In our third episode of La Mer’s #GRWM feat. Elsa Morgan, we talk about her unexpected skincare/makeup philosophy, watch her apply “invisible” makeup – because, skin texture! And learn how-to master a red lip, sans tools and fuss.
If Elsa Morgan was into titles like ‘leading,’ ‘best,’ ‘celebrity,’ that would come before, makeup artist. But she is not. For context, I work with Elsa (or try to, when she isn’t already booked, read: rarely) more than any other MUA in Australia. Simply because I love her work, and her energy.
After spending time with Elsa in her home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs with her beautiful boys Jet and Jasper, and lovable lab Sunny, I had to jump on a plane to Singapore, where I called Elsa when I landed. Read on for the extended transcript that documents Elsa’s routines and all the products she uses, in her own words.
I feel like makeup is part of skincare. It’s all about making things the best they can possibly be, not turning it into something artificial. So, skincare absolutely over makeup, any day of the week. I start with La Mer Genaissance de la Mer Serum ($860) & La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream ($242).
The way I apply skincare, I actually apply foundation the same way. I want skin to really enjoy the makeup as well as the skincare, and I know that maybe sounds a bit strange, but for me the whole ritual of putting on skincare, it actually has a purpose – even though it feels amazing – it actually makes the skin accept the makeup better – and while I love makeup, I hate seeing makeup on the skin. I want it to look almost see-through, so that massage actually works to make makeup look more invisible.
Mixing La Mer The Renewal Oil ($325) with La Mer Soft Fluid SPF 20 in Tan ($200) and using that brush to buff it into the skin, gives you a really easy way to make the skin really dewy and glow. I don’t wear makeup most days, so when I wear foundation it needs to look better than my skin could look even at its very best. The oil works as a bridge into makeup from skincare. And I want my skin to look glowy, and healthy, and real. I want a little bit of coverage, but I really want texture of the skin, I actually love texture to the skin, I think it’s a really beautiful element of the face to be celebrated and shouldn’t be covered up.
I am normally not a powder girl, I don’t like seeing normal powders on the skin, that hide different textures. But La Mer The New Sheer Pressed Powder ($174), is quite incredible. I just use it across the nose, and the forehead and a little bit under the chin, even the inside of the cheeks, where you don’t want shine, I am happy with glow, but this one takes away the sheen, without covering the texture that you do want.
When I am adding a bit of colour to the face, I will generally reach for a bronzer over a blush, the one I am using here is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess ($60). I mean, I love blush in winter but in summer I want a bit of bronze. Just sweeping it all over the face, and maybe into the hollows of the cheeks as well, to dress up the skin, and my bone structure a little more. It adds a little bit of glow without looking too made up.
Because, I know I am going to wear a strong lip colour today, I want to dress my eyes up a bit with a little sweep of highlighter. It is enough for me, not anything to strong, like I have nothing there. Next, is mascara.
Because I am such a ‘glow girl’, I like to add a little bit of The Renewal Oil ($325) as a highlighter. And I will often use a moisturiser or an oil on me, and sometimes on models I will do the same, and it just gives this amazing bounce to the skin, which again you can’t see like you can some makeup.
I don’t often wear a strong lip colour, I am usually more about the eye. When I do wear a lip I like it to be really strong and really bold. My boys aren’t used to seeing me with it, and when they do, they say, “Oh my god Mum, you look incredible!”
On shoots I will be really careful about the way lipstick is going to look, I will strategize it: maybe it will be a stain, and use tools, and be quite careful about it. On me, I don’t have time – I like the idea of putting it on, and running out the door – and not having to be perfect. That just suits my personality, to not be too fussed with the details. So, I apply MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo ($36) straight from the bullet, and I use the shape of it to get to the edges, from the corner of the mouth in to the cupid’s bow, and quickly coat my lips with the lip colour, and spread it out by smearing my lips together. It’s simple and as quick as possible, I don’t get fussed with tools or techniques.
My finished look is simple, fun, a little bit sexy. I think of myself as an earth mummer, with a touch of glamour, but only a touch. I am a makeup artist.
Full disclosure: this post was created in partnership with La Mer
Videography: Ryan Barry-Cotter
Video Assistant: Ryan Lee
Words and photography: Chloe Brinklow