I’m ready for my close up… Mr Coombes

Jamie Coombes is makeup artist to the most glittering starlets of Hollywood as well as being Dior’s international pro makeup artist. He is renowned for his ability to transform anyone’s complexion with just a stroke of a brush. I caught up with him, ahead of Dior’s Backstage Confidential Event to find out his top tips for summer makeup success.

Key looks for summer


Keep the eyes monochrome or opt for a soft natural gold, with an iridescent finish. A yellow base rather than pink is much more flattering.


Keep the cheeks soft and gentle with a light pink blusher. Use the pink blusher before applying the bronzer, apply to the apples of the cheeks, then follow with a bronzer on the high points of the face. For a healthy glow, use a nude illuminator with a moisturiser.  


Should be a light complexion, not shiny, but subtle, enhancing the natural skin’s luminosity.

Lips and nails:

Go for vivid colours, tropical pink is the easiest way to be on trend. Really focus on these areas, your lips and nails are like your fashion accessories, they complete your outfit. The focus on lips is ongoing, and should be satin not mat.

If I buy one product this spring it should be… nails, in a very vivid colour shade, and a good lipstick.

Jamie’s top tips:

Don’t use products to mask, but rather to perfect, use foundation under the eye and it’ll make you look refreshed. Remember, less is not more, but less is less to maintain.

Top tip for applying eyeshadow:

Don’t use more than two colours, and have two separate brushes; one for application and one for shading. Work the shadow into the corner of the eye, and right into the socket base.

Top tip for applying mascara:

Always use a curling and defining mascara, and use specialised brushes with short combs. Never zig zag your mascara wand, instead push upward from the base of the root. Get in really close to the root. Then take a fine brush and apply your mascara to the root of the lashes, this will make the eyes appear wider.

Top tip for applying foundation:

You only ever need half a pea size amount of foundation. Applying under the eyes, and around the centre of the face working outwards. Never squeeze the foundation out onto your hand before applying as this will dry the foundation out. And to apply use a damp foundation brush, this will allow the foundation to glide over the face rather than caking. Foundation should enhance your complexion, it should be youthful and effortless, because you are the wearer. You are dressing the face, not making up the face.

How to cheat a flawless complexion:

Good skincare, use a good moisturiser mixed with a tint, or illuminator. When applying moisturiser, only use a pea sized amount to the face, neck and décolletage, pat this into the skin rather than rubbing it in. Always wear a good SPF primer, and wear a higher SPF in the summer.

Each season I should buy…

Foundation, mascara, blusher, and a lip tint – this is your negligee look, it’s going to support you. Then you can dress it up with colour.

Jamie’s pet hate:

Caked makeup, and too dark foundation, it should be natural. Also women overdoing radiance pens, just use these on the outer corners of the eyes and under the brow.

Final tip:

Do your eye makeup first, most women don’t feel themselves until they’ve done their eyes, so why not start with the eyes first?!

Essential advice, I think you’ll agree, no-one knows makeup quite like Jamie, and honestly if you follow these tips you’ll be amazed at how flawless your complexion looks. He is genuinely a miracle worker.

If you want to experience the Dior summer collection for yourself, and have a fabulous makeover with Dior’s team of makeup artists, then click here to see our Backstage Confidential post.

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