Ten Minutes With Mary Phillips
You’ve been Jennifer Lopez’ personal makeup artist from 2006 – how did you bag such a huge client in such a competitive industry?
I love what I do, I truly feel that I was born to do this! I always took to makeup very naturally and I take my career and craft seriously - not in an “un-fun” way, but I feel like there’s always more to learn and teach yourself. I would definitely say that I’ve never lost my hunger or drive and that plays a huge part in my career today. In terms of teaming up with Jennifer, things just naturally aligned. She was looking and I made sure to make myself available – I guess some would call that luck but then you have to succeed in the actual situation for people to want to work with you again, and that takes preparation and practice, not just your kit. You need to be steady, calm, and confident in what you’re doing. Communication is important, too - know how to verbalize what you’re doing or thinking, how to work with a whole team, and be able to process and interpret what your client is saying and wants.
Talk us through your morning cleansing ritual...
It all depends on what my skin is acting like and where I’m at – my job involves a lot of travel and as we all know, airplanes aren’t necessarily skin friendly. On a typical morning I start with a good creamy hydrating cleanser which I apply in circular motions moving upwards for about a minute or I’ll scrub with my Clarisonic Brush. Then I like to apply a gentle toner to my face, neck and décolletage. I’ll usually follow that with facial oil or some type of serum and once that settles, I apply a moisturiser. Finally I apply an eye cream and a lip balm and right before I run out the door, I’ll spritz on a facial spray for optimum freshness!
If you could make over one celebrity in the world, who would it be?
I can’t pick one! I’d love to work with Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Sophia Loren, Aishwarya Rai, Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie and Natalie Portman…to name a few!
Which A-Lister would you say always gets her make-up bang on the money?
Rihanna and Beyoncé both always look great.
Any quick tips for when we’ve got to head straight from the office to a red-carpet event?
This is dependent on the person – it’s often the case that one person's "must" is someone else's step to skip. I think it's really important to have multi-purpose and easy-to-transfer products. An eyeliner is the most accessible way to really alter your look - the Kevyn Aucoin Eye Pencil Primatif Pencil Eye Liner in basic brown and basic black are two of my favorite fundamental products when it comes to makeup - they go on smoothly, blend easily and stay all day without smudging. A lipstick is maybe another obvious answer but the key is having the RIGHT shade, not just "a lipstick". The right shade of lipstick depends on the shape of your lips, the skin of your lips, your age, your style, your confidence level, your coloring, your hair color, your eye color - all of that. Find YOUR best product, whatever that is!
What’s the biggest beauty faux-pas a person can make?
Easily the wrong coloured foundation - too light or dark for concealer or the wrong choice of coverage. I’m talking about using a powder when all you need is a tinted moisturiser. Sometimes people jump right to a makeup routine, before even having a skincare routine. Makeup on un-moistened, un-treated, or untaken care of skin is not a good look. Also, I’m a huge fan of colour in cosmetics but too many colours can look dated and subtract from the beauty of your face. That being said, I think there’s also a right time and place for certain colours and amounts of makeup. A full face with a pastel shadow, bold lashes, and bright lip at 9AM in the office is a bit much – instead, opt for the bright lip and fresh looking skin with well groomed brows and a curled lash.
Talk us through your top makeup selfie tips
Lol! You can even fore-go makeup because the real selfie deal is all about insanely good lighting and an obscenely good angle for your face – those two things are at the very TOP of the selfie list! For best results though, apply your make up in natural light as indoor lighting can alter the appearance of your make up. Some lights may wash you, out causing you to apply make up too heavily. Apply in the BRIGHTEST light possible, and don’t be afraid to have a magnifying mirror on hand either – if you can master your own face in those very real very honest conditions, then get ready to look like complete perfection in any selfie scenario!
Which makeup brands do you swear by?
I love this question!
For skincare I love: Beauty Counter, La Mer, Sisley, Perricone, Caudalie, SK2, FRESH, Dr Hauschka, La Prairie, Sunday Riley, Eve Lom, Amore Pacific, Jurlique, Laurel Skin, Peter Thomas Roth, lots of natural brands from Whole Foods – the list could go on!
For makeup: Kevyn Aucoin, Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, MakeUpForEver, Kryolan, Shu Uemura, Bite Beauty, Armani, Chanel, Lancome, Troy Surratt, Hourglass, Jouer, Serge Lutens, Cle De Peau, YSL, Dior, NARS, Chantacaille, Josie Maran, By Terry, Bobbi Brown, Anastasia, Edward Bess, Claudio Riaz, Becca, Koh Gen Do…
If you could only take three beauty products to a desert island, what would they be?
Lipstick - whatever lip you're wearing, it always needs to be upheld and it’s so easy to lose your lip through eating, drinking and talking. But that would be my number #1!
Concealer - things slip and slide - especially under eye area – so you need to be kept looking alert. A little bit goes a long way.
Powder - makeup always looks better after it's been on for a while as it adheres to your face and really starts to “sink in”, rather than looking like it's just on the SURFACE of your face.
Have you been to Dubai before? What are you most looking forward to on your trip?
I’ve been twice before, both times for work. It’s such an enchanting place, although I’ve never really gotten a chance to see all that it has to offer, as I’m typically working. I would really love to take a tour and be able to enjoy all of the wonderful things that you hear and read about.
Tell us more about the Mane Addicts Seminar event that is taking place with celebrity guest Khloe Kardashian
It’s such a great opportunity to connect with woman who love and are as enthusiastic as we are about beauty. Beauty is so universal and it’s such a powerful thing, to be able to discuss it on a larger platform and be apart of what Jen’s created is so exciting for me, not only as a makeup artist but as a friend too. I’ve never taught before, or stood in front of a multitude of people and explained how or why I do certain things, I’m beyond excited! Not only to teach, but to learn from all of the people that will be attending as well.