Friday 19 September 2014

Interview: Tania Grier

Tania Grier is a British makeup artist who has worked with everyone. In addition to beautifying the likes of Laura Bailey, Daisy Lowe and Yasmin Le Bon, Tania's editorial work includes Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Tatler and Grazia.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I got the opportunity to grill Tania about all things beauty...

What inspired you to become a makeup artist? And how did your career journey begin?

The photographer Nick Haddow inspired me to become a makeup artist. I had been living in New York for a few years, studying and working as an actress in theatre and independent films. When I came back to London, Nick suggested that I learn another craft so I would have something to fall back on. He knew I enjoyed painting (I had considered art school at one point) so he thought I might enjoy makeup - another form of art. So I started assisting Sarah Reygate and followed her everywhere for two years until I gradually got my own work. 

What is your career highlight?

It's hard to choose just one. Working with the legendary Julie Christie for Chanel was memorable, she is still as beautiful today as she was in Doctor Zhivago. 

However, my ultimate highlight would have to be shooting Vanessa Redgrave for Harper's Bazaar with the amazing photographer Trent McGinn. She takes your breath away with her beauty and presence and she is one of the smartest, humble and most talented women I have ever met. I love working with the more mature celebrities - they have the best stories and, because they don't have to prove anything, they have a confidence that is electric. Any decent make up artist can make an eighteen year old model look good, it's harder to make older skin radiate. But I enjoy the challenge and it's always more interesting to be in the presence of someone who has lived a little and Vanessa has lived a lot!!! 

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

For me, it's my Mum. She was a model when she was younger, however she never wore much make up as she was a natural beauty. She studied at Glasgow Art School and one day Sean Connery turned up as a nude model (before he was cast as James Bond of course!). He fancied my Mum and used to chase her around the building asking for a date but she said no every time. Life could have been very different if she'd said yes!!! 

She is my ultimate beauty icon because she has never had a stitch of surgery but looks 15 years younger than she should because she takes care of her skin and enjoys life. I do hope she has passed those genes on to me! 

What are your beauty kit essentials?

There are four products that I can't work without. The first is Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm, a natural beauty balm that can be used on cuticles, knees, sunburn...anywhere on the face or body - everyone I use it on is obsessed! The second product is the MAC Blacktrack Fluid Eyeliner; I use it daily for anything from a thin lash line to a very graphic eye. The third product I can't live without is Optrex Eye Drops - I have one for bloodshot eyes, one for itchy eyes and one for tired eyes. These eye drops are perfect for jet lagged models, as well as a million other daily dramas! The final product is the MAC Face and Body Foundation. It makes the legs look flawless and it's waterproof so you can wear it out and not worry about it rubbing off on your clothes.

Dermalogica skincare is always in my kit as it is great for sensitive skin. Dior Nude Skin foundations are my favourite for a luminous glow, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer is my go-to for hiding spots and Chanel mascaras are my favourite as they have great brushes and are the blackest of blacks. 

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Wearing too much! My motto is less is more. There is nothing worse than seeing a young girl with good skin caked in layers of foundation and clumpy mascara.

What is your top beauty tip?

Moisturise moisturise moisturise, preferably with an SPF, and don't forget the neck, d├ęcolletage and body. Your skin will thank you for it when you get older. Also love the skin you are in, as beauty really does start from within. I have worked on some truly stunning girls but if they are too vain or have low self esteem, you don't appreciate their beauty. You look your best when you are happy and confident.

You can follow Tania on Twitter - @TaniaGrier and Instagram - taniagrier.

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