Charlene Williams

The MAC Senior Pro Artist tells us how to achieve glowing skin, and reveals the TikTok beauty trends she wishes would disappear.

You previously had a glamorous career as an actress, dancer and model - would you say that working in make-up is just as exciting?

I would definitely say working in makeup is just as exciting. I did modelling in my late teens to early twenties, after a while I found that I didn’t really enjoy being in front of the camera, I loved what was going on behind the camera. One of the things I really enjoy about being a makeup artist is that you are always somewhere different and meeting new people. No week is ever the same, it’s never boring.

You’re obsessed with ‘natural, gorgeous, glowing skin’. What’s your secret to achieving this?

My secret to achieving natural, gorgeous, glowing skin, starts with skincare and how you look after yourself. I drink water or fresh ginger tea all day and have a balanced diet. I make sure I take my makeup off every night, double cleansing each time. Product-wise I love liquid or cream highlighters, products to illuminate the skin to give a lit from within type glow, like M·A·C Strobe Cream. I tend to use quite sheer foundations where you can see my freckles show through as I like my skin to look as natural as possible, even if I am using a fuller coverage foundation I will apply it in a way that still looks natural, by just using a very small amount.

How do you maintain glowing skin without turning into a shiny mess in summer?

I have normal to dry skin so fortunately for me I manage to avoid looking too shiny. We do naturally produce oil throughout the day so what I will do is mattify down the centre of my face. With a loose or pressed powder, I mattify my forehead near the inner corners under my eyes, around my nose and chin, but leave the rest unpowdered as these are the areas where I want to glow.

What’s your number one complexion product at the moment and why?

My number one complexion product… Oh this is hard as I have two that I can not live without! But if I had to choose one it would have to be Studio Radiance Face & Body Sheer Foundation by M·A·C. I used this product when I did my makeup course 15/16 years ago and it is a foundation I always come back to. I have tried and liked so many foundations, but I always end up going back to my first love. I don’t have super smooth skin I have a little texture which some foundations highlight, I don’t get that with Face & Body, it gives me the natural, radiant, glowy look that I love.

Who should M·A·C collaborate with on their next limited edition collection?

I would love M·A·C to do a collaboration with Ashish, his clothes are a sparkling explosion of colour,  which is right up my street. I would imagine lots of bright, bold colours and lots of glitter a theme that would fit M·A·C perfectly as M·A·C are known for being a colour brand. His style is quite disco, fun, inclusive, loud, stylish and glamorous.

What are the Instagram/TikTok make-up trends that you wish would disappear?

There is an ‘eyebag’ trend that has been going for a while where people are swiping a purple/red cream product or lipstick under their eyes to make it look like they have bags. It’s just a very bizarre trend to me, I wish it would disappear.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you while working with a client?

The funniest thing to happen while working with a client was a little glitter explosion. I am a huge fan of M·A·C Glitter I really love it and will put some on everyone at every chance I get. I had some on a table but hadn’t screwed the lid down properly, of course the tub got knocked off the table, it went everywhere. There was glitter floating in the air, we had it all over us, we were sparkling which was fine for my client because of the event she was going to. I was seeing glitter for days after.

Which black-owned make-up brands tick all your boxes?

Black-owned brands that tick all my boxes are Pat McGrath, Danessa Myricks, and Black Opal. These are brands I have used and have in my kit, there are others that I would like to try but haven’t gotten around to.

Are there any upsides to the pandemic when it comes to the way you work? (i.e. better hygiene standards?)

Not a lot has changed in the way I work since the pandemic. Having worked at M·A·C Cosmetics for a number of years the hygiene standards were always very high, so that hasn’t changed. I am now using a lot more cream and loose powder products and pigments so that I can scrape products on to a palette which is better hygiene-wise. By doing so I am able to decant these products into smaller containers, so my kit is now a little smaller and a little lighter.

What are your three must-have make-up brushes?

My three must have makeup brushes are a duo fibre foundation brush as I love the natural, air-brushed effect it gives - like the 159 brush from M·A·C. Soft fluffy brushes for applying bronzer for a soft, light application - the 168 brush from M·A·C is great, I must have about six of these, a couple for me and a few for my kit. My 3rd must-have brush would have to be a good eyeshadow blending brush, I don’t just use my blending brushes for blending eyeshadow, I use it for blending concealer under the eyes and for concealing blemishes. I also use it to highlight and to contour the nose, and the lips if I want a really soft Korean-style lip look.

Follow @charlenewilliams_mua on Instagram.

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