5 Minutes with Mary

Going back a few months, I was fortunate to have met Australian based freelance make-up artist Mary Phan. Mary did my make-up for the cover shoot of the blog and since then has become my personal go-to make-up artist. With so many tips and beauty secrets to share, I was lucky enough to sit down with Mary for an exclusive interview.



Hi Mary, how are you?

Great Nat, and yourself?

Excellent, I’m really excited about today’s interview, lets get started!

What is your daily skin care regimen?

For morning and night I always like to cleanse, serum, moisturize and eye cream. I do like to use more active skincare for the night time though because that’s when your skin cells are regenerating and for during the day I use something that’s a bit lighter or less active.

What products do you carry in your bag?

Lipsticks ( Lots of them)
Blotting Paper
Mini perfume

If you had to choose three beauty products that you could not live with out, what would they be?

1.Bioderma Cleansing Water- ( Great Make-Up Remover as well as cleanser and you don’t need to wash it off!)
2.Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ( gently exfoliates whilst also brightening up skin and minimizes pores)
3. Mecca Lip De Luscious, Lip Balm SPF25, ( moisturisers, nourishes and protects

Powder, stick or fluid how do you know which foundation you should be using?

Powder– I would only use powder if you are really oily and you hate liquid foundation for a particular reason, I find liquid foundation is the most flattering.

Stick– All Skin types, if you want very full coverage or you can use these to contour and highlight.

Fluid– All skin types. For more oily skin be sure to use a matte fluid foundation or you can mattify the foundation with powder on top or use a matte primer to control the oil. For dry skin, just make sure you hydrate your skin beforehand with a good moisturizer and primer and stick to just a little bit of translucent powder on top to set

How do you create a perfect foundation base?

Prepping the skin before applying any foundation is a very important step! This starts with your skincare. It will make sure anything that you apply on top of your skin is going to sit how you want it. If you think about dry skin that isn’t moisturised, when you apply foundation it can accentuate the dry patches, and we don’t want that! You can also avoid looking too oily or shiny by applying a mattifying moisturiser first.

For a natural finish I like applying my foundation in layers rather than a whole heap at once, so that you are building up the coverage gradually. I always apply concealer on after foundation and set the foundation with a bit of powder.

Can you give us a quick lesson in contouring?

Contour the deeper areas of the face using a concealer, cream, foundation or powder. Be sure to choose two shades darker than your foundation and blend in well, if using cream than use a stippling brush or if it’s powder then use a more fluffy brush.

Highlight the higher points of the face using a concealer, cream, foundation or powder that is two shades lighter than your foundation. I also like to use an illuminator, which has a bit of a shimmer to highlight with as well.

Just remember to contour the valleys and highlight the hills!

How can you ensure your make-up will last you all night?

Make sure skin is prepped first using skin care that is right for your skin. Use a primer for the face (there are so many different primers out there to smooth out skin, even skin tone and colour correct to help your foundation sit and look better) and also an eye primer (so your eyeshadow doesn’t crease). Finally, after the foundation is applied use a powder (I prefer a translucent) to set the foundation and concealer. You can also use a setting spray too.

What are three important steps to achieving a nude lip?

Exfoliate the lips if it’s dry, then prime.
Use a nude lipliner to help define the lips
When selecting a shade of nude I find pinker base nudes can be more flattering. I would recommend always trying on nudes because they can easily wash you out and the pigment of your own natural lips can affect the colour of the nude lipstick when it is on.

Also take into consideration your skin tone, for fairer skins be careful not to go too light otherwise it can wash you out.

What are the current beauty trends that you have seen on the runways?

Soft purple eyeshadow, even soft purple liner instead of black
Bold Lips
Feline Flicks
Bare skin makeup- less make-up and more skin!

Finally, any extra bonus tips or tricks you can give us?


  • Apply mascara on the bottom lashes, then the top, this way you avoid transferring the mascara onto the eye lids.
  • Instead of reaching for white eyeliner to brighten eyes, opt for beige instead, this way you get a more softer and natural look.
  • Mix liquid illuminators with your foundation to get that lit from within glow.
  • Apply your lipstick first, then use lipliner for a precise, clean finish.
  • Swap eyeliner for eyeshadow when defining your bottom lashline, this will give a more softer and subtle look.
  • Always apply creams and liquids before powder, to avoid looking patchy.
  • Tight lining the water line on your eye lid will make your lashes look fuller and more defined. Make sure it’s waterproof!

 Well thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to do the interview, it was lovely chatting with you.

 Thanks Nat! It was my pleasure!


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