pretty touch in to her early 50s, took one look around her at the throngs of under-25s, all made up to the nines, and noted that youth doesn’t automatically mean pretty. “Often when you’re young, you make the mistake of overdoing it, and 25 very quickly looks like 45,” says Greenwell. “But pretty can be done at 60 or even 80. Pretty is when you have your heart and soul in the right place; it has a freedom that being dolled-up does not.”
Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury agrees. “Pretty is about health and happiness; foolproof at any age,” she states. Tilbury loves rosebud colors for cheeks and eyes, dialing it up a tone or two according to whatever nature has blessed you with. On darker skin tones, she applies slightly more intense shades of rose, blending chocolate or taupe colors with a light shimmer or mother-of-pearl finish to give a natural sun-kissed glow.
That is not to suggest “pretty” obviates the possibility of anything
dark or defined – Audrey Hepburn, with her signature ’60s flick on her eyelids, was a poster girl for pretty, after all. Greenwell recently made up Jessica Chastain for the Cannes red carpet and created a softer look for the actress, who is normally known for her striking beauty, rather than overt prettiness. Greenwell delivered a dusting of blush on Chastain’s cheeks and “an unexaggerated pink mouth”, adding “tiny little ’60s flicky eyes”. She says: “As long as your skin is clear, you can still have a really dark, smudgy eye – but what you don’t do is add false eyelashes and loads of foundation on your skin.” And therein lies the key – heavy foundation is the enemy of pretty. “It’s the one thing
“Pretty is when your HEART and soul are in the right place; it has a FREEDOM being dolled-up does not have”
that will take you away from pretty faster than anything else,” Greenwell agrees. She prefers tinted moisturizers or BB creams for a lighter-textured coverage.
Most of all, a prettily made-up face should look as easy as it is to do. I sometimes wonder whether it isn’t a coincidence that the closer to childlike the look, the more like child’s play the makeup becomes? My own indispensable tool for pretty is Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Color Cheek Tint, which, as fans of the pigment-rich stain will know, is a thick stick of color you dab onto lips and cheeks for instant appeal. Tilbury loves Clinique Chubby Sticks, which aren’t a million miles away in size and feel from those Crayola crayons we used to play with as children.
Of course, back in the day, my six-year-old self didn’t have to do anything other than smile obligingly at the camera. But 39 years on, it’s good to know that while looking pretty isn’t entirely effortless, with a smile and a song in your heart, it is still there.
1. Crème de la Mer Fluid Tint SPF18 evens out skin tone, but has a light, not too “made-up” texture.
2. Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Roomiest Rose has real staying power.
3. Nars Shimmer Eyeshadow in Fathom is pink but not over sweet with lots of iridescence.
4. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in #6 Frozen Quartz is a grown-up soft taupe-pink.
5. Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Sheer Cherry is a great one-product-does-all.