IN HER BAG/ LOVE HER SHOES
The Marvellous Mary Greenwell
International Make-Up Artist and Perfumer
IT WAS IN 1997 WHEN I STARTED WORKING ON THE SHOWS IN PARIS THAT I FIRST MET MARY. WELL, TRUTH BE TOLD I DIDN’T ACTUALLY MEET HER, BUT I WAS ASSISTING SAM MCKNIGHT AND SHE WAS THERE. I REMEMBER BEING BACKSTAGE AND SEEING MARY LAUGH AND LAUGH AND ALL THE MODELS WERE JUST GAZING AT HER. EVEN KATE MOSS WAS IN AWE OF HER.
I’d always known of Mary’s work. In the 90’s there was no social media so I’d spend hours reading French, American and Italian Vogue, that’s what we had back then. To me, Mary was the first supermodel’s make-up artist. She worked with the 90’s legends: Amber Valetta, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington (just to name a few). Flipping through those magazines, her work just jumped out at me. It was sexy, lustrous and always beautiful. That same season, at Matthew Williamson in London, Sam and Mary had the whole show in the palm of their hands. It was amazing.
A few years later I was working with Cate Blanchett. When I received the call sheet, I had to do a double take. There her name was right next to mine: Mary Greenwell doing make-up. I almost died right then and there! Cate had spoken so highly of her and said that I’d immediately love her. I smiled and nodded but on the inside I was screaming, “Oh, I know!”. Like any fan, I couldn’t help but try to think of ways to impress her.
Back then Mary was untouchable. But over the years she has brought all feelings to the surface. She has made cry with laughter, made me look at my work, made me really pull back and focus. We just fell in love and I admire her so much that my heart just breaks every time we work together. So, this is how we’ve come to this point: sitting together with an hour in between shooting in Hong Kong. You must follow her on instagram, her images will inspire you just like a fresh-faced Renya back in the 90’s, gazing at the incredible work of the original supermodel’s make-up artist: my Mary Greenwell.
“I never close my bag without first putting in my iPad; I can’t live without it. And my pink SMYTHSON make-up purse. Today, I have a sample of a LA PRAIRIE hand cream that I pinched from the First Class Lounge on the way to Hong Kong from Zurich. I’ve had the same MARC JACOBS zip wallet for years, it’s very simple and it’s perfect for me.”
“When I travel, I bring my CHANEL tote. Inside it, my CHANEL finecotton scarf and my house keys with a CHANEL keychain; so glamorous! The most expensive things in my bag are my CHROME HEARTS reading glasses — they are also the most important.”
“No matter where I go, I always have one of my signature fragrances from my own line that I started in 2010. Today I have “plum”, my original baby. The line is now stocked at Harrods and Net-A-Porter. It will be available in New York soon, too.”