The One Product Everyone Needs in Their Makeup Bag (According to Mary Phillips and Jen Atkin)

Kendall, Bella, and Chrissy’s go-to glam squad on their latest product obsession & what it’s really like to work the Met Gala. In collaboration with La Mer.

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Jake Rosenberg, Mike Rosenthal
Director: Mike Rosenthal

We all have that one beauty-obsessed friend who’s quick to notice even the most minor cosmetic tweak you’ve made—the tiniest of trims or a new shade of blush—and is the first to offer up their time-tested tips and product reccos. But what happens when both friends are the beauty-obsessed one?

To find out, we spent the day reimagining the FaceTime calls of two of the most prominent power duos in the beauty industry—celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta and YouTuber Desi Perkins, and celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips and hairstylist Jen Atkin. We also came away with a new favorite product in the process: La Mer Pressed Powder.

Forget the drying, cake-y powders of your makeup bag’s past—this one is equal parts skin care (it’s infused with La Mer’s iconic Miracle Broth, aka their literal secret sauce) and makeup, and is the answer to nailing the flawless complexion of everyone’s dreams. But enough from us—we’ll let Mary and Jen tell you all about it instead.

 

Mary: “Jen was working with Andy Lecompte, and we were working with Nicole Richie—this was about 13 or 14 years ago? She can literally talk to or with anyone. She’s so warm and talkative, I’m more shy and quiet. She definitely helped our relationship progress in that sense, her openness.”

Jen: “I’ve always loved Mary because she will remind me of things that have happened years ago. It’s always fun to laugh about the early days of our careers. When I say we have paid our dues, we have PAID OUR DUES.”

 

Jen: “Mary and I understand how to work well together, and take turns having a moment. I know whenever I’m on a job with her it’s going to be a really great day. She is one of the most talented makeup geniuses, and has ZERO ego. I think that’s why she’s had such a wildly successful career.”

Mary: “We always talk about our ideas before the client gets there, always having fun, joking back and forth. There’s just a flow to the way we work that feels effortless. At least I hope the client agrees!”

Jen: “I would have to say what we did together for Met Ball this year was a lot of fun. We got to do Chrissy Teigen, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner together and the day was so fun.”

Mary: “[My favorite look we’ve worked on together was] Jennifer Lopez’s ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ music video. We created so many different and fun looks together for that video. One of them was with the Versace jungle Grammys dress that had been redone into a jumpsuit.

“And for sure Kendall Jenner in that Giambattista Valli dress at Cannes this year! Timeless. It looked like a movie.”

 

Jen: “[I love] the La Mer Pressed Powder because it doesn’t get caked up. At age 37, I’m all about it!”

Mary: “You can wear it all day and it never gets cakey, never makes you look dry, or creases. I love knowing it’s doing something good for my skin while I’m wearing it. Makeup that actually improves your skin—yes, please.

“I like to set foundation with it by using the big powder brush, and then for touch-ups I like to use the little pad that’s in the compact.”

Jen: “She honestly is so good about sharing new products that she believes in.”

Mary: “I love La Mer’s Cleansing Micellar Water for removing makeup, and I love knowing that you don’t actually have to remove it after. And The Intensive Revitalizing Mask... Just sleep with it on, wake up, and your skin is so beautiful.”

Jen: “The first time I tried La Mer was because of Mary. I was addicted to Crème de la Mer the first time I used it.”

Mary: “The first time I was even able to buy a jar, I just thought it was heaven. I believe I bought it from Neiman’s in Beverly Hills, and it lived up to every expectation I had. I’ve never used anything since! Just having it in my bathroom made me feel very rich, and I most definitely was not!”

 

Mary: “I’m going to say this because I think it needs to be said. Jen is exactly who you think she is and who you want her to be. My favorite quality in her is that she wants to help everyone get further; I’ve never seen anything like it! She recommends other hairdressers to her clients, always trying to elevate other people’s careers, always, always. That is for real, that is her, and that is rare. Trust me. She’s just so loyal; I would never doubt that she didn’t have my back.”

Jen: “To someone who didn’t know her, I’d describe Mary as talented, so hardworking, thoughtful, dedicated...and pretty AF!”

 

Jen: “Mary teaches me all of the time. She helped me nail my winged eyeliner. She also has taught me a thing or two about brows.”

Mary: “Jen’s always trying to get me to cut my hair short. She taught me how to curl my hair with a flatiron. She pinned me in the kitchen at Chrissy [Teigen]’s house and attacked me with Ouai’s Dry Shampoo—I didn’t want any of it in my hair because I had just blow-dried it and I thought the ‘mousse’ would weigh it down—I ended up having one of my best hair days, ever!”

 

Mary: “Yes, we keep each other motivated—with coffee and Diet Coke.”

Jen: “In a way I feel like we survived the glam world Hunger Games, and are still standing for the next movie! We both have such a passion for what we do. And let’s be real... We get to travel the world and make a living off of making pretty people pretty. I love watching Mary continue to push herself and grow as an artist. And I hope I die before her so she can do my makeup for my funeral!”

Mary: “Sometimes friends and family might not always be able to get the hours, schedules, travel, all of that. We just really understand each other. Jen and Jen’s career have been inspirations to me. She motivates me to do more.

“When La Mer wanted to work with me, I felt so…elated! Very much surreal, for sure! Just from being able to hope I could one day use a single La Mer product, to being obsessed with it personally and using it on every client I’ve ever had. It sort of feels like a dream.”

 

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