Is your skin flaring up but you need to get your makeup on quick? Nathalie Eleni lets us in on her celebrity-approved secrets for calming a sensitive complexion
Her portfolio is awash with in-demand A-Listers, so there’s not a lot makeup artist Nathalie Eleni doesn’t know about working with stressed-out complexions. In the past, she’s revealed how to hide a cold with makeup, do your own wedding makeup (no pressure), plus other must-know makeup hacks such as how to get fuller lips without filler and brave bright eyeliner.
Another skill she’s managed to hone over the years is skin prep, and more specifically, skin prep on complexions prone to sensitivity flare-ups.
“When I turn up on a shoot, I don’t always know what a person’s skin is going to be like,” Nathalie tells us. “But with the nature of the job – a lot of travelling, wearing prosthetics, having makeup on an awful lot – my clients’ skin can often be quite sensitised.”
She goes on to explain that for this reason, her skin kit is made up of products she knows will help to take down redness, not exacerbate it. “Obviously everybody’s skin is different,” she adds, “but these are the products I feel safe using, because I know they won’t cause a reaction.”
Nathalie’s top 5 skin soothers:
What is it? An LED mask that uses wavelengths of red 633nm and near-Infrared 830nm light that works together to encourage collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production.
Why Nathalie loves it: “I start by popping this over my client’s face for 10 minutes and it really helps to soothe and brighten. It also has a slightly uplifting effect on your mood, which is nice if it’s early in the morning and they’re feeling a bit tired. I also love the CurrentBody Skin LED Neck and Dec Perfector, £250 – so great if a client is suffering from a red décolleté before a photoshoot.”
What is it: A comfort-rich cleanser formulated to dissolve makeup and impurities gently yet thoroughly.
Why Nathalie loves it: “A beautiful cleanser with polyhydroxy acids, which are much gentler than alpha hydroxy acids. They don’t go deep into the skin, just work on the top layer to remove dead skin (sensitive skin can also be quite dry). It’s very gentle but great for removing makeup, and if people are wearing sunscreen to shoot outside scenes, it really helps to break that down, too.”
What is it: A blend of advanced actives to shield, hydrate and fortify the skin.
Why Nathalie loves it: “I’ve been trialling this for a while now and it’s stunning. I don’t like to massage someone with sensitive skin (even though I love facial massage), as I don’t want to increase redness if they’re about to go out on the red carpet. Just patting on a really beautiful concentrate like this is enough – it’s got lots of antioxidants and niacinamide, which is great for sensitive skin. It’s very gentle, absorbs quickly into the skin, and helps to hydrate with hyaluronic acid.”
What is it? A pre-serum concentrate combining plant collagen and microalgae oil beads to deeply replenish and condition the skin.
Why Nathalie loves it: “If someone’s got really parched, sensitive, red skin, I find something like this smoothed over really helps to moisturise and protect the skin barrier.”
What is it? A massage tool utilising the powers of cryotherapy, which uses cold temperatures to reduce blood flow and inflammation, and boost circulation.
Why Nathalie loves it: “I keep this in the fridge or freezer, then just roll it over my client’s face before applying makeup – it’s so soothing. Even if your skin isn’t sensitive, it’s the most lovely, de-puffing, calming way to start your skin prep. And if someone’s really hot on an abroad shoot, I can actually roll it over their makeup and it won’t remove it.”
And when it comes to makeup?
Nathalie swears by the Oxygenetix Oxygenating Breathable Foundation, was £55 now £44 (originally developed for people to use after an intensive facial treatment such as a peel) and Nude By Nature Radiant Loose Powder Foundation, £25 (a loose mineral powder made up of 100 per cent natural ingredients).