Makeup artist Daniel Martin caters to Hollywood’s elite—not to mention Meghan Markle (he created her wedding look). We asked him what it takes to look like a modern-day duchess. As told to Jessica Matlin.
There are celebrities, and then there’s Meghan Markle. The world is transfixed by the new duchess, not just because of her position but because she’s been able to navigate this role seemingly on her own terms. While outsiders (i.e., everyone) whisper about the protocol surrounding wardrobe, hair, and makeup, Markle makes the whole thing look like a breeze, showing up to royal engagements looking chic, glowing and fabulously unstuffy. So how does she do it? Longtime friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin opens up his bag of tricks and tells me his secrets.
1 PERFECT PREP
I always start by exfoliating—that might be the most important step! I like the Dior Capture Youth New Skin Effect Enzyme Solution for clients who have sensitive, dry, or mature skin. For more combination and oily complexions, I use Ren Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. Both really help even out skin tone. Then I apply a toning water, and follow it with a serum made with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that attracts and traps water, plumping up the skin. I love Grown Alchemist Instant Smoothing Serum. Then I finish with Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream—it dramatically enhances radiance. When it comes to skincare, I tend to have the best results when sticking with water-based products. (I look for “water” as one of the first words in the ingredients list.) Mixing oil-based with water- or gel-based skin care hasn’t worked for me. The products don’t absorb as quickly, and makeup doesn’t go on as smoothly.
2 BARELY THERE FOUNDATION
If you have a busy schedule that doesn’t allow for touch-ups, use a long-wear foundation. I apply it with a foundation buffing brush—it looks the most natural that way. Just put a pump of foundation on the back of your hand, dab the bristles in it, and, starting near your nose, buff the product onto your skin. Apply concealer after foundation; you’ll be able to see exactly where you need more coverage. One of my favourite formulas is Surratt Beauty Perfectionniste Concealer Palette. It has two colours that you can blend, plus a setting powder.
3 LUMINOUS SKIN
Meghan likes a shimmery look, so when I did her makeup for the royal wedding, I used the Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette, a powder blush and highlighter. Then I tapped Honest Beauty Magic Balm onto her cheeks to give them a little bounce; since it’s glossy it really pumps up the highlight in photos. If you’re using powder highlighter, be sure to apply it only with a large eye-shadow brush—otherwise you’ll look too shiny. Another tip for a soft glow: I apply blush before foundation. I like Honest Beauty Crème Cheek Blush.
4 SUBTLY DEFINED EYES
I wait until after applying mascara to put on any liner. Then I can see the gaps along the waterline that need to be filled in. I’ll use a pencil—Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On liners last forever. Sometimes I’ll even paint on the colour by dipping an angled brush in waterproof mascara. I go to Michaels [an art store] to get paintbrushes; they tend to be really precise and cost just a few dollars. For extra drama, I’ll apply false lashes. Don’t put them on in one full strip; cut them into thirds. Use the longest section for the middle of your lashes (tuck them into the centre of your upper lashes), then pop the other two along the inner and outer corners. Don’t curl them—it will look too glam.
5 A CLASSIC LIP WARDROBE
If you’re not sure which lip colour looks best on you, start with these three. First, Dior Rouge Dior 999. It works with every skin tone. Then Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey—this sheer shade gives lips depth without a lot of colour payoff. Last, my friend Vanessa [Traina] did this beautiful lip oil (Rodin x Vanessa Traina Collection Luxury Lip & Cheek Oil in Lilium). It’s a neutral flush of colour that doesn’t look like lipstick. I use it to balance out a dark eye or with a bronzy look. It’s the perfect pinky beige.
STILL LIFE, LASHES: JEFFREY WESTBROOK/STUDIO D.
ALL OTHERS: COURTESY