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Inside My Makeup Bag: Lisa Eldridge

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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
Whether it's from her easy-to-follow, engaging beauty tutorials on YouTube, her work with Chanel, Boots No 7 and Lancôme, her debut book Face Paint: The Story of Makeup, or from the countless celebrity faces she's worked on, you've probably heard of Lisa Eldridge. If you haven't, it's time to get acquainted.

Regularly making up the faces of Emma Watson, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Lily Collins, Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Eldridge is the queen of enhancing natural beauty and creating flawless skin. She's also called upon by the biggest brands and publications in fashion to create bold, innovative beauty looks for editorials and campaigns.

We asked the beauty icon (who just so happens to be one of the warmest people in the biz too) to share her tips, tricks and must-have products. Welcome to makeup heaven.

If you had just five minutes to get ready, what would you do/use?
I actually made a tutorial about this for my channel, My 5 Minute Makeup Look (no editing!). It’s the makeup I do most days before work. I focus my foundation on the areas where I feel like I need coverage (usually around my nose and the centre of my face) and team with some pinpoint concealing to cover any marks and blemishes. Then I add a sweep of blusher – it’s a super-quick way to make your face look fresher and more alive (use one with a touch of shimmer to get a highlighter effect.) And I always make time to curl my lashes and apply a couple of coats of mascara – it takes two minutes but it makes the biggest difference to your face.

Favourite foundation and why?
I chop and change depending on how my skin is feeling. Clarins Ever Matte is perfect for oily skin days and I like Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation for a lighter, dewy finish. Bourjois Healthy Mix is a great high street base that looks good on camera and in real life, and I like the classic Vita Lumiere Aqua foundation by Chanel too.

What's your hair routine and favourite hair products?
I’m fairly low-maintenance but can’t live without my Tangle Teezer brush – it’s indispensable for long hair like mine that gets tangled easily. I also love hair masks, especially Kérastase and pre-shampoo ones like Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches and Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. If I’m at home, I sometimes leave a mask in my hair for most of the day! Apart from that if I’m filming I’ll tong it and add a bit of texturising spray.

What’s the product you reach for to take you from day to night?
A bright lipstick as a power pout can change your whole face as well as your mood! There are so many gorgeous, vibrant lip colours around at the moment. I used an amazing vivid coral shade (Sephora Cream Lip Colour in Watermelon Slice) in my latest film, Wear a Power Pout and Smile. Or, lashes and liner, which is one of my favourite looks – I use Lancôme Grandiose liner.
Do you contour and if so what do you use?
Not every day, but for a night out or party I might. I also contour my clients, especially again before an event or red carpet appearance. The best contour products are the ones without heavy shimmer – you’re trying to mimic the way your skin looks in natural shadow, which isn’t shimmery or glittery! Powder-wise I like Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder and Lancôme Belle de Teint Healthy Skin Powder, and Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate is a great cream contour. Brushes and tools are also really important when contouring; you want to use something small and directional, big fluffy powder brushes don’t work.

Can you remember the first beauty product you bought in your teens?
Concealer. As someone who suffered with acne, once I learnt how to successfully cover my blemishes without looking like I was wearing a mask, my confidence grew and grew. I love makeup for that reason.

What’s the one product that you have re-purchased the most over the years?
MAC Face and Body Foundation – it’s been in my kit for about 20 years and I go through mountains of it. I use it when I want a really light foundation (if you’re not normally a foundation person or don’t like lots of coverage, this is the base for you) and it’s my fail-safe for arms and legs to match everything up. It has a very strong film former so, once it’s dry, it doesn’t budge and won’t come off on clothes. The shade offering is also excellent.

What’s the most expensive, luxury beauty product you own?
My vast collection of Suqqu Cheek Brushes, the only blusher brush I use so I have quite a few in my kit (often on jobs I’m working with lots of different models at the same time.) They’re expensive, but so soft, like a kitten’s paw! And the perfect shape, nicely tapered and not too big. I use it for buildable blush, highlight, powder and bronzer application.
What’s your most trusty highstreet makeup product?
False lashes from Japanese drugstores. I usually buy enough to fill an entire suitcase each time I visit. As there is a huge demand for high quality false lashes in Japan, there’s a lot more choice than you find in Europe or the US. Each drugstore has hundreds of sets piled high, everything from natural and subtle to full-on, crazy styles, with lots of variation in weight, length and featheriness.

Can you remember your worst beauty faux pas?
There are some dodgy photos somewhere from my teens haha… I used to favour using about 10 neon colours on my eyes. I’m all for experimenting with makeup (especially in your teens.) The point of makeup is to have fun and enjoy it, so the odd ‘faux pas’ here and there doesn’t matter.

Favourite mascara and why?
Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes is great for everyday. I like my lashes to look really volumised but, at the same time, individual and not overloaded with product.

Who are your beauty icons?
I have so many! I wrote about a lot them in my book, Face Paint, I call them my ‘Makeup Muses’. I’m fascinated by Theda Bara, the first on-screen vamp, and Greta Garbo who had such a strong, modern style and was very ahead of her time in terms of attitude and look. Then there are more recent icons like Amy Winehouse who was rarely, if ever, seen without her thick slashes of flicked eyeliner. As a teenager and a young woman I was so inspired by Isabella Rossellini's beauty, her personality and everything she stood for, so it was a real ‘pinch myself’ moment when I did her makeup for the first time last year.
Favourite lip product?
Like foundation, it changes, but I’m lucky that I got to design a huge range of lipsticks last year for the Lancôme Absolu Rouge relaunch this September. Alongside tweaking and modernising the current bestselling colours I got to create 55 brand new shades and textures. As part of the range I decided to take advantage and include a red just for me (why not!), Idôle – it’s the ultimate feel-good pinky/coral-red that suits many skintones and always makes me feel happy when I wear it.

Which is the one, transformative beauty product that makes you feel your best?
Concealer. It’s my secret weapon for even, flawless skin, and it’s not just for spots or dark circles (though it will of course brilliantly cover that too); if you have pigmentation, redness or unevenness that you want to conceal, without masking your face in foundation, concealer is all you need.

What's your favourite beauty trend/look for summer 2016?
I don’t really believe in trends, I think the same ones come around again and again. For me the best trend is to think for yourself, that’s the one I’m backing this summer! Rather than telling everyone ‘you must contour’ or ‘you must try purple eyeliner’, the most important thing is to develop your own aesthetic, references and influences, and follow your own mood.

Follow Lisa Eldridge on Instagram @lisaeldridgemakeup
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