Ask Mary Phillips what her holy grail product is and she’ll answer the L’Oréal Paris Panorama Mascara without skipping a beat.

The celebrity makeup artist who’s responsible for the viral underpainting technique, not to mention some of Kendall Jenner’s most iconic and ethereal red carpet makeup looks, was in Toronto for a makeup masterclass with L’Oréal Paris and revealed that the mascara is a staple in her kit though she doesn’t personally apply it.

“I usually have clients do their own mascara,” she says. “Just because everybody’s like a little bit better at it. Some people are like no, no, you do it. But everybody has their funny mascara face that they make when they’re putting on mascara. So I feel like everybody’s really good at getting in there and doing it themselves.”

Phillips has painted the faces of some of LA’s most gorgeous women including JLo, Hailey Bieber, and Dua Lipa, so when we had the opportunity to  to sit down with the artist and ask her about the secrets to flawless makeup, we jumped at it.

The perfect base is the hardest thing to achieve. What’s your secret?

“Concealer is always one of my things. If  I had to have one thing to perfect skin,  I feel like concealer is super important. It’s basically a thicker foundation. Even if you just have a little bit of time to dab it under your eyes or by the corners of your nose or to hit all the high points [of the face] it makes such a big difference. Moisturizer and concealer is really key, or a really nice foundation with a bit of glow. I [also] really love skincare because you can have the best foundation in the world, but if your skin care is not great, nothing’s a magic wand.”

You’ve done so many fabulous makeup looks on so many women. But we want to talk about your favourite look that you’ve done on Kendall Jenner so far.

“My favourite? Wow. Maybe the Met Gala. The Givenchy year with the silver sparkly dress. It was really just a magic moment. It was beautiful.”

That’s our favourite too.

“I think it was maybe more the dress than the makeup. But the year before it for Versace, the orange dress [look] was really amazing too. There’s been so many fun ones. It’s hard to choose just one.”


When you have a dress that’s as standout as that jewelled number, what do you do with the makeup? How do you create maximum impact?

“It’s really important, especially during the Met Gala. I feel like you can really see when teams aren’t on the same page. A lot of times, hair or makeup people want to make a buzz, but sometimes it’s not about that. It’s really about the whole look being balanced. If the dress is a lot, you can’t do a big hairdo or you can’t do crazy makeup–then you don’t know where to look. ‘Whoa, look at the hair.’ ‘Whoa, look at the makeup.’ ‘Whoa, look at the dress.’ You just want the whole look to be ‘Whoa.’ Sometimes subtle is better. And yes, that dress–the whole look was about the dress and everything else was about how to make the dress the moment, you know? It was just a beautiful face. Simple hair. And I feel like that’s what really made the whole look come together so well. It was extremely well balanced.”

Are there any trends that you’re seeing in Hollywood right now that you think are going to hit the mainstream soon, but haven’t quite made it yet?

“I feel like I haven’t seen [any new trends] that I haven’t already seen on social media. Like the Mob Wives [look] where it was a bit heavier was really fun. I loved that. The makeup looks beautiful. And I thought it was really cool to come right after the ‘clean girl’.

We’re seeing a lot of [the clean girl look] on red carpets. That’s still really popular. Clean skin and fresh makeup is very popular right now and I really am here for it.”

Is there one former beauty trend that you’d love to bring back?

“I do love that some people are experimenting with a skinny brow. I’m a full brow kind of girl but I love it when somebody can pull it off. I think it’s just so cool. I grew up in the ’90s so I love that I had the skinny bro–and I would never do that again–but I love seeing girls rocking it and pulling it off.”