You’ve probably seen Georgina Graham’s work on the beauty and fashion pages of magazines including Vogue (Paris, China, Japan, UK, Germany, Australia and Russia FYI), The Gentlewoman, i-D and Vanity Fair.
Or on the famous faces she’s made up, ranging from Sophia Loren and Naomi Campbell, to Chloe Moretz and Dree Hemingway. Here, the international makeup artist lets us peer into her sacred beauty kit to find out all her must-have products, and shares her secret tips and tricks of the trade.
If you had just five minutes to get ready, what would you do/use?
I am all about five minutes to get ready. Not because I don’t enjoy playing with skincare and makeup but because most days, I am pretty time-poor, so I look for easy-to-use, multi-functional products that are long lasting throughout the day and can be applied in the back of a taxi if need be to turn me from day to night.
Favourite foundation and why?
I don’t use foundation. I have never liked the feel or look of it on my skin. I like a tinted primer by bareMinerals or Sunday Riley and a tinted moisturiser by Laura Mercier or Obagi(a great dermatologist and cosmetic Asian brand that I discovered in Tokyo.) I want my skin to look flawless but feel natural and bare. Real skin is sexy to look at and to touch. So I am always looking for products that might improve the condition of my skin too. For friends and clients, I am a big fan of the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion line and Chanel VitaLumiererange. A good tip is to apply with a damp beauty blender for a super light touch.
What’s your hair routine and favourite hair products?
If I go to a hair salon (about twice a year) I try to visit David Mallett in Paris or George Northwood in London, depending where I’m working and if they can fit me in. However, I luckily work with the best session hairdressers in the world and one of the perks of the job is asking if they wouldn’t mind giving me a trim every now and then. When they do my hair, I’m amazed at how, after just five minutes with their magic touch, I get my dream hair. I can do most things with a makeup brush but mostly fail trying to do my own hair. Luckily, I like messy, un-groomed hair that looks good mostly because of a decent hair cut!
At home I use John Masters Organics Rosemary and Lavender shampoo which I buy in Whole Foods and I like a leave in conditioner. I have one by Philip Kingsley that is fantastic. For styling I like a salt spray to give my hair a bit of texture as I always just naturally air dry and I found a brand in NY called Brooklyn Beach Hair that has seasonal fragrances; I like the summer smell because it makes me think of lazy days at the beach reading and swimming and getting (safely) tanned. I discovered Ted Gibson hair sheets in Sephora which are individual sachets that you wipe on your hair from root to tip to get rid of fly away static. I travel a lot for work and can arrive with my hair looking like I placed a finger in an electrical socket, and these are great for different humidities. I’m a fan of the classic Mason & Pearsonbrushes which I’ve had since I was a little girl, I find them comforting and familiar which is kind of strange to say about a hair brush. I have a Tangle Teezer to tackle the back of the head dreadlocks that appear every morning from nowhere.
What’s the one product you reach for to take you from day to night?
Probably my Bobbi Brown longwear wind-up eyeshadow stick. I use a shade called Bark which is a dirty brown earth tone that I ring around my eyes in about two seconds and then use a finger to smudge and smush in. This gives me instant sexy smoky eyes and can be as low key or intensely built up as you feel like. This is my favourite no-brainer makeup product and anyone can use it – they do tons of shades.
“I HAVE GIGGLED AT QUITE BIZARRE VIDEO TUTORIALS OF GIRLS USING BACKS OF SPOONS TO CONTOUR AND IN ONE, I SAW A GIRL DRAW AN EMOJI POO ON HER FOREHEAD.”
Do you contour and if so what do you use?
I really dislike this contour trend where I see girls shading their noses and faces to look like pre-surgery pen markings and they end up looking so heavily made up. It looks totally unreal and just like you’ve got dirt on your face. I have giggled at quite bizarre video tutorials of girls using backs of spoons to contour and in one, I saw a girl draw an emoji poo on her forehead. This is a trend that I think most makeup artists working in fashion are equally intrigued, amused and grossed out by.
I use a cream bronzer by Becca and I apply it on my cheekbones with a big, soft, round brush. Whatever product is left on the brush I run across my jawbone, neck and forehead for a bit of natural looking definition. If I want a powder bronzer, I use Chanel Les Beiges as they have a great colour range and look natural and light.
Can you remember the first beauty product you bought in your teens?
I think it was a Blistex frosted lip balm from Boots that I would keep in my pocket and wear when I left home to meet friends aged about 13. I remember also going to Kensington Market (a now defunct iconic fashion Mecca) on weekends and seeing all the Stargazer makeup – an old brand that punks, club kids and adventurous cool girls would wear. They always had highly pigmented products with tons of neon colours and I would lust after them, but not have the confidence to pick them up. I also loved Barry M for being fun and affordable and I used to play with all those little pigment pots and glitter pots in Topshop as a teen. I used to try to be like Angela Chase in My So Called Life. I remember buying Dewberry and White Musk perfume from The Body Shop. I bet I would heave if I smelt those now!