Blending the Rules

By Shivani Dahiya


La Mer’s makeup expert Mary Phillips decodes her signature glow that Hollywood divas love.


Much before YouTubers started replicating Jennifer Lopez makeup regime by Mary Phillips, breaking the Internet, she has made this Hollywood diva a living example of someone who has found a youth fountain. It isn’t, thus, a surprise to see makeup enthusiasts lapping up everything that Mary does or say. She has 520k followers (and counting) on Instagram. What makes her a coveted makeup artist is not the fact that she is on the speed dial for celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashian family (it is one of the reasons though!), but her approach towards makeup. She is not a big fan of dolled-up faces and has been pushing the case for a dewy look, long before it became mainstream. Known to churn out high-octane red carpet looks, she makes a serious point with warm tones and luminous skin, even while sending social media in a tizzy whenever Jennifer Lopez shares a hilarious Dubsmash with her or when Chrissy Teigen gets her face done. In a tête-à-tête, she talks about her beauty go-to tips and tricks, and the women who have inspired her.

Did you always want to become a makeup artist?

For as long as I can remember, I had a strong desire to learn all about makeup and hair. I was inspired by the pop culture and would observe makeup artists keenly. I was, for most part of my life, an autodidact. But, before taking it up professionally, I went to a makeup school to perfect my techniques.

Which pop culture moments have inspired you?

Films! Some of the most defining beauty moments, I think, have come from the characters that actors would portray onscreen fascinating me immensely. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s has always been special for me. I love the original brow boss with beach hair, Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon. I have always been in love with Elizabeth Taylor’s eyeliner in Cleopatra. I would like to mention Clueless, one film that gave us, if I may, major beauty goals.

Who have been your muses?

Hovering at the top of my list would be Kate Moss, Bridget Bardot, Barbara Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor. I was mesmerised by them since I was young and can still draw inspiration from them.

You are known for this natural looking glow you bring to a face. How do we achieve it?

I start with prepping my skin with Creme de la Mer. One of my secrets is that I warm it up with my hands and press it into the skin, making the skin perfectly dewy. I blend La Mer Soft Fluid Longwear foundation onto the skin and top it off with La Mer’s concealer to cover imperfections. I dust the t-zone with sheer pressed powder. The combination makes the skin flawless and gorgeously glowing, but doesn’t look unnatural. I almost always add a dash of colour and highlight it with Becca x Chrissy Teigen glow palette. The colours look great on everyone and it gives a summer glow all year round.

What are the trends for this winter?

I have seen a lot of winter shimmer starting to emerge for lips, teamed with sheer shimmer eye. Just be careful to not overdo the look.

What beauty trends do you think should be discarded?

I wouldn’t mind retiring an overly made-up face. Too much makeup can make you look a lot older than you actually are.

You have worked on some of most famous faces of Hollywood. Who is on your wishlist now?

I am always excited at the prospect of working with someone new. I would love to work with power houses such as Beyoncé and Gal Gadot.

What do you see trending next?

I would love to see skincare to be in the spotlight. I believe that to have beautiful makeup you need to focus on the skin.

What are your work-life essentials?

I can’t live without my Slip Silk Eye Mask. With my frequent travels and crazy working hours, it’s important to get a restful sleep. This mask not only blocks light properly but the silk is good for the skin too.

What are your must-have products of the moment?

Nudestix! It has everything in a stick form, thus saves space and does not spill. Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face palette is another product that I am carrying in my bag.

How do you prep your skin?

I always keep it clean and never go to sleep with makeup on. A good hydrating facial mask and Genaissance Serum by La Mer is what I use for skin hydration.

A hack you picked up from Jen Atkin?

My dear friend and gifted hairstylist Jen Atkin has taught me so much along the way. Ouai Dry Shampoo foam from her line has been a life saver. It adds volume and keeps hair squeaky clean. A quick makeup routine for a woman-on-the-go?

For quick touch-ups, I start with Creme de la Mer and follow it up with La Mer foundation using my fingers. I define my brows with a clear brow gel, curl my lashes with the Bobbi Brown lash curler. I sweep on a bronzer to get a natural warm tone, and keep my lips neutral.

A beauty hack every woman should know?

Eyeshadow can double up as a root concealer, as it works great for covering up patches or stray gray hairs in-between colouring sessions.

What are the most common makeup mistakes?

I would say choosing the wrong foundation shade. Do not try to match it with your face but the shoulder and décolletage. These areas tend to see the sun more frequently and so have more colour. Matching these areas creates a seamless look.

I never leave my house without...

My Nirvana Perfume Roller By Elizabeth and James

BB Cream or foundation?

BB Cream

Bronzer or blush?


Lipstick or lipgloss?


Nude or Red lipstick?


Winged liner or smokey eye?

Smokey eye 


Shivani Dahiya
Beauty Writer

Shivani Dahiya is a Beauty Writer at L'Officiel India. She enjoys sartorial satire and french fries with a tall glass of @dietprada.