In an industry full of egos, makeup artist Daniel Martin is a rare case of absolute kindness and genuinity. The man behind some of the most iconic makeup looks of the past decade (Hi, Royal Wedding freckles) also happens to be an absolute joy of a person to be around. Spending time with him is like hanging out with the human equivalent of champagne — he's bubbly, delightful, and makes you feel great whenever he's nearby.
His magic as a makeup artist is in the artful way he combines creative makeup looks while also playing up the unique features of his client. He also knows the secret to making skin look phenomenal, as he’s just as much of a skin-care addict (if not more) than we are.
We had a chat with Daniel for our The Regimen series to learn his secret weapon against melasma, how to make your foundation actually look natural, and his ride-or-die Shen favorites. Keep reading to learn just why we can’t get enough of this amazingly talented and sweet makeup pro.
Name: Daniel Martin
Profession: Makeup Artist
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Loyal, creative, caring.
How did you get your start?
I’ve been in the industry for 22 years — I worked at MAC in college and then honed in on my career when I was apprenticing at an Aveda Concept Salon in Virginia. That’s where I focused on editorial and runway and where I eventually met Pat McGrath to assist her in the late 90's.
What do you love most about your job?
I love beauty because it makes people feel good! It’s not about the transformation but rather the confidence I can give someone using my artistic expression.
What is your philosophy on beauty?
Keep it simple! Find that one thing you love hone in and accentuate it. If you love a smoky eye for day, let that be your signature look! If you love a red lip, rock it every day. Own your beauty!
What is your best beauty advice?
What makes you different can make you most beautiful. Embrace your freckles, embrace your scars. I once had a client tell me that the only way for her to start loving her thin lips was to start wearing red lipstick. This way when she saw them, the look grew on her and now she wears red lipstick like lip balm.
What is your daily skin-care routine?
I’m very basic when it comes to my personal regimen because my skin has gotten more sensitive as I've gotten older. At night I just wash it. Once a week I'll do a clay mask or retinol but I try not to touch it. In the morning, its wash, moisturize and sunblock.
What are the top three beauty products you can’t live without?
Because my melasma has gotten bad as I've gotten older, this stuff at night is helping diminish the darkness and evening out my skin tone.
I love this stuff as a lip balm and emergency hydrator anytime I need moisture. It’s small enough that I can take it anywhere, too.
I love this exfoliant because it really does slough off dead wintery skin without stripping it.
We are big believers in self care...how do you indulge in self care?
I just started weekly Rolfing treatments with David Murphy at Transformative Structural Integration. He's really helped realign my body. I also try and see my friend Joanna Vargas for facials when I can.
What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve ever made?
Shaving off my eyebrows in the 90s. WTF was I thinking?
What do you think is the biggest beauty mistake people make?
Too much foundation coverage! More isn't always better. Start with a single pump first and blend from the center of your face out towards the perimeter. Buffing brushes work well because you use less product and the spreadability is easier.
What was the best beauty advice given to you?
My grandmother was my makeup muse and she never left the house without wearing lipstick. She felt that when she had nothing else on, throwing on a lip was dressing up her face!