Mary Greenwell is one of the most influential women in the beauty and fashion industry. With over a quarter of a decade experience as a practicing makeup artist, Greenwell has trained the likes of mega make-up stars, Charlotte Tilbury and Lisa Eldridge, has her own perfume line, and an impressive celebrity client list that includes Alessandra Ambrosio, Cate Blanchett and most recently Ellie Goulding. And if that wasn’t enough, she has just been named the Beauty Ambassador for Marks & Spencer’s new Beauty Halls.
So, when we had the chance to speak to the lady herself we couldnt wait to steal her insider secrets pronto. Here’s what she had to say…
What is your favourite beauty product under £20 and why?
The new Bourjois four colour pallettes. They’re out this September in M&S and they are divine, they’re called Smoky Stories.
What new brands going into M&S are you most excited about and why?
I’d have to say again Bourjois! My mother used to use Bourjois when I was growing up. They have fantastic technology, divine colours, great sensibility and we’ve seen them for so long and we love them! So I’m so happy that M&S have taken on a heritage brand like Bourjois.
What is the most unusual product in your beauty kit?
It’s not so much unusual, but maybe the most precious items would be all of my very expensive Tom Ford, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent items.
Who is the most exciting celebrity you’ve ever worked with?
I have a client list that I can’t believe, I am so lucky and blessed to have them all. I don’t necessarily think I have the most exciting, but I’d say the clients I work with regularly are the ones that I find the most exciting.
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What’s your number one beauty tip for everybody?
If you could survive with only five products what would they be?
Okay, so here I am on my desert island miserable as hell, I’d take with me…A body moisturiser, a face moisturiser, a lipstick, mascara, and um…I think I only really need four! That’s it!
What is the last product you recommended to a client?
The last product I recommended was actually Botox, with the most incredible Botox doctor in London. How about that!
What is the last product someone recommended to you?
No-one recommends anything to me any longer I know everything! I’m just kidding, I get told about lot’s of wonderful products all of the time and I’m very blessed to be able to try extraordinary products every day.
What’s your favourite look that you’ve ever created?
I think as I’ve got older, I look back more at my old work and think ‘my goodness’ I was very, very good. I don’t think I’ve improved since I was quite young, so now what I do is concentrate on making someone else feel good rather than myself.
What made you decide to launch your own fragrance rather than makeup?
I thought it would be really exciting and I wanted to do something different. I’ve always had a slightly rebellious streak in me, but I do wish I’d gone down the make-up route and just done a line. I would of probably been very successful by now!
How do you like to prep the skin before make-up?
It’s about really making sure the skin is clean, that’s point number one, clean skin and then a good facial and moisturiser. I always, always, always use a moisturiser! And a primer. Primers and everything else become secondary though.
Last question, what is the secret to looking flawless in photos?
Having the right foundation- the right colour for your entire face is essential and also having enough coverage, but not too much so that you look like you’re wearing a mask. Then probably using a matting powder down the centre of your face to take down any shine.