Make-up artist Mary Greenwell is a beauty industry legend who’s made up some quite extraordinary people, including Cate Blanchett, Diana, Princess of Wales, Jessica Chastain, Cindy Crawford, Meghan Markle, Amanda Seyfried, Christy Turlington, and Margaret Thatcher.
But the thing that really distinguishes Mary’s work from that of other make-up artists is not who she’s made up, but rather how very memorable the end effect is. Think of those ’80s supermodels sporting smoky eyes and honeyed skin, and you’re invariably thinking of Greenwell’s work. She famously transformed Princess Diana in the ’90s, when she and Sam McKnight modernised Diana’s look. And who could forget Meghan Markle’s cover turn on Vanity Fair, freckles out, eyes rimmed with softly-smudged kohl?
Mary’s influence doesn’t stop with the people she’s made up, though – she was assisted by and was therefore integral in developing the skills of make-up artists like Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury, and has advised countless brands on how their products should look and feel.
On this episode, I was very keen for Mary to tell us some of her stories from both from her stellar career and perhaps one or two that might offer some insight into how a young girl from West Sussex who, by her own admission, was a ‘little hippy’ came to be one of the most revered women in the beauty industry.
Mary kindly indulged my curiosity, and I hope you’ll find the tale of her journey to being a working make-up artist as riveting as I did, as well as, of course, enjoying her recollections of working with some of the most celebrated people in the world, and paying heed to her tips on make-up (those of you who aren’t fans of brushes will no doubt delight in her views on them).
Here are the products Mary mentions:
– Lanvin Arpege Eau de Parfum
– Iles Formula Luxury Haircare
– Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
– Yves Saint Laurent Number 19 Lipstick
– Calvin Klein Original Fragrance
– Sisley Eau de Soir Eau de Parfum
– MAC Face & Body
– Elizabeth Arden Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil
– Nicola Clarke at Nicola Clarke at John Frieda
– Joel Goncalves at Nicola Clarke at John Frieda