Guru may well be an over-used term in the beauty industry, but when it comes to Lisa Eldridge few words are more fitting. We caught up with the makeup maestro, YouTube star and A-list favourite as her eponymous brand pops-up at Selfridges Birmingham for two weeks only.
I’m really not over-selling it when I say Lisa Eldridge is one of the world’s leading make-up artists. With a celebrity client roster that reads like the ultimate who’s who – we’re talking the likes of Dua Lipa, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Nicole Kidman – her work regularly appears on Vogue covers around the world and on the runways at Gucci, Prada, Dior and Balmain.
As an early adopter and digital disruptor, she was the first professional make-up artist to have her own dot com. A few years later she blazed a trail with her YouTube tutorials, notching up more than 233 million views in the process, before unveiling her hugely sought-after beauty line.
While Selfridges London is lucky enough to get a permanent counter (you can also stock up online), the Bullring store is hosting a Lisa Eldridge pop-up until July 23. Shoppers can explore her makeup must-haves and beauty essentials first-hand, from seamless complexion products to the lip colours that have been heralded by beauty insiders as “un-dupable”. Discover our five hero products here.
What one makeup ritual you would never break? Probably the less is more rule. Even if I am doing a full-on makeup look with a lot of colour, I always have in mind that it’s not overpowering and that you can still see the person and the personality. Although I do editorial and strong looks, I want the model or the client to look their absolute best and feel the best, but that they are wearing the makeup rather than the other way round.
If you can only have one product skincare and one makeup product, what would they be? Probably a cleanser because you can do so much with it, for example a nice facial massage. I have always been an advocate for removing makeup at night; even in the worst state I like to take my makeup off. I enjoy the process almost as much as I enjoy putting the makeup on. There is something so nice about it, at the end of the day to take your makeup off and cleanse your face. It’s such a ritual. Sometimes with my clients, we even fantasise about how we are going to remove the makeup!
For makeup, it’s a toss-up between lipstick – because you can use it as blush and on your lips – or concealer. I used to have acne, so concealer was my friend. For many, many years, my best friend. I had really bad acne as a teenager but on my back not my face, so I kind of got away with it. Then I got acne on my face in my 20s, which was not the best time because I had started as a makeup artist. It was the 90s so it was all grunge and no one really wore a lot of face makeup so I got really good at my ‘pinpoint concealing’ technique, which is what I’m known for.
And you are also well known for fabulous lips: Yes I do, I love lipstick because it’s a quick thing. Obviously I love eye makeup as well. Mascara and curling your eyelashes, for me, has to be done on daily basis.
For many of us, we tend to stick with the same look in our 40s and 50s, as we did in our 20s and 30s. But as age, how should we you update our makeup? Some things that may have worked for you might end up working less because your facial contours move around a bit. I’m not one to say that less makeup is necessarily better, it’s just that it might work better in different areas. Maybe try less on your skin and a bit more on your eyes, which can help because the contours soften around eyes. And sometimes you do need a bit more eye makeup, particularly to create that depth and that socket line. Also in terms of lip colours, maybe you have always done a nude or similar, and then suddenly they are not working for you. I think it is about having a moment every now and again to look at yourself at the mirror and think “Oh, that looks really good, or that doesn’t look so good anymore”. I do a lot of tutorials to show people how they can use makeup to create contours. If you want to make lips look fuller or make your eyes look bigger, it’s great to update your skills.
Cometic science has moved on so much and the formulas today are so much better than those that may have been available years ago, so it’s important to update to what works for you. My Elevated Glow Highlighter is amazing! I developed it is because sometimes when you put highlighter on it looks really nice at first, particularly cream and liquid, and then after about an hour or so, the pearls migrate either in to the lines around your eyes, or for me into my pores. I was like, how can I create a highlighter that doesn’t migrate? And then I found this ingredient which acts like a mesh, so the pearls stay where they are supposed to stay. It’s more like a skincare product – it’s not thick and it’s not glittery.
I have noticed that as I got older, my eyes start to droop and I get more of a hooded look – especially noticeable in photographs. What should I do different? My left eye droops more than my right eye, so just to have a bit more self-knowledge is good. When I do my contour with my eyeshadow, I make sure that I’m looking straight ahead with my eyebrows relaxed. If you tend to put your makeup on with your brows raised, when you relax it will look completely different to what you’re trying to achieve. When I’m doing my own or a client’s eye sockets I’ll say, “Look straight ahead and relax your eyebrows.” Then I can see that I need depth in certain areas and of course, close your eyes to blend. If you are doing no other eye makeup, just do your socket line with depth because honestly it will lift your eye like you wouldn’t believe. It’s the key! You also need a bit more makeup in the evening, especially if there is a camera. Flash can really drain the colour of your face, that’s why red carpet makeup is a bit heavier and also editorial makeup.
When Time Is Short … Here, Lisa exclusively shares her Five-Minute Makeup Tips with STYLE readers: