Lessons in Cool: Makeup Artist Mary Phillips

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
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I feel so lucky to have followed my passion at such a young age.

- Mary Phillips

Meet makeup artist Mary Phillips. She’s the woman behind Jennifer Lopez, Kendall Jenner, and Penelope Cruz’s super glam red carpet looks. And like Bobbi, she’s also a Tweezerman ambassador. Her passion for beauty started at a young age and quickly transformed into a career—she started attending cosmetology school while she was still in high school. Today, she’s the go-to artist for A-list celebs (just scroll through her Instagram if you need further proof). “I feel so lucky to have followed my passion at such a young age. My dad always told me, ‘Pick something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I get to put makeup on beautiful women all day. What’s not to love?!” We caught up with Mary to hear more about her must-have beauty products, who inspires her, and, of course, how she defines cool.

Name & occupation:

Mary Phillips, Makeup Artist

First thing you do in the morning:

I always start my morning off with a glass of water, meditation and a workout. I try to drink about three liters of water a day. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Also, meditation has become part of my daily routine and 10-15 minutes can really help reduce stress throughout the day. I strive to exercise about five times a week because it always improves my mood and energy.

Biggest challenge?

Planning a vacation has been a big challenge for me because of my ever-changing schedule. I truly love what I do and it’s hard to pass up on opportunities for which I am so grateful for. I want to be there for my clients whenever I can which often leads to me rescheduling my vacations.

A woman you’re inspired by + why:

My Grandma Gerry, my dad’s mom, has been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. She was a single mom of two children and worked as a schoolteacher. She accomplished so much without any help and she was always so happy. Her ambition was so admirable to me, that’s where I get my work ethic from.

Last person you texted:

The last person I texted was my agent, we talk all day.

Most scrolled app or site:

I find myself on the FWRD app a lot. I love fashion and shopping. Sometimes I just scroll through and add stuff to my cart for a fun virtual window shopping experience.

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What are the 5 beauty products you can’t live without:

  • SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator is a moisturizing facial serum I use day and night. It’s made with hyaluronic acid, peptides and vitamin E, which helps hydrate and soften skin, reduce fine lines and protect skin from damaging free radicals.

  • The La Mer Radiant SkinTint Broad SPF 30 in the Light Medium shade. It has a sheer, lightweight tint of color that evens, brightens, hydrates and protects my skin.

  • The Jones Road Brow Pencil, in light brunette, is a waterproof, clean and cruelty free brow pencil that incorporates tiny hair-like fibers to help achieve full fluffy brows.

  • The Tweezerman ProCurl Lash Curler from the Lash Logic Series which is designed to fit round eye shapes more comfortably, making it easier to get as close to the lash line as possible. I don’t always put mascara on, but when I do it’s Armani eyes to kill.

  • Victoria Beckmham Bitten Lip Tint in the shade Amour which is a nude sheer peach. It's nourishing like a balm and tints your lips like a long wear stain.

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Your style icon?

I love Kendall Jenner’s style. Her fashion sense is so effortlessly cool. She always wears comfortable chic clothes that look amazing.

Your go-to:

Breakfast: I don’t typically eat breakfast I just have a coffee in the morning.

Lunch: For lunch I will usually have a salad or an egg white scramble.

Dinner: I get a meal delivery service called Kooshi Gourmet that I eat for dinner. It really helps keep me on track because it’s easy, balanced, nutritious & organic.

Cocktail: 818 Reposado

Advice you’d give your younger self:

I would advise my younger self to loosen up and have a little more fun. Also to budget, save and invest my money more efficiently.

Always do your best and try not to compare yourself to others.

- Mary Phillips

Advice out there for makeup artists just getting started?

If you are a makeup artist just getting started firstly, congratulations on pursuing your passion and welcome to the industry. Immerse yourself in all things beauty and get as much knowledge as you can. Test with other creatives to build your portfolio. Assist an established artist in the industry. Make mood boards and set goals. Always do your best and try not to compare yourself to others.

Your best beauty tip:

Brows are so important, please do not over tweeze them! The brows are the frame of the face. I always suggest to stay as close to your natural shape as possible and use a quality tweezer, like the tweezerman slant tweezers, to tweeze any strays.

What does “cool” mean to you?

I think being kind and helping others is “cool.”

For more from Mary, follow her at @maryphillips.

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