• 23 January 2024
Gareth Bromell, the celebrity groomer who prepped Cillian Murphy’s hair and makeup for the 'Oppenheimer' press tour and consequent award season, knows the best way to prep skin before makeup. Bromell has experienced it all—from backstage at Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli shows, to the pages of Vogue, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair and Harper’s BAZAAR. And Cillian Murphy isn't the only A-list on his books; Bromell is the go-to stylist for 'The Crown' actress Claire Foy, singer-songwriter Lily Allen and the award-winning actress and model, Caitríona Balfe.
We caught up with Bromell after the 2024 Golden Globes, and asked for his best-kept secrets on how to prepare skin for makeup from his 20+ years of industry experience—here’s what we found out.
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to skin prep for makeup?
"I think the key is not to try anything too invasive, especially if you’re prepping for a big event. I always refer my clients to visit my friend and colleague, Debbie Thomas, at her London clinic for a Hydrafacial and some light collagen laser for the ultimate skin glow. It’s a great quick fix for achieving a red carpet glow, and it creates a lovely base to work on. Of course, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep is recommended—but this should be a habit most people adopt, big event or not."
"Skin hydration is really important. When makeup is applied to dry areas, it can look really cakey and overdone. This is where I’ll use hyaluronic acids, niacinamide and ceramides to help address this. Actually, CurrentBody Skin has some great Hydrogel Masks that give a quick boost of hydration and a nice plumping effect."
What’s the best skin prep before makeup to get that flawless base seen on so many of your clients, such as Cillian Murphy?
"Yeah, I think prepping the skin before makeup is critical for looking your dewiest self, especially in men’s grooming as the skin tends to look a little drier and oiler than with women. I normally begin with a cooling cleanser and gentle exfoliating toner, something that has PHAs, BHAs or AHAs to brighten up the skin. Then I’ll add a Hydrogel Mask with the CurrentBody LED mask on top for about 10 minutes."
"That gives the skin a much healthier glow. I actually have a selection of male clients that love the extra glow the LED mask gives them, so I use it every time. And for the final step of skin prep, I use vitamin C and liquid peptides for optimal hydration and smoothness."
How long have you been using LED on your clients?
"I was actually first introduced to LED therapy 15 years ago by my facialist—it was just amazing to see the results. So when the first home use LED masks appeared, I just introduced them into my skin prep for all of my clients and they’ve become a staple in my kit ever since."
Are there any other home use beauty gadgets in your kit?
"I use the LED Eye Perfector, depending on who I’m working with, for a more hyper-targeted approach. It only takes 3 minutes to refresh the eye area which is a bonus. But another great one is the ZIIP HALO for quickly sculpting the face. You can really see a difference straight away, and also Margot Robbie is a fan, so who wouldn’t trust that?! I’m also a big fan of lasers. IPL is amazing for sun damage, dark spots and broken veins on the skin, as well as radio frequency for skin tightening."
Gareth Bromell has taken what was once a clinic-only beauty technology and brought it backstage to the red carpet, recreating the same glow from his LED facial 15 years ago. Ready to achieve the Hollywood glow? Meet Bromell's go-to LED mask, the CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask—it's the must-have staple in his beauty kit!
Science backed and clinically proven to stimulate collagen, this mask's patented Pillow Technology™ gives the maximum amount of LED (light-emitting diode) light therapy coverage for the best possible results. When these wavelengths are in contact with the skin, they immediately activate specific cells to renew and regenerate—resulting in immediately fresher, smoother and younger looking skin.
Users have seen improvements in skin tone, texture and firmness, not to mention feeling a boost in confidence after use. Independent clinical studies have also shown that this mask is 31% more effective than any other mask currently on the market; one of the main reasons why it's a must-have for celebrity groomers and makeup artists like Gareth Bromell.