Daniel Martin, Makeup Artist


“My father worked for the government, so I grew up moving all over the place—I was born in the States, moved to Central America when I was five, and I was there until I was 11. I finished high school in Seattle. In Seattle, I would take the bus to Pike Place Market to get magazines—The Face, Details, Paper, i-D. That was the only way I could learn about trends and see what was happening in the fashion world. It was this really innocent, punk rock, disheveled time. And then I decided that I wanted to be in New York—I wanted to be the one dressing up as a club kid and going out. I wound up living just outside of DC instead, in ‘94, after my mom moved there. I started working at an Aveda concept salon when I moved, and it was there where I really got started.

At the time, Aveda was doing [the makeup backstage at runway] shows, and Pat McGrath was working with them on a capsule collection. She ended up making this product called Universal Glow in ‘97. It was this liquid, nude-y pink shimmer—it was an incredible product and literally the first highlighter of its kind. Pat’s work with Aveda was my introduction to her. Meanwhile, I was teaching makeup classes through Aveda corporate. My territory was the East Coast, and part of my job was coming up to New York every month or so to teach. But it wasn’t until I was in New York on 9/11 that I realized I needed to do makeup [on clients] full time. I moved to New York, I got a job on Pat’s team, and I thought, ‘If I’m going to be happy here, I need to do what I came here to do.’

After I left Aveda, Kerry Diamond, who used to be the beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar, became the VP of PR for Lancôme. I met her through a friend, and then she basically reintroduced me into fashion. That’s how I met Jack and Lazaro from Proenza Schouler, and then I met Richard Chai, Thakoon, all these designers through Lancôme, because they were sponsoring shows. I would do their lookbooks and stuff. And then they introduced me to Veronica Webb. We became fast friends. When they were shooting the Black issue of Italian Vogue, she asked me to do her makeup. So I did, and I made it to the credits. That was huge, because Pat was the only other person doing makeup for the entire issue, and Guido [Palau] was the only one doing hair. That editorial introduced me to The Wall Group, which became my agency.

Five years ago I started working with Dior. It was so lucky, because at that time Peter [Philips] just signed on as creative director, and they were kind of restructuring beauty. I knew I wanted to do celebrities and red carpet stuff, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it because all the fashion kids in New York were like, ‘Bleh, celebrity makeup artists.’ But this was the time when designers were inviting a lot of celebrities to sit front row, and they were paying for hair and makeup. Through Jack and Lazaro at Proenza Schouler I met Chloë Sevigny. They were like, ‘We have this group of girls we want to sit at our show, but we want them to look a specific way.’ And that’s kind of how everything fell into place. I met Jessica Alba here in Paris—she was going to the Dior show. This was someone who I knew was very particular about the way she looked—she worked with certain people, she was a Revlon girl for ages. I also knew she was very sensitive to a lot of makeup. When I met her in her hotel in Paris, she was in the shower, so I set up my kit and waited for her to come out. She came out of the bathroom with all of her makeup, and we literally had the exact same products. It was meant to be.

I met Meghan a little under a decade ago when Suits got picked up—she was doing her first round of upfronts, an event where TV shows try to appeal to advertisers. At the time, she didn’t have a publicist, so she personally reached out to my agent at The Wall Group. When I met her, it was just an instant connection. I knew what she wanted—it was one of those things where, she looked at herself in the mirror and was like, ‘Oh my God, this is what I always wanted, but I didn’t know how to get there.’ From that experience, we just kept in touch. And then when she started The Tig she asked me to contribute. She’s always working—she always has something to do. We started working on The Tig together and it was fun and growing... and then one day I looked up and she was dating a prince! I was in Greece at the time, and my husband was like, ‘Your friend is on the paper.’ She was literally on the front page of every newspaper in Greece, but everything was in Greek, so I was like, ‘What is going on?’ I didn’t know!

I’ll wash my face at night, and that’s it—I don’t sleep in anything because I hate how it feels on my face in the morning. When I wake up, I do an exfoliation mask in the shower. I love Joanna Vargas’—it’s that yellow one. And then I’m obsessed with this We Are Wild skincare line. Everything’s a stick—stick cleanser, stick moisturizer. It’s really cool. Sometimes I’ll exfoliate with Dior Enzyme Solution, which breaks down any dryness. I carry it with me when I travel because my skin gets really dehydrated then. And then Susanne Kaufmann’s enzyme peel is really great. My Honest Beauty Balm—I love this stuff. It hydrates in a second and doesn’t feel sticky. For around my eyes, I use 111Skin Eye Cream. I’ll keep it in the fridge and it stays cold. It doesn’t feel like anything, but it does kind of wake you up.

I’m a huge advocate of CBD. I love this CBD booster oil, Savage—I love how it smells, and it dissipates really quickly so it doesn't feel heavy on my skin. It helps me sleep on the plane, so that’s how I know it works. The Dior Hydra Life moisturizer is my fancy moisturizer—I like to bring it with me when I travel. And I like the Dior Homme Dermo System as my more intense, firming moisturizer. If I’m super dehydrated, I love this Skin Inc Daily Dose serum with hyaluronic acid. It helps for that whole K-glass situation. To shave, I’ll mix the CBD oil and Skin Inc together. Afterwards, the Bliss Bump Attendant calms down any bumps. One thing I’m bad about is sunscreen—I need to be wearing it, but I haven’t found one that I like.

For TV, my boy-beat is this Make Up For Ever Ultra HD. I put it on with my hands, and I bring it all the way back to the back of my head. It evens out my pores and my skin tone, but it’s super, super light. It’s like lotion and disappears into my skin. I also use the Dior Forever Concealer. And for my brows, I use the Dior Brow Definer in Universal. Less is better, especially for a guy—you can really see makeup on a guy’s face depending on the output of your HD. So many people don’t understand that. They think more is better. But if you have a high-def television, you see every single thing on someone’s face.

I use the Honest Organic Oil on my body, and then Paula’s Choice has this glycolic body thing. It’s like a moisturizer-slash-exfoliator. That stuff is great, but the bottle’s big, so I don’t carry it with me all the time. And for fragrance I like my Lucky—it’s super clean.

This stuff, Nucleo Immune, is amazing. I take it every day. There’s olive leaf and chlorella in it. I can’t break down pills, so I have to take a capsule. And I always take a digestive enzyme because I don’t want any funky stuff in my stomach. This is my new jam, though—Puressentiels. I spray it in the air. It makes me feel like I’m killing the cooties. It’s totally Vicks-y—some people are like, ‘Ugh’ when they smell it, but I like it. And then at night I spray Ren’s Now To Sleep on my pillow. It smells so good.”

—as told to ITG

Daniel Martin photographed by Tom Newton in Paris on February 26, 2019.