“I think you should try to work with people you respect. It’s also really important to bear in mind that it’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice. That’s served me well – my job as a film make-up artist means that I deal with insecurities and foibles. People don’t only bare their faces to me – they bare them to me at 5am.
Skin is my big thing. I spend a lot of time making skin perfect, and it’s the first thing I do. I approach the face like a painting – you have to prime the canvas, make the skin perfect and then bring out the features and frame the eyes. It’s like a recipe to me, you just can’t do it the wrong way round (unless you’re doing a really heavy eye that’ll cause a lot of fall out).
I’m very into eyebrows, though perhaps in a different way to the current norm – I’m not into the big eyebrow trend at the moment with masses of eyebrow gel and filler. As a film make-up artist I appreciate what eyebrows can do. If done properly they can tell you what period it is, if a person is groomed or not, and they can open or close the eyes or age a person. I really love Ava Gardner’s brows – they were really sexy. She had quite a questioning, alluring, come-hither eyebrow. I think she’s one of the most beautiful actresses of all time.
In any craft you need bricks and mortar. Proper training teaches a make-up artist about colour and tone and shade and hygiene and working as a team and dealing with personalities. I think it’s a shame that everything’s so quick – I’m still learning now! My advice to other budding make-up artists would be ‘take your time to build a strong foundation.’
Daniel Day-Lewis left me a little starstruck. He was terribly handsome and terribly intense – though absolutely lovely. I knew I was in the presence of a fantastic actor and it did leave me a little starstruck.
If you were to look inside my kit, I’d always have the Suqqu Eyebrow Pen. It’s iconic and just the best. I also always have Homeoplasmine, which I use for everything – it’s a good lip sheen or on chapped lips or sore skin or on hands or for eyelid sheen. It’s a really fantastic homeopathic balm.
I quite like faces that are a bit alternative. I like Lea Seydoux and that she’s a bit dark under the eyes. I like that those French actresses all had/have that character. Romy Schneider and Marion Cotillard are favourites too.
I find modern day contouring really ugly. When’s it going to stop? In other pet peeves, I live part time in Rome and the woman there line their lips in an almost black liner – it drives me mad! And the men pluck their eyebrows – in Italy they’re called ‘seagulls wings’ and people ask for them. Men and women. I find it so weird.”