeup will be shot in hi-res, with blinding lights flashing, and within minutes those unretouched images will be being shared and analysed the world over. Because of this I actually completely relearned my approach to red carpet skin recently after seeing a video of Mary’s go-to technique. That wisp of concealer and illuminating moisturiser that’s so beautiful for editorial just doesn’t cut it here, you need coverage, intelligently applied, and a velvet finish to the skin. Watching Mary work in a very generous amount of foundation to the face with her fingers goes against my usual less is more approach, but her technique allows the product to melt seamlessly in. See it for yourself here. God bless you Mary, it was a life changer for me that one!