Makeup Bag: Designer Minnie Mortimer
“My first experience with makeup came much later than most of my friends. I was a tom-boy and just wasn’t very interested in it, in spite of the fact that my mother who is very feminine, was. I would describe my early experiences as “dabbling.” When I was in 6th or 7th grade, I went through a lip liner phase. I wore dark liner and sheer light-colored lipstick. What can I say?…it was the 90s! Then when I turned 16 or 17, I discovered the power of mascara. At the time I attended boarding school in New England, and mascara and lip-gloss were considered racy!
Now, makeup and skincare play a daily role in my life. For a base I love Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer with SPF for lightweight coverage. Something like that is just so easy to apply, and will even out my skin perfectly. And, using tinted moisturizer helps me remember to wear SPF. This is something I really wish I had started earlier, but I’m such a beach bunny at heart. I love the sun and I love to surf, and I never used much sunblock growing up. Since I live in LA and it’s always sunny here, I’ve had to adapt, but until recently it was difficult for me to wear sunblock on a daily basis because most of them would feel so heavy and often made my skin breakout. Even if an SPF wasn’t oily, I sometimes felt like there was a layer of chalk on my face. Chanel’s Precision SPF 50 UV Essential feels more like a moisturizer than an SPF. It’s extra light and absorbs into my skin, instead of sitting on the surface. An added bonus, it has pretty packaging. I’m such a sucker for packaging!
As a designer, makeup plays a crucial role in what I do. Whether it’s for a look book shoot or a presentation, makeup can change the whole mood. For the spring look book, we did a very glossy pink lip, a peachy cheek, and very light eye makeup. The result is very fun, fresh and playful. You feel like the model would just skip off to the beach if she had her way. In fact, this is a look I definitely identify with: the LA girl with the messy, perfect/imperfect hair, sun-kissed skin and minimal makeup. It’s very soft, natural, and romantic, and works well when you’re running around outside in the sun. No one wants to wear heavy makeup when you’re outdoors so much. In contrast, New York girls seem to have a much more sophisticated and sharp approach to makeup – more color on the lips, stronger cheekbones, darker eyes etc. It’s very striking. As I’m getting older, I’m bolder with my makeup choices and find myself easing into the New York look. I continue to learn a lot through speaking to makeup artists about how to achieve certain looks, and then experimenting.
I have 2 makeup bags that I use most often. They are both Marc Jacobs – one small and one big. The smaller one is a daily go-to. It almost always lives in the bottom of my purse. This way I don’t have to spend hours rooting around for individual products. The bigger one is the makeup bag mother-ship. If I travel, I pack everything into it.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF – I wear this daily and I love this because my face doesn’t feel like it’s going to drip off at the end of the day.
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – I use this when I want a little more coverage and/or if I know there will be pictures. There’s a cult around the foundation. It’s heavy but if I’m feeling self conscious about any kind of blotches on my skin, this sorts me right out. Due to the heaviness, I wouldn’t advise wearing it during the day, but I do love how it gives me that inner glow.
Charlotte Ronson 2 X A Charm – It’s a bronzer and blush duo. The bronzer has a little sparkle and the blush is pink-based. I use the bronzer underneath my cheekbone. The Armani foundation gives me the creaminess I need to blend with the cream bronzer.
Aquaphor Lips – This is always in my makeup bag because I don’t think lipstick goes on as well when they aren’t moisturized. Throughout the night I reapply as needed.
Stila Blush in Peony – I prefer cream blush to powder, as I don’t think they stay on very well. This one is a deep red and I put a dab on the apple of my cheeks and blend it in with my fingers. Even though it’s a dark red, it blends in and becomes just a tint. When I want more color, I layer on the rouge. I wear this all the time – day and night. Most days, and when I have meetings, I wear the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, mascara, and this Stila Rouge.
Zitomer’s Barely Rouge – I only buy this in New York and it’s a gel. This is one of my favorite reds. It’s a blood red but when you rub and blend, it becomes more of a flushed cheek, which is what I like. Holly Dunlap had her own label awhile ago and I was in her show. Gucci (Westman) was the make-up artist for the show and one of her assistants did my makeup. Gucci didn’t like the way it was done, so she redid my makeup herself. She did a flushed cheek and told about how a flushed cheek makes you look really sexy and very alive.
MAC Sheer Color Extract in Bellyflop – This is a cream highlighter. I put it on the top of my cheekbone and on my brow bone. I find that creams stay on better than powders. They brush off and land on different parts on my face. It’s the same with eyeshadow.
Diorshow Unlimited Mascara in Black – I love this for day-time as it’s so light. It goes on evenly and doesn’t clump. I do two coats.
Diorshow Extase Mascara in Black – I wear this at night. It’s a little more dramatic. I love mascara on my bottom lashes too.
Tweezerman Eyelash Curler – I curl my eyelashes after I apply mascara. Is that wrong? That’s how I’ve always done it.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Black – I go really deep into the corners of my eyes. A makeup artist once told me that people don’t go deep enough on the top. I start all the way at the inner corner and end at the crease of my eye – but it’s not a cat eye. I only do my top line, though I like how a bottom line looks. The only problem with that is, the liner just runs. When I apply, I trace over my lash line and I like this liner because it’s almost like a marker. Liquid liners take more work since you need time and practice to perfect an even line. This liner is more user-friendly.
Charlotte Ronson Liquid Eyeshadow in Shiri – I generally don’t use eyeshadow, but I really like this one as it’s not powder. It’s an olive-y gold color. I put on a swish on my lid and while it’s still wet, I smudge it all over my eye lid, with more color towards the outer corners. Afterwards I put on eyeliner.
Dior Brow Brush – One end is a little brow brush and the other end is a crayon. It’s a brunette color. I fill them in using feather strokes and then I brush them out. I like a really full brow. I think a full brow makes me look younger and healthier. When I have too thin a brow, I think my nose looks really big. At one point, I was over-plucking them and it took a year for my brows to fill out. So now, they’re full again.
CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara in Clear – I don’t use a brow gel. Instead I use this clear mascara over my brows after I’ve filled them in. It’s the one with the green top – very old-school. Back when I was still scared to wear makeup, so I would wear this instead of mascara.
Benefit Hoola Bronzer – This matches my skin tone during the summer. I put the bronzer all over my face, but mainly focus on my cheeks and chin as this is where the sun would normally hit you.
Sometimes I wear fake lashes, just the quarters at the end of the lash. I don’t have a particular brand of lash that I am loyal to but I do love the Duo Eyelash Adhesive. This lash glue is really easy to use and unlike most others, it doesn’t dry super fast so you have time to wiggle your lashes into the perfect position.
I usually wear glosses but when I do wear lipstick, I love NARS Heat Wave and NARS Schiap. The NARS Schiap is a bright matte pink and Heat Wave is an orange-based matte red, which I love. A bright lipstick can really change your whole attitude and mood, and I especially love to wear them if I’m dressed down in something a bit plain, like jeans and a white t-shirt.
Charlotte Ronson ‘Minnie’ Lipgloss – Charlotte made this color for me…therefore it’s going to be great. Just Kidding! But it is. It’s a gloss on one end and a lipstick on the other. It’s a maroon-y color, that’s just a shade darker than my natural lip color. It’s sheer and perfect for day or night. I love all of Charlotte’s glosses – they are heavy, not sticky so they don’t get caught in my hair.”
– Designer Minnie Mortimer