• beauty trends of recent years – indeed, her signature ‘no-makeup makeup’ looks have earned her the nickname, ‘Master of Nudes’, while as artistic consultant for Burberry Beauty for the past 12 years, she was responsible for creating Cara Delevingne’s power brow. Most recently, she was the makeup artist of choice for the cover of Vogue China featuring Chinese superstar Liu Wen.

    The new supers notwithstanding, Rowe is the perfect embodiment of her low-key luxe aesthetic. “With clothes, I like to be understated,” she says. “I want makeup to be like that, too: I don’t want to know the brand, it just has to look great.”

    Brought up in a small village in Essex, England, Rowe’s childhood was far from fashionable. “My parents wanted me to work in a bank, but I was interested in art, so I had to carve my own path.”

    The breakthrough idea came when a hairstylist friend
    persuaded her to try makeup artistry so they could work on

    shoots together. Her first success was in music – hence the encounter with Beckham, but it was fashion that really appealed. Rowe took off to Paris – speaking no French – to start doing the rounds backstage. Her tenacity paid off: soon she was assisting makeup artists, such as Pat McGrath and Kevyn Aucoin. “It was a great time,” she says. “Kate, Naomi, Shalom and Amber worked the shows. I never made money, but I was where I wanted to be.”

    Today, as she works the global fashion weeks and location shoots

    “I like to be understated. MAKEUP should be like that, too – I don’t want to know the BRAND, it just has to look GREAT”

    From the Caribbean to London rooftops, out of necessity Rowe keeps her style simple. She prefers “school uniform colors” – gray, white, black, navy – and her closet is comprised of Alexander Wang

    tees, denim and the occasional jumpsuit. “I have to be practical, I’m always running around.”

    Rowe shares her laid-back aesthetic with many of the models she works with. “Daria [Werbowy], Jourdan [Dunn], my friend Anja [Rubik] – they all have great dressed-down style.” And for evening, Rowe sticks to

    her fail-safe Dolce & Gabbana, while accessories are kept to a minimum: “I wear a thin bracelet and a Rolex watch, that’s it.”

    And the secret to a lo-fi beauty look? “You need a dewy glow. Just mix a light-reflecting product with your foundation. A good base should be undetectable, so don’t cover anything you don’t need to.”

    The go-to pieces

    “I HAVE TO BE practical; I’m always running around.”

    “CARA DELEVINGNE AND I have the same Burberry biker jacket.”

    “I PREFER TO wear ’school uniform’ colors – gray, white, black, navy.”

    “A GOOD BASE should
    be undetectable.”

    Wendy Rowe backstage at Burberry Prorsum SS13 with Jourdan Dunn

    The Edit

    Styling: Amy Bannerman. Art Direction: Gemma Stark. Hair: Perrine Rougemont. Backstage photograph: Luca Cannonieri/GoRunway. wendyrowe.com

  • Archive