Holding | Photographed by Emily Weiss (Diane Kendal and Aymeline Valade, top); Olivier Claisse/firstVIEW (bottom, from left: Kendal’s work on the runway at Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, and Alexander Wang)
1. Start with rose water: “It’s my all-time favorite product,” says Kendal, who has been using the all-purpose eau for more than 20 years as a toner to prep the skin. For tired models backstage, it doubles as a pick-me-up throughout the day: “It makes the girls feel good.”
2. Prime: Kendal is partial to M.A.C Studio Moisture Fix SPF 15, which, “sinks into the skin very quickly, and creates a beautiful canvas for applying foundation.”
3. Blend: Backstage, Kendal relies on a professional palette of Dermacolor foundations, available through the pro makeup source Kryolan (kryolan.com), but recommends more user-friendly formulas like M.A.C Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation for everyday use. She’s often spotted with a dollop of Embryolisse cream on the back of her hand as a mixing agent—this way, the same foundation can go from spot-treating “concealer” to “tinted moisturizer” in a brushstroke.
4. Contour: For soft definition and luminosity, Kendal layers several cream—not powder—blushes. “It keeps the face looking fresh and young.” She works a deeper taupe-y brown under the cheekbones and into the temples, and uses a brighter peach to accentuate the apples of the cheeks. She relies upon pale, pearlescent highlighter (like M.A.C Lustre Drops, due out in April) to brighten the brow bones, the bridge of the nose, and the Cupid’s Bow of the mouth. To keep the dewy finish in balance, Kendal dusts loose powder across the T-zone.
5. Finishing touch: “Sometimes, if the face looks too ‘done’ once I’m finished, I rub moisturizer on top. It works really well, to deconstruct a look. I like that bit of residue.”