Make-up artist Mary Phillips on her viral underpainting technique

TikTok is swiftly converting into an all-you-can-eat buffet of beauty trends. From piping hot beverages to freshly cut berries, barista-ready and fruity beauty looks are aplenty on the app, with trends like strawberry girl beauty accumulating 3.6 billion views and latte make-up claiming 316.2 million.

Hailey Bieber, as the model of the moment-cum-beauty entrepreneur is, famously, at the forefront of summer’s most covetable beauty cocktail – but it’s A-list make-up artist Mary Phillips who’s behind some of her most lauded looks. A powerhouse in deceivingly flawless complexions (from Bieber’s unwaveringly undone Met Gala make-up to Kendall Jenner’s first campaign as the face of L’Oréal Paris) Phillips has garnered a following of almost 280 thousand TikTok followers, bringing age old industry techniques to the online world.

Here we caught up with Phillips to discuss viral make-up techniques – including her beloved ‘underpainting’ method, vintage beauty references, and the trends we’ll be wearing for autumn and beyond.

On her beauty inspiration

“I get a lot of my inspiration from Instagram or TikTok. I think it’s really important to see what the younger generations are doing because they really are setting the trends. Even from the way we were lining lips like a few years ago, how that’s changed. It used to be a little bit wider and now it’s higher up in the centre. It’s all stuff that I had never thought of before, but makes such a difference. And colours in nature when I’m on a hike.”

On her key decades for beauty inspiration

“The ’60s and the ’70s. I feel like make-up back then was very sexy. I love that the early ’00s are coming back too because that’s when I was in my early 20s. That’s really fun for me because it was some of my favourite times in life and the make-up was really fun. It was when I was first becoming a professional make-up artist so it brings me back to that time.”

On her viral underpainting technique

“It’s the way I have always done it. It makes sense to me; it’s the bone structure, so then you lay the skin on top of the bones, like laying foundation over the contour and highlight. I learned it from reading Kevyn Aucoin books when I was young because there was no YouTube or Instagram or anything like that. I couldn’t DM Pat McGrath and be like, ‘how do you do that?’ – it’s so crazy that people can just message us now and be like, ‘what lipstick is Kendall wearing?’. I used to take, you know, sheets out of magazines and go to pharmacies and stores and try to colour match stuff.”

On her tips for keeping make-up skin-like

“[Underpainting] is a good amount of make-up, but I want it to look like the least amount possible. I like doing like a lot of thin layers because maybe I don’t need it all in one place but I might need a little bit more elsewhere. I have a ‘less is more’ approach. I let as much as of the skin shine through and the texture shine through as possible.

“I always apply powder in the centre of the face and in a half moon in the middle of the forehead above the brows, too. I feel like everybody gets a little shiny there. But then like I love leaving the perimeter of the face and the top of the forehead and cheekbones.”

On the beauty trends to invest in right now

“I love the strawberry girl look right now but I feel like we’re gonna start seeing more deeper fall trends. I feel like the ‘cherry cola lip’ is going to continue into fall. I also think latte make-up is great for summer and great for fall. What’s the fall version of the latte? I guess, pumpkin spice latte make-up. But I love deep purples, burgundy, dark greens and navy; I feel like we’re gonna see a lot of like those kinds of colours.”

On losing her kit, and what she can’t live without

“I got my whole kit stolen before; I had nothing, not a brush. The thing I can’t live without would be concealer and I’m loving the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer. It has not left my side and it has it all. It lasts all day. And some sort of a lip or a glossy stain that I can use on my cheeks too.”

Kendall’s Shade

Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick in 400

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick in 400

Mary’s Shade

Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick in 115

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick in 115

Color Riche Lip Liner Couture in Seine Sunset

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lip Liner Couture in Seine Sunset

Infallible More Than Concealer

L’Oréal Paris Infallible More Than Concealer

On her go-to lip combo

“At the moment it’s the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick. My new favourite is 115. I love a deep nude. And I love lining the lip first. You don’t have to but I just love using the lip liner and, usually, I like a little bit of a darker one. Just because I love a little bit of an overly accentuated lip.”

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