When it comes to makeup artists, Florrie White is one of the most highly revered in the business today. Instrumental in helping create some of the biggest editorial cover shoots out there, her A-list roster include the likes of Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne and, more recently, our personal girl crush here at RUSSH, Emma Corrin. Despite this A-list entry, she has managed to keep it completely real when it comes to all matters of beauty.
The beauty world has always been instrumental for Florrie. As a teenager, makeup and beauty products became her safe haven, but as it turns out she put off entering the professional beauty world for a long time. When she was working for a production company, her manager helped her get a foot in the door. But as she concedes, cosmetics aren't the be all and end all. She prefers to rely on a well oiled skincare routine. Here, Sisley's resident make up artist opens up about her career highlights, as well as some of the tried and true tips she's picked up from the industry.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I must have been about 28 or 29. All my colleagues were getting promoted, but I wasn't. One day, my boss asked me what I wanted to do in life. I burst into tears and told him I dreamed of being a makeup artist, but I didn't know how to make it. He told me to just have a go, and said they'd help me. I carried on working part-time at the company so I could also study. There was a long way to go, but I ended up as Charlotte Tilbury's assistant. Her passion for makeup goes back to her childhood. I grew up surrounded by strong women and I was always fascinated by their beauty routines.
Tell us a little about your morning routine?
My morning routine starts in the evening. I've recently discovered Supremÿa La Nuit La Lotion de Soin Anti-Âge and it smells incredible! It's important to cleanse your skin to remove impurities and pollution: this is the best thing you can do for your skin. Sometimes, before bed, I use Masque de Nuit Velours aux Fleurs de Safran or Masque Crème à la Rose Noire. In the morning, I cleanse my skin with Mousse Crème Éclat. I like the delicate texture which feels comforting on the skin. Then I use the whole Sisleÿa range: the anti-dark spot serum, the everyday cream and the eye cream. I also always apply the Confort Extrême Lèvres balm.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
I love the makeup from the 60s, 70s and 90s you see in old magazines. I like Italian, French, Spanish and Polish films, and my favourite directors are Pedro Almodóvar, Paolo Sorrentino and Pawel Pawlikowski. I often take photos of women on TV or in the street to capture their hair or makeup. I love watching women apply their makeup on the underground. Inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere: my eyes are always open. I observe in cars, trains, nature, light... Here at Sisley's Paris ofces, I'm amazed by the artworks all around, which have all been so carefully chosen.
So history was important then?
I loved seeing my mother transform from our mum giving me and my three siblings supper to an exotic creature going out for dinner with our father. I would sit in the bathroom watching her using all these pots of magic on her face.
What trends have you been seeing pop up a a lot recently?
Recently, I've noticed clients asking for more natural makeup. And this is the same as my vision of beauty: it's about remaining yourself. Makeup is a tool that can boost your self-esteem; it should enhance your natural beauty which means less foundation and corrector, and you can have fun with makeup instead of using it as camouflage.
What are some of your tried and tested beauty tips you swear by?
Some people say makeup is frivolous, but I think it gives you power. Because it can really transform, it changes the way we see ourselves, and the way others see us too. It's time for yourself, for some self-care, which can change the day or give you self confidence. That's why I share my tips: I want them to be accessible to every woman. I think we're hard on ourselves; we need to be kinder and gentler. It's very simple: use Stylo Lumière to hide shadows and enhance your eyebrows. I don't like leaving home without makeup even if I am not wearing any initially. You never know who you'll meet! A dab of corrector and lip balm can work wonders.
What is one beauty accessory you simply can't live without?
My spatula! I never touch products with my fingers and I always wash my brushes and accessories after each use. Once, the actress Rosamund Pike gave me the biggest compliment anyone could give me. She said my makeup kit was the cleanest one she'd ever seen. And she's worked with many great makeup artists!
What are your makeup essentials?
For foundation, Phyto-Teint Nude, which is so light but makes skin look so even and highlighted, and Stylo Lumière to banish any shadows around the eyes or mouth. For the eyes, I use Phyto-Khol Star Waterproof which is so easy to apply, and So Stretch mascara to define the lashes. I love Phyto Ombres: they're easy to use and work with, and you can adjust the intensity I also use Phyto-Lip Twist on my lips and cheekbones. I brush up my eyebrows with Phyto-Sourcils Fix, which is essential for structuring the face and also opens out the eye.
What kind of makeup should you wear for different occasions?
For date night, I'd go for radiance: make your skin glow like in candlelight! I'd add a touch of Phyto-Blush Twist for that healthy look. Apply it at the edges of the temples, on the eyelids and a tiny bit on the nose. For a night out, I'd play with Phyto-Ombres, especially metallic shades like 41 Glow Gold and 40 Glow Pearl. And for a job interview, I'd focus on the complexion for a neutral presentation.. Make sure you choose the right shade of foundation and stop that nervous shine by popping Blur Expert in your handbag. Check your reflection before you walk into the interview.
How would you describe your trademarks as a makeup artist?
I make sure my makeup suits the person and their personality. The compliment I most enjoy? When people around an actress I've worked on say: "You look amazing! And you still look like you." I always try to understand the woman in front of me, work with what she wants and keep in mind what kind of event she's going to: a premiere, a shoot, a press junket. I use makeup to enhance, not to transform. I like playing with light and shade. People often recognise my work, so I think there are definitely "Florrie hallmarks"!