"I love makeup in films. The other day I watched One From The Heart. If you liked La La Land, a lot of it was copied from this, which is from 1982. It’s very dreamy. It stars Nastassja Kinski, and she’s a kind of escort but trapeze artist, or circus performer... I love it—all the makeup, and she's so beautiful. The night before that I watched Dangerous Liaisons, and Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette—I could watch that every night before bed and be happy. I want to move into that world.
If it's a sunny evening, I’m likely to go for walks on Hampstead Heath—that’s like the ultimate thing to me. Then we do movie nights at our house, and I love it when friends come over. We’ll order food and some drinks. I cook sometimes. I'll put a playlist on and I go mad on flowers. I use this brand called Scarlet and Violet. They do the most amazing ones—they look kind of like you could’ve picked them yourself, like wildflowers. They put them together so naturally. And it’s not crazy expensive.
I love French 75s—that’s my signature drink. It started in France, and it had to do with the 75 gun. There’s a whole history behind it. There are French 75s and French 76s. French 75s are with gin and French 76s are with vodka, I think, and then lemon juice and Champagne. I'll do both sometimes. That’s one of my favorite drinks to serve—it's chic and it tastes delicious. And then obviously people will just want wine, and my husband likes San Pellegrino with vodka and lime juice. If I'm out, very often I’m the person who stays latest. I’m trying not to do that as much because I don’t think it’s a good look. [Laughs] I like dancing and I like music, so if the music’s good I’ll stay all night.
I don’t really believe in the daytime/nighttime separation—especially for clothes. I love dressing up during the day and dressing down at night. I think for me, if my hair looks good, then I feel really confident to wear whatever. I use Garrett Markenson’s Reverie. I put it on as soon as I wash my hair, and then I put it on when my hair is washed. Then I use Sam McKnight’s Cool Girl Spray, and that gives it texture without giving it chalkiness. I put a hair mask on before I go out—I’ve got the Ouai Hair Masks, which are good for traveling. I’ll put that on, come out the shower, put that Garrett stuff, dry my hair, and then spray with the Cool Girl. It sort of separates it a little bit, so you don’t look like you’ve been battling with your hair. I go to George Northwood sometimes if I’m going out, but I change it up a lot. I love Nicola Clarke for color. She’s so good. I got recently into Kevin Murphy hair colors. I’ll never go back—it doesn’t have all that bad stuff. If you have dark hair, there’s a chemical in dark hair color that’s not great for you. Sometimes the more natural ones don’t really color, but this one does. And all the colors are ashy, which suits me—it doesn’t suit everyone, but I think it's nice for dark hair.
A client of mine just finished a movie and was really tired and asked me, ‘What can I do?’ I did some research and this NuFace was the thing that came up. I asked them to send one to my client, and they sent me one as well. I didn’t use it for the first month, because I’m very skeptical about things. But after about eight weeks of using it, people were like, ‘You look so fresh.’ Since then, I’ve just been advocating for it. I mean, they haven’t paid me anything, I'm not sponsored. I just use it all the time.
To prep my skin, I've been using an Aloe Vera gel from Whole Foods, and then serums under it, as long as they’re not watery. And I’m always doing masks—I don’t believe you can do too many, but maybe my skin is just very receptive to masks. I’ll probably put a mask on when I’m brushing my teeth, sorting out my clothes at night. First I’ll probably do something enzyme-y, like Yurga’s Pumpkin Clay Mask. Then something plumping after that. I love May Lindstrom’s masks, and Susanne Kaufmann. I keep all my cold masks in the fridge. I love the Sarah Chapman 3D Moisture Infusion Masks, which are bio cellulose sheet masks you can keep in the fridge. That will just snatch the skin, which is what you want for the red carpet. If you don’t have a mask, you’re best off using just ice cubes on your face. Anything cold is a dream. The result is that you just need less makeup, I think. If your skin is really glowy already, I definitely wouldn’t need as much foundation as I would if I felt my skin didn’t look its best. Then I give a little spray—I’ve got a rosewater mist from Yurga, and another one that’s just from this farm in England. I think it’s called The West Barn Company. It’s a Coconut Dew Mist that I’m loving. I’ve been using their serum as well, which is just a silicone-free serum of rosemary and vitamin B. That one is so good under makeup. I would pat the spray in, or if I’m in a rush just tissue it. I don’t use a lot of cream under makeup because I’m too oily, so I’m better off with a light serum. During the day I use one with SPF. UFO is a good one for me if I feel like my skin’s going to break out. I quite like that if I’ve got something problematic brewing. For me, if I sleep in that, I look really good the next day. It just zaps everything, and all the lumps and bumps are gone. If any lumps and bumps are coming up, I just put this on, which I’ve literally used for 15 years. It’s from Dermalogica, and it’s zinc and salicylic acid. It’s the only one you can layer on—I put two layers on, and put it all across my chin and jawline if I’ve got something big the next day. Then Opening Act from Elixseri is new, it's an overnight type of peel. I can’t use scrubs, so I’m better off with something chemical to exfoliate my skin.
Events are different because you know you’re going to be photographed. I’d wear more makeup on my skin than I would normally, because I get really shiny in pictures. I would definitely use foundation, conceal quite a bit, use powder. I’ve learned the hard way—we all have—when you get your picture taken and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I look like a grease ball, with no definition anywhere!’ For something like that, I’ll put eyeliner on and individual eyelashes to thicken my natural ones. Before an event, I definitely avoid squeezing my pores—that’s a thing I love to do, but it makes my skin look crazy. If I’m ever in a close-up mirror, I’m just like, ‘Stop! This is gonna be a disaster!’ I think when you’ve got dry patches that’s a bit flaky, it’s a bad idea to put makeup on top of that because it just never sits right.
I love fake lashes from Japan, because they do loads of half sets, quarter sets, inserts... I’ll always take an empty suitcase when I travel there and fill it up with lashes. I either put a half set on the outer edge, or I do individuals. I put my mascara on, which is Doll Lashes, and let it dry. I don’t personally like, on myself, really gunky lashes. I like Doll Lashes because it separates them and makes them feathery. I just think it suits my eye shape better. I never put lashes on the bottom, just a bit of mascara. Then I always do a bit of shading with eyeshadow. I try out different eyeliners, but the colors that I like tend to be grayish dusty violets that look black almost. I think they work quite well on my eyes, which are a hazy brown. Sometimes I use cream—I like cream shadows as well, and I like the Lid Tints by Jillian Dempsey. The colors are so nice. I recently started on this RapidBrow serum, and my brows are like they were when I was a teenager. I used it for eight weeks and didn’t see any results, and I was like, ‘OK, maybe it just doesn’t work.’ And then suddenly, at nine weeks, I had all this new growth! I like things like that that really work, even though it’s a time commitment. I have to keep it next to my bed, otherwise I’ll forget to use it.
On my eyes today is actually two colors. One is a really nude-y, beige-y color and the other is a purple-ish color. It’s just darker on the outer sides, and that kind of suits my eye shape better. I love to use big, fluffy brushes for the eyes—I don’t really use thin brushes. If I go underneath, I just smudge it with my fingers. I don’t know, for me, it always looks better if the eye makeup isn’t too precise. Even when I use liquid liner, I use the Grandiose Matte Black, and I tend to do just the outer edge and mess it up. If it’s just a line, I don’t think it suits my eye. I go and let it dry, and then I always use a damp brush with a powder shadow and soften the line, maybe blend it into the socket a little so it feels a bit more lifted. It’s eyes first—always eyes first. While the eyes are going on I put pads underneath to catch the fallout. I use the Elemis Eye Pads from the fridge. I put them on, do the eye makeup, finish the eye makeup—everything, including the brows–while they’re on. Then, when it’s like, time to go, I’ll do the skin really fast.
If you have a breakout, you need really good concealer. The worst for me is if I go to pop it and it isn’t ready, and it doesn’t come out. I’m like, ‘Oh no, I should’ve left it!’ It’s so swollen. I think I’m getting better at judging if it’s gonna come or not. Then, I would put on some some translucent powder over the spot, and then foundation on top of that. Then it’s locked in. When you put the concealer on, it’s got something to diffuse into. Usually when you put concealer on it has that definite edge, whereas when there’s something under it, it has something to blend into. After that I’ll use a really heavy coverage concealer, like Tarte Shape Tape, or Laura Mercier, or Lancôme—all of those are full-coverage. For powder, I just use Chanel loose powder. It works really well over the Lancôme, because when you put that on it’s quite elastic, but it still has a skin-like finish. Some of them can dry really matte, but that one dries like skin. If you put a powder over that, it kind of moves with the spot. That sounds disgusting. [Laughs] It’s kind of like a flexible mask that moves around with it. I’m trying new foundations all the time, looking for best in class or something really unique. It has to tick all the boxes for me, which are good coverage, good colors, realistic-looking, buildable... so that if you want to wear it super thin, you can, or build it up to medium, you can—it lasts, it looks like skin, it’s not too matte, it’s not too shiny. I’m so fussy about foundation and skin products, in general. I’m so hard to please. A foundation I wear to an event can't have SPF in it. If there’s a lot of titanium dioxide or zinc, they’re the worst offenders in terms of flash back. When any of the minerals are high up the list, I’m scared for myself or any of my clients because it ends up looking so chalky and horrible. I tend to use Make Up Forever HD because it’s SPF-free. The Lancôme Cushion, which is really nice for a dewy red carpet look. I like a cream blush—I like Cloud Paint, I like Daniel Sandler Liquid Blush. I always wear blush. If it’s really warm weather I’ll wear powder, but I just prefer cream blush. I think it looks fresher on the skin. You can mix it with liquid highlighter as well. I like the RMS one, the Tata Harper is nice. Lots of little pots—it just looks better, I think. I don’t put powder on my cheeks because I get so oily on my t-zone that I like to leave that part a little glowy. That’s how you can get away with having more full-coverage in the center and mattifying in the middle. You can kind of trick the eye into thinking you’re not wearing a lot of makeup if it’s fresh around the edges.
This is like the oldest Lancôme product—it’s from 1936, they haven’t changed the formula, and it’s super heavy. It’s called Nutrix. I use it as a lip mask. I find that my lips are dry all the time. I put a thick layer of that on my lips and massage it on. Eventually it becomes kind of oily, but it stays. It’s still on your lips in the morning.
Whenever I go anywhere, I always carry the Kiko Face Scrub, and I use it on my lips. I think that when your lips are really raggedy and you put on a lot of lipstick, even if it looks good when it initially goes on, it will dry down. I always scrub the lips for that. I like orange-y reds. I do like a classic red as well. What I tend to do is put the lipstick on, take it all off, so you’re really left with just a stain, and then use a pencil and completely change the shape of my lips. My bottom lip is quite small compared to my top lip, so I really overdraw it, but I do it so it’s totally natural. I buff and buff and buff, and change the shape of the lip. With a lip pencil, you can get more precise. I’ll use a MAC lip pencil called Redd, just old school, and then I’ll blend it in a little so it looks soft. Then I’ll go back in with a bit of lipstick, but just make sure it’s smudged with fingers. It doesn't feel like I have any lipstick on. It’s just kind of light and natural.
At the end of my night, I’ll do a treatment before bed. I have all manner of body and hand care products by my bed, and I’ll oil myself up. My husband always says, ‘You look like you’re about to go swim in the Channel!’ I always sleep with a dark mask because I literally can’t sleep without it. I like this one from Holistic Silk. If I don't have a mask on, I don’t sleep. It’s like my crutch."
—as told to ITG
Lisa Eldridge photographed by Tom Newton on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.