Get Rosie cheeks… and lips and eyes and skin… After successful forays into acting, lingerie design and perfumery, multitalented model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is launching a make-up collection. She sits down with HELLO!'s beauty editor Nadine Baggott to tell us all about it.
She must surely be the friendliest supermodel on the planet. Not only does Rosie Huntington-Whiteley greet you by name, a warm hug and the most seductive smile, she also thanks you in person for the last time you wrote about her. So I do not need to be asked twice to sit down with the 28-year-old to chat about her latest adventure, creating her own range of make-up for M&S Beauty.
And, before you ask: "Well how much is she involved?" I can tell you that this woman knows her stuff. She put the retail giant's R&D teams through their paces to get exactly what she wanted and she has picked every shade, texture and piece of packaging. The result? The best high-street make-up launch of the year – possibly even the decade. And, of course, I didn't want to just hear about the products, but get her inside advice on how to apply them too.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley opened up about her contouring secrets
You were very hands-on with your underwear range, were you just as picky about your new make-up line?
"Oh yes. I've always loved make-up and skincare; I am obsessed by beauty products and, having been stuck in a hair and make-up chair for the past 13 years, for hours and hours every day, you pick up a lot of information and advice. I understand what works for me, but also what works for others; different skin types and colours. I tried every product and if things didn't work I sent them back, time and time again."
What was your main ambition for the collection?
"The aim was to create a range of make-up that is accessible and affordable for everybody – from people in their 20s to people in their 60s, 70s, 80s… So hopefully anyone can enjoy it."
How did you go about making it a reality?
"The first thing I did was go into my make-up bag and look at the products that I have used over the past 13 years and can't live without. The products that make-up artists have recommended to me, the colours that I love, the textures that are versatile. I really wanted to create on-the-go products for busy women; make-up that can be used quickly and easily to put together a polished look in minutes; that can be thrown into your handbag; products that are blendable and buildable."
Which are your favourites?
"There are four eyeshadow quads that are just beautiful. My favourite for the classic brown smoky eye is I Feel Like a Million Dollars. Then there is Art Deco Diamonds with its silvery greys and whites, I'm a Fox Star, an autumnal, coppery russet collection, and Ballet Slipper, which is a pinky, nude, soft brown, lingerie collection of colours. Each one has a base colour, highlighter, socket colour and definer."
Rosie revealed how she picked which products to include in her range
What else will mimic that unmistakable Rosie skin glow?
"There are two matte bronzers – I prefer matte as I like to add shimmer only where I want it, which is not all over. Plus a primer with a soft sheen that works under your foundation or added after, just where you want a subtle highlight. I wanted it to be subtle so that it works for all skin ages."
What about recreating your famous lips?
"I have included a shade called Lady Rose, which is basically my lip colour in a tube. There are 12 shades in a variety of finishes, from matte to velvet to sheen. For me, that was the hardest thing. I gravitate towards nudes, but I had to think of women who like bright pinks and browns and reds."
Does the range feature any contouring and strobing products?
"Yes – not because they are fashionable, but because I genuinely use them. I apply a soft-shimmer stick on top of my cheekbones, all the way under both brows, on the inner corner of my eyes around my tear duct to give that pretty, open-eyed look, down the centre of my nose, blended well, on my Cupid's bow and also on my collar bones when they are on show."
I didn't know you used contouring…
"Oh yes. I am always asked how I contour my face. And be honest, haven't we always contoured our faces with blusher and highlighter and bronzer? It's really just playing with light and shadow, isn't it? The secret is to do it subtly. First choose a matte contour cream stick, like mine. Then I like to apply it down both sides of my nose – I like to slim my nose. I also use it under my jawline to define that, with a little under my cheekbones. But it's very important to blend really well and keep it natural."
Are you bold and brave with your own make-up?
"Not really. I don't follow trends; I just want to feel at my best, naturally. My mum taught me how to apply make-up when I was younger, and she said, 'Now listen, make-up is to enhance, not hide.' For me, that philosophy has stuck and it is the philosophy behind this range, too."
Rosie has launched a make-up range with M&S
When you first started modelling, who inspired you?
"Kate Moss. She was at the height of her career – well, she still is, and that inspires me. Over the past few years I have been inspired by models who have gone on to great things, like Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Gisele, Elizabeth Hurley and Cindy Crawford. They all used modelling as a platform to build a brand that has sustained them through to their mid-life and, hopefully, beyond."
So, are you aware that a model's working life can be short?
"Oh yes, we are all aware that looks fade. In fact, I was told that my career would be over by the time I was 25 and I'm now 28 – surprise! I'm still here."
How were you discovered?
"I wanted to work in fashion and design and when I was 15 I got a work placement in a model agency. I grew up in rural Devon so had no connections at all in London. We'd just got the Internet so I looked up "fashion", sent out 25 or 30 letters and got a phone call a week later from a tiny model agency called Profile. I went to work there for a week as an office assistant."
Were you signed on the spot?
"Oh no. Trust me, I was 15 and had a lot of grooming to do. So I just did my week's work as an office runner, doing photocopying, emptying ashtrays and answering the phone. I was disappointed that I didn't get to go on a photoshoot, which was such a dream for me. So I went back to school, did my GCSEs and planned to go back to London in the summer. My mother told me I was to go back to Profile and say 'Hello' and 'Thank you', so I did, dragging my heels, to be honest. There was a new booker starting a new Faces division and she asked to take my Polaroid. She sent me out on castings and, by that winter, I was flying to New York to work. The moral of the story is: listen to your mother."
Do you have a favourite beauty treat?
"A facial with Shani Darnden, my facialist in Los Angeles, who has the best retinol serum. It keeps my skin smooth and helps get rid of breakouts and fine lines."
The model shared her favourite products - scroll below for the full list
What's the best song to dance to?
"I could never choose just one, but currently it is Drake's Hotline Bling."
Your favourite book to read?
"At the moment it is Buddha Walked into a Bar."
And your current favourite TV programme?
"Narcos on Netflix is brilliant."
What can we expect next from your make-up range?
"Well, we don't have foundation yet. That's because I don't want something that doesn't work for everyone; for every woman of every skin tone. That is a real commitment. But watch this space, because that's my dream: to create a range large enough to offer foundations for every skin tone."
Rosie's Rudimentals: the model picks must-haves from her make-up range along with her current beauty favourites
1. Resurface by Shani Darden – Retinol Reform, $95 (£65); visit shanidarden.com
2. Moroccanoil Treatment, £31.85, from lookfantastic.com
3. Rosie for Autograph Starstruck Contour, £15
4. Rosie for Autograph Starstruck Highlighter, £15
5. Rosie for Autograph I Feel Like A Million Dollars Eyeshadow Quad, £18 "This is my personal favourite collection of eye shadows, for my signature look".
6. Rosie for Autograph Lipstick in Lady Rose, £14 "My lip colour in a lipstick".
7. Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in English Rose Flush, £14
8. Rosie for Autograph Amazing Radiance Cream, £18
9. iS Clinical Active Serum, £68, from Victoria health.com