Product watch: the natural look

Reese Witherspoon was radiant at the Hollywood premiere of Hot Pursuit last week. Rachel Marie Walsh spoke with Molly R Stern, the star’s go-to makeup artist, about how she achieved this pretty, natural look.    

Product watch: the natural look

Molly R Stern is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist with a client list full of Hollywood’s loveliest. Reese Witherspoon is perhaps her most loyal client.

“I always want Reese to look glamorous and sexy on the red carpet while maintaining her iconic healthy and radiant skin,” she says.

The artist skipped primer for the premiere of Hot Pursuit, opting instead to prep the face with some antioxidant-rich skincare.

“I started with Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Splash, €34, to refresh her skin.” This hydrating toner is rich in brightening Vitamin C and suits normal-to-dry skin.

After letting it dry, Molly layered on RéVive Intensité Moisture Serum Extreme, €365 @ SpaceNK, a moisturising antioxidant elixir, and Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Cream, €82, “to give the skin a dewy, quenched luminosity”. Natura Bissé is available from

For a natural and fresh-looking complexion, Molly applied Chantecaille Future Skin Oil-Free Gel Foundation in Sand, €79, all over the face. The radiance-boosting formula gives Reese’s skin “a warmed up, sun-smooched glow”.

She highlighted the Oscar-winner’s enviable bone structure by darkening the hollows of her cheeks with Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in “Embrace,” €48, and then applied the same product in “Lovely” on the apples of her cheeks to create a subtle flush.

“For the eyes, I brightened the lids with NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere, €25, and then deepened the eye contour with NARS Satin Lipstick in Blonde Venus, €26, to create an intense definition.

Then I traced her upper lash-line with a thick application of Laura Mercier Crème Eye Liner in Black, €27. I smudged NARS Thunderball Matte Eyeshadow, €25, under the lower lashes for added drama.”

Molly darkened Reese’s eyebrows using Eyebrow Pencil no. 103 by Japanese brand Clé de Peau. Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe, €42, is a similar product.

She curled the star’s naturally long lashes with a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, €24.50, and coated them twice with DiorShow Mascara in Jet Black, €32.50. A slick of NARS Audacious Lipstick in Michiyo, €30, finished the look.

Beauty Clinic

I know exfoliation is important for a clear complexion but my skin is so sensitive! What can I use to slough off dead cells that won’t leave my face red and stinging? My skin is otherwise normal.

Facial scrubs are an inefficient, potentially damaging means of exfoliation for any skin type so I always favour some kind of lotion exfoliant.

Clinique Turnaround Revitalising Serum, €47/30ml, is a leave-on product that smoothes skin with lactobaconic acid, a Poly Hydroxy Acid that is very gentle and yields similar results to an Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliant (improved texture, brightness and hydration) for those who may not be able to tolerate AHAs.

The brand has bolstered my affection for this product with generous amounts of soothing and repairing extras, including proven antioxidants and anti-inflammatories like mulberry-root extract, wheatgerm and resveratrol.

The serum feels very light and silky and makes a great base for makeup. It has a slight shimmer to improve the look of skin as it works.

Can you recommend a primer that will fill lines and pores well without feeling like spackling paste?

Beauty watchers at Fashion Week in February were impressed with MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion, €42, which is sure to be a hit when it launches in June.

This lightweight gel-lotion is not at all occlusive but still manages to blur and fill pores and fine lines.

The formula leaves normal-to-dry skin feeling lightly moisturised with its blend of shea and mango butters. There is also a nice selection of antioxidants in the mix, for an anti-ageing boost.

Timecheck improves the look of makeup and skin simultaneously, allowing foundation to glide on smooth and wear well for several hours. This product is slightly perfumed, which is something to bear in mind if your skin is very sensitive.

I can’t seem to find an inexpensive long-wear eyeliner that doesn’t dry to an uncomfortable, tacky finish. Help!

NYX The Curve Felt Tip Liner, €15.99 is a great buy. The pen gets its name from its handy crescent, designed to sit comfortably between the thumb and forefinger so you can perfectly control each application.

Fine, neat lines are a cinch, even with nowhere to rest your arm. This product also stands out for its consistent application of highly-pigmented colour without skipping or feathering.

The formula is water-resistant and does not fade or flake as the day progresses. It is also surprisingly easy to remove, even with a water-based cleanser.

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