As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
Fiona Stiles is a self-professed beauty nerd. Along with shots of her celebrity clients–Lily Collins, Zoey Deutch, Gabrielle Union, and Katherine Langford, to name a few–her Instagram grid is sprinkled with snaps of her seemingly endless makeup kit, from lines of lipstick tubes to pans of blush and bronzer, which are accompanied by product breakdowns and her application techniques. “Rather than telling people how to do things, a lot of makeup artists like to share our knowledge and experience because it’s been hard-earned,” Stiles tells CR. The makeup pro has a decades-long career that extends beyond red carpet beauty and into the editorial and commercial realms, too. Along the way, she’s picked up many skills and lessons, and lucky for us, she loves to share them.
Here, Stiles reveals what concealer trick she’s carried with her throughout her career, how to look your best for Zoom meetings, and why she shops the drugstore aisle.
Since the start of your career, how have you seen the beauty industry change?
“The world of makeup is very different from when I started because there was no internet. Researching things took a lot of luck and scrappiness. Now, although the industry is a lot more flooded, what’s so interesting is the access you have to people, the access you have to makeup tutorials, to actual makeup artists. It was impenetrable when I started in the ‘90s. If you didn’t know someone or know someone who understood the industry, it was very challenging to get here. Now, with one Google search you can watch seasoned makeup artists who are at the top of their game doing tutorials or at least watch them apply makeup, even if it’s just behind-the-scenes videos. That kind of access is remarkable. Although most makeup artists could make anything work out of any product, you get more of an actual education and it’s a shortcut. With that said, there is no shortcut for experience.”
You’ve also done some tutorials and often share tips on Instagram. What are some personal takeaways from these?
“As far as sharing techniques, it’s very satisfying and rewarding as someone who’s put so many years into an industry to share it with someone else who can adapt it. I remember, one time the woman I used to assist told me how to cover a pimple and she’s like you do a cross hatching, you put product on it then you gently feather it out. That stuck with me for 25 years, and I still use that same technique because if you just pat it on you can’t get it to look seamless.”
Do you have any suggestions for those at home with time on their hands who are looking to learn a new beauty skill?
“In the time we’re living in now, I think it’s interesting to look at who you are doing makeup for. Are you doing makeup for yourself because you’re at home and you’ve got some free time and you want to practice? Are you doing makeup for a FaceTime or Google Hangout with your friends? Are you doing makeup because you’re working from home? I haven’t worn makeup for three weeks because I’m a mom and I’m home, and now I’m like a straight up full time mom. It just depends on what your situation is. If you have free time and you want to play, I would say bust out all the colors. Go nuts, do stuff you would never do, color outside the lines.
If you’re a work from home person and maybe makeup wasn’t your thing, if you’ve got some free time you can go find a tutorial of a person you like. Charlotte Tilbury or Lisa Eldridge do beautiful makeup, and are people you could really learn something from, as opposed to a heavier [handed] Instagram focused makeup artist. You can really practice and hone those skills, practice your lighting, and see what looks the best when you’re doing your work from home. I know that’s been an issue for a lot of people–oh my gosh, I’m just in my living room but it doesn’t work for teleconferencing.“
Speaking of teleconferencing, now everyone is on camera, whether for Zoom work meetings or hanging out with friends. As a celebrity makeup artist who often does makeup for those who are being recorded or photographed, do you have any suggestions for optimizing one’s makeup for the camera?
“First of all, find your best light, because that’s gonna change your makeup. That’s the same for us as makeup artists. If we’re doing editorial we ask the photographer what the lighting is going to be before we start so we can build the face according to that. It’s hard for me to give advice, since it’s a different lighting situation for everyone. Some people may have a beautiful home office that’s got natural light, and other people might be in the corner of a kitchen trying to make this work. There’s a terrific inequality to people’s situations right now.
But a little bit of extra color is nice on people’s cheeks and lips. Maybe more than you would normally have because you want to look healthy. You want to transmit the idea of health and wellness to people around you, even if you have not seen the sun for three weeks. If you have the time, you should really invest in a nice home facial for yourself–a nice mask or under-eye patches. Put some spoons in the freezer, like the old movie star tricks, because it’s low tech right now. No one’s seeing their dermatologist, no one’s getting injections, so we’re gonna have to go back to the 1940s’ beauty routines.”
What are some favorite products in your kit?
“Foundation-wise I love Pat McGrath’s, the YSL Touche Éclat, and Clé de Peau. I get a little bougie with my foundations, and then I vary in between for a lot of other products. Almost every single time I do someone’s makeup I reach for this product from Beauty Pie, which is called Quick Color Contour Supergel. I’m able to shape someone’s face with it really beautifully without it looking like contour. I love Kosas, their cream cheeks are gorgeous, and the Gucci Westman cheek colors are also very beautiful. I’ve also been using the Beauty Pie brow pencil a lot and the Kimiko brow pencil. They only have three shades but they seem to sort of work for everyone, which is crazy. I’ll use any lipstick, blush, or eye product from any brand. I find that the quality of products right now are so outstanding even in the most inexpensive formulations that you can go from the cheapest to the most expensive and shop the drugstore aisle very effectively for pretty much anything these days.”
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createdAt:Fri, 17 Apr 2020 13:51:51 +0000