A leading authority on beauty, Michelle Phillips is one of the most influential makeup artists in the entertainment industry. With more than 25 years' experience, she works with national television networks, on movie sets, with top photographers, and for magazines including Swiss Vogue and Maxim. She's worked with celebrities such as Katie Couric, Colbie Caillat, Condoleezza Rice, Sigourney Weaver, Clint Eastwood and presidential candidate Mitt Romney. And this dynamic industry influencer has called Lakewood Ranch home for the last 12 years.
Here, we find out how a beauty in the beauty industry fashions her own beauty routine.
Describe your morning routine.
My morning makeup routine depends on whether I am on or off the air. As for my skincare routine, I spend a great deal of time researching products. I use pharmaceutical-grade ones that provide visible results and support healthy skin. Right now, I am using the Lifeline Skincare Brightening Cleanser. Then I apply the Advance Molecular Serum, followed by the Firming Eye Complex.
As for makeup, I believe in natural-looking makeup, always. For the TV cameras, I have to apply it a little heavier so I don’t look washed out. I compare it to the amount of makeup I’d wear for a date night with my hubby. The secret to looking natural when applying heavier makeup is to stick with neutral colors and blend, blend, blend.
Here’s the makeup I’m currently using:
Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua SPF 15, shade 20 Beige
Concealer: Makeup Forever Full Cover, shade 2
Powder: Studio Fix Perfecting Powder, shade Light
Brows: Anastasia Pomade, shade Blonde
Eyeshadows: MAC Eyeshadows, shades Brulee and Wedge, and NARS Eyeshadow, shade Rigel
Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil, shade Roach
Mascara: MAC False Lashes Extreme Black (this is the name—not actual false lashes! I don’t recommend those!)
Blush: NARS Blush, shade Orgasm (sounds a bit strange, I know, yet I think it’s the best color on the planet for blush at the moment)
Lips: Urban Decay 24/7 Lip pencil, shade Manic, and/or MAC, shade Spice
Lipsticks: Chanel, Shade Rouge Coco 432 and Laura Mercier, shade Audrey
Brushes: MAC makeup brushes. It makes a huge difference when you apply your makeup with good quality makeup brushes.
When I am not on TV, I apply my Lifeline Skincare products and then I use a tinted SPF that brightens, corrects and protects my skin with an SPF 50. It’s called Colorescience Even Up. To protect my lips, I apply Aquaphor lip treatment. I am a firm believer that good skincare is most important, and I don’t need or want to wear much makeup when my skin looks healthy.
What did your mother/mother-figure teach you about beauty?
When I was 15 years old, I told my mom that I wanted to be a professional makeup artist and work in the television industry. Despite the fact that it was 1982 and there was no such thing as people wanting a career as a makeup artist in TV, she supported me completely. She sent me to two different schools for hair, makeup, and skincare while I was still in high school. Two years later, I was working in the beauty industry and by 1994, I landed my first job as department head of makeup, hair and wardrobe at a CBS station.
My mother taught me that purpose + passion = beauty. True beauty is knowing who you are, living your authentic self, and presenting that to the world.
How do you nourish your beauty from the inside?
When I hit my late 40’s, I felt a lack of energy, foggy brain, and wasn’t sleeping well. So, I started slowly changing my diet and adding exercise to my daily routine. I also had my hormones checked and found they were way out of whack. I now receive bio-identical hormone treatments through my doctor which, combined with a healthier diet (four to five servings of fruits and vegetables per day along with lean proteins and whole grains) and exercise (Pilates, Barre3 classes and walks) have turned everything around.
Any treatment that you outsource?
Oh, yes! I get Botox injections under my eye area to soften the crow’s feet and I typically get a laser treatment once or twice a year to help keep my skin looking youthful, naturally. My daughter Kristina is a very talented hairstylist who has been doing my hair for a few years. My hair has thinned out considerably as I’ve aged. Kristina suggested adding some hair extensions, which have made a world of difference.
How about your nighttime skincare ritual?
Two-three times a week I use Retin-A by Obagi Skincare. I apply that to my face, neck, and under eyes. You have to get it from a doctor or medical aesthetician as it is prescription only. On the nights I don't use Retin-A, I use Lifeline Skincare Recover Night Moisture Serum, or if I want a little heavier treatment when my skin feels dry, I use Epionce Renewal Facial Cream. Under my eye area I use Lifeline Eye Firming Complex.
Do you have a signature scent and what do you love about it?
I am a Chanel girl. I like Coco Mademoiselle because it’s soft and I feel sexy when I have it on.
What is the biggest beauty blunder women make?
I feel that our society has set an unrealistic emphasis on appearing youthful and perfect and thinking that's beauty. It’s not!
More women should…
I believe that it’s time for women to make the connection between their outer appearance and their inner selves. By rediscovering and defining who you are and what you most want out of life, you will radiate outward a beauty that cannot be outmatched.