Mary Greenwell Masterclass: foundations and concealers

There are good reasons why Mary Greenwell has become a make-up legend.  Case in point:  her work with the supermodels, in the 80s and 90s.  (Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford only didn’t get out of bed for $10,0000 a day, but were less inclined to do so if Mary – and her hairdresser ‘double act’ Sam McKnight weren’t working on the shoots.) Then there’s her working friendship with the late Diana, Princess of Wales - about which Mary has always (as a pal should) maintained zip-lipped discretion.  And her face-making for virtually all the world’s Vogues, as well as Harpers Bazaar, Glamour, Elle (plus too many ad. campaigns to list...)  More recently – more in demand than ever, after 25 years at the top of her game – fiftysomething Mary’s been whisking her brushes over faces like Uma Thurman, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet.

Somehow, she’s also had time to create her own signature fragrance line, which has had the beauty press raving.  (Why perfume, rather than make-up?  Mary has always spritzed scent onto models as the last get-them-in-the-mood gesture before they step in front of the camera – in just the same way that we mere mortals reach for a favourite perfume while getting ready to leave the house...)  Her second fragrance, Lemon, launches later this month - and it's divine, divine, divine...  (Read Jo's review of Mary's Plum fragrance here, at The Scent Critic.)

But one of Mary’s greatest talents is being able to pull off the equivalent of walking and chewing gum at the same time:  in other words, talking while making up a face.  Not just talking, actually, but explaining in a so-simple, easy-to-understand style the tricks of her trade.  (Many make-up pros, by contrast, are mute as Marcel Marceau while working on a face.)

So we thought we'd share this video which Jo put together exclusively for  It's the first in a series of how-to make-up videos (you can also watch Brows, Eyes, Cheeks, Lips) which we think are among the best, the most instructive and inspiring videos out there.  (That’s down to Mary:  as a collaborator, all you have to do is virtually push a button and the wisdom comes pouring out...)

At ‘a certain age’, Mary believes, make-up becomes even more important – while, at just the same moment, becoming more challenging.  (Because there are new rules.)  ‘Make-up stops you “fading away”;  it makes you appear groomed, and glamorous – but you can’t wear so much, and you’re probably looking at using different shades...’  One of Mary’s key tips is that women should get department store makeovers, several times a year.  ‘You learn new skills, discover new products.  Worst-case scenario:  you hate it, go home and wash it off.’  The challenge of a department store makeover, though, is remembering just what the make-up artist did.  But with these videos, just rewind until you’re stroke-perfect...

To see the other videos, you'll have to sign up as a subscriber to - but they do add up to truly the ultimate make-up masterclass, from one of the make-up world’s greatest experts.


Click here to find the video, then press PLAY to find out...

•  The importance of super-moisturising, before you start

•  Choosing the perfect shade:  the best place to try foundation on your face

•   Mary’s favourite foundations (she’s a pro who isn’t scared to name names)

•   Sponge, brush, fingers...?

•   Why you need a ‘wardrobe’ of light-reflecting and creamy concealers

•   What size powder brush (it’s smaller than you think...)

No time to view right now?  A Mary Greenwell tip:  ‘To take 10 years off your face, use light-reflective concealer on the blue shadow at the inner corner of the eyes, on the nose-bone.’