In makeup artist Pati Dubroff’s process, we trust.
With high-profile clients like Margot Robbie, Kaia Gerber and Priyanka Chopra sharing a seat in her makeup chair, Pati Dubroff knows a thing or two about painting famous faces. The Chanel makeup artist finds a desirable balance between soft yet sultry in her artistry — favouring fresh skin with a smouldering eye and a subtle pop of colour on the lip — that makes us all wonder how she does it. So when our beauty director Natasha Boateng had the chance to speak to Dubroff, FASHION sought to answer just that.
Before she even picks up her first makeup brush, Dubroff takes the time (15 to 20 minutes to be precise) to massage her client’s skin and ensure she starts with a clean slate. Suffice it to say, skincare prep is a non-negotiable for this artiste. This makes her new ambassador role with Weleda Skin Food a fitting appointment (the Swiss-German brand recently expanded on its cult-classic product with an entire face range). As for the rest of her beauty ritual, we got Dubroff to break it down for us. From her best skincare secrets and makeup kit must-haves to the unorthodox beauty hack she once used at the Met Gala — we’re spilling it all here.
RELATED: The Best Met Gala Beauty Looks Ever — Period
Pati Dubroff’s prep process:
“These days — and these days being the past few years — I’ve noticed a huge difference in prepping the skin with tools, as in actual movement and manipulation, for lack of a better word. It makes such a big difference in getting the skin enlivened so that I then don’t need as much foundation; I don’t need as much makeup to make the skin look glowy and alive because it’s been rejuvenated with the use of tools and a massage. Even though it’s more work for me, it makes them look more vibrant and feel less stress in their faces. It’s like a perk-up. That said, I’ll always make sure that someone’s skin is clean first, as that’s most important — not everybody sits down at my makeup chair with clean skin. The new Weleda Skin Food Care Nourishing Oil-to-Milk Cleanser is the perfect trick for that.”
Her favourite skincare tools:
“The one I like to use the most is by a Japanese brand called ReFa. The quality of the metal used is excellent and it’s very thoughtfully designed. It may look like just your average handle with the two roller balls, but this tools isn’t just a straight up-and-down roller. The two balls actually mimic the grip of fingertips in massage as you’re rolling. I’m always telling people, ‘Don’t buy the cheap ones on Amazon that look the same!’ They’re not. And then, I think gua sha facial tools are beautiful. I have one made of metal from Face Gym and I like to keep it in the refrigerator. After massaging with my ReFa or the microcurrent ZIIP or the NuFACE, I’ll use my cold Face Gym tool to do some more massaging with a cold blast.”
Dubroff’s favourite foundation of all time:
“I’ve been using a brand from Japan, Suqqu, pretty exclusively for, like, 15 to 18 years — maybe longer. It’s the most beautiful formula.”
“I use blotting papers from Chanel (I’m so extra!), but I also love the ones from Selena Gomez’s line Rare Beauty. She has this really great compact that comes with a set of blotting papers, a powder puff and a mirror. It’s my favourite thing for touch-ups because I like to add a tiny bit of loose powder to the puff. I’ll then use the blotting paper over that makeup application to pick up extra shine as the day goes on, instead of layering powder upon powder upon powder.”
The essential beauty items in Pati Dubroff’s carry-on luggage:
“If I’m travelling and don’t have at least one full day buffer before I have to work, then I’ll bring a tiny makeup kit, along with my brushes and tools, for my clients because if my checked bags don’t make it, I need to know that I’ll be able to do my job. And luckily, when I travel I [typically] know who I’m working with, so I know their shades and I can even get an idea of what they’re wearing so I can plan it out. In my personal kit, I like to put my favourite creams into smaller jars and I always have a facial mist. I make sure that I have a good lip balm and I always have eye drops, too, for when I land. I also carry remedies, like Thieves Oil and nasal spray with some iodine in it to keep the nasal passages clean and open. I’ll pack eye masks from Bioeffect and a facial sheet mask that I’ll sometimes pull out if I’m bored on longer flights, because why not!”
Her absolute favourite Chanel lipstick shade:
“Chanel Rouge Coco Flash No. 53 Chicness is the perfect nude that doesn’t look too dull or too grey. I use it on everybody, including myself. It’s probably the colour I use on Margot Robbie the most.”
Dubroff’s unconventional beauty hacks:
“One time I got Priyanka Chopra ready for the Met Gala and she had these Swarovski crystals applied as a bindi and as a beauty mark. I didn’t have the professional stuff that people would use to apply face gems, so I used eyelash glue to hold those gemstones in place and it worked perfectly. I’ve also literally used berries and cherries to make blush or to stain lips before.”