How gorgeous is Emmanuelle Chriqui? Gorgeous and nice. I've met the Canadian actress (best-known for her roles on Entourage and The Mentalist) on two occasions now, and both times she was so sweet and down-to-earth that I kind of forgot I was talking to an actual celebrity. Most recently, when she was in Toronto earlier this summer to talk to the press about Mineral Fusion, she even hugged me goodbye. (Hugged me!) Maybe it was because we'd just bonded over oily skin, Botox and bad makeup jobs during lunch with her makeup artist, Anna Nenoiu, and Mineral Fusion's marketing VP and publicist—a conversation that I'm going to share with you today!
Mineral Fusion has been increasing their distribution in Canada lately, so you might've noticed the makeup range at your local Whole Foods, London Drugs or Loblaws recently. In the U.S., it's been around since 2006 and is the leading natural cosmetics line, featuring products that are 100 percent free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances. Emmanuelle, who is hugely into natural beauty and is an activist for Raise Hope for Congo (an organization that raises awareness for victims of domestic violence), became Mineral Fusion's spokesperson in 2012.
Here's what Emmanuelle, Anna and I talked about—and a peek at some of the top products in the line. I've been testing them out and colour me impressed, too!
What do you love about the Mineral Fusion line?
Emmanuelle: I'm excited for you to play with it because it's really, really unlike anything you've tried before. That, I'm certain of. It's really important to be natural with what you put on your skin. I'm super-sensitive and the fact that I can wear the Pressed Powder Foundation and it's helped my skin is amazing.
Anna: I was thrilled when I received some of it because I'm celiac, so the fact that it's gluten-free really goes to my heart. I also have a wide range of clients that have highly sensitive skin.
What's the most popular Mineral Fusion product?
Anna: Believe it or not, the mascara is the number one seller. When it's a mineral-based line, you always have reservations about the mascara. Does it work, does it not work? Because building lashes is so important. With a natural mascara, there is less chance of burning or irritation. While mineral colours can be limited when you get into the yellows, blues and reds, with black you get a really good black. [Editor's note: It's true—this is the one of the nicest and blackest mascaras I've tried.]
Emmanuelle: The black eyeliner is my favourite black eyeliner that I've ever used. EVER used. I have it in my purse. [Pulls a well-loved eyeliner out of her makeup bag.]
Anna: You can tell how much she likes it.
Emmanuelle: It's really black. It's not greyish. It's kind of amazing.
Anna: The Pressed Powder Foundations [which come in 12 shades] are also bestsellers. I would say it's a medium coverage, but you can use them to touch up throughout the day.
Emmanuelle: You can do it super-light. When I do the powder, sometimes I just do right on the T-zone, and if I have some redness I'll do it only there and not all over. Or if I need to build it, it's nice and it doesn't look powdery. But if I have shine, I blot, or there is a Setting Powder to take shine away. If I keep adding the Pressed Powder Foundation without setting, I would eventually just be really oily.
How do you use a powder foundation without looking dry and cakey?
Anna: It really depends on how you apply your makeup. Just like with everything else, you have to have the right tools for it. A lot of people ask why the Pressed Powder Foundation doesn't come with the little sponge. That's not the optimum way to apply this pressed powder. All pressed powders work best with a professional brush. I prefer to use the blush brush. [Editor's note: Mineral Fusion also makes a range of brushes, including kabuki and blender brushes.]
Emmanuelle: I have such oily skin that I'm going to be super-dewy even with the Powder Foundation. If I do some liquidy thing, I'm dripping. It's not even cute.
Anna: As a rule of thumb, all women want to be matte in the centre and dewy just on the cheeks so you look fresh and sun-kissed. Dewy in the right spots and matte in the right spots.
While Emmanuelle prefers the powder, I personally like the Sheer Tint Foundation. My skin is combination, so I like the way it feels like a lotion; I like that it has a soothing element in it; I like the fact that I can apply it with my fingers. But if you use the Tint, you need very, very little because it has quite a high coverage.
The key is to let your personal beauty shine through. A woman always looks beautiful when her skin is as bare as possible. Obviously you want to correct and cover up certain imperfections and you want to illuminate certain parts of your face, like bring out your eyes or have a pop of lip. But we all covet perfect skin.
Is Mineral Fusion the only makeup line that you use, Emmanuelle?
Emmanuelle: Mostly in my own life, yes. So the big things like the foundation, the concealer, the eyeliner, the blush. I'm so particular about my lips, so I don't use the lipstick. But we're going to fix that. I just always want to cancel out my purple lips and it takes a combination of colours to do that for the ultimate pale lip. So I kind of use a bunch of different things.
What about when you're working?
Emmanuelle: I wear it for red carpet if I'm doing my own makeup. When I'm on set, I'll always introduce the line to the makeup artist. We'll always use something on set, whether it's the eyeliner or the blush, because it's my favourite. I did this pilot where she actually loved using the powder foundations and it worked. So I think it really depends on the makeup artist. I don't like to force it too much, you know what I mean? Everybody likes their own thing; every artist likes to work the way they work and I don't want to infringe on that. But certainly when I've introduced it to makeup artists they've all really loved it.
Anna, have you learned any tips from working with Emmanuelle?
Anna: When you're working with a celebrity, you always learn from them because they have a particular way; it's very different when you're working with a model. With a model, you create the look for them. With celebrities, it's really important to respect the integrity of how they like to look and how they like to wear their makeup. Most importantly, they have to feel comfortable and beautiful.
So working with Emmanuelle, I learned that she loves the Blush in Creation and loves applying it as an eyeshadow. So we've done a bit of eyeshadow, a smoky eye and then a little bit of the blush as an eyeshadow and you apply a tiny bit under the eyes, too. What that does is really brighten brown eyes and olive complexions.
Do you have any tips for making makeup last?
Anna: We've done Emmanuelle's makeup at 4:30 this morning and she's still wearing it. [Editor's note: By this time, it was about 1:00 pm.] We didn't do a touch-up. There's actually a primer that Mineral Fusion has. Having primer on the eyelids is really important because you get your eyeshadow on and it just creases in the middle throughout the day. There are natural oils all over your skin that make the makeup wear off. If you're just doing primer in the T-zone, it's really nice to smooth that across your eyelids, too. It will make your makeup last for so much longer.
Another wonderful product from this line is the Hydration Mist, which you can put on top of makeup as a foundation setter (or apply on clean skin). Also, after I do the mascara, I like to put a little bit of powder directly underneath the eyes because sometimes the wax comes off and you have these whiskers.
What are some of the biggest makeup mistakes?
Anna: I think it was Nicole Kidman. There was a picture of her on the red carpet and she had white powder. I'm not sure if they were trying to mattify the skin, highlight the skin or was it was just a mistake? Obviously was. It looked like someone had put baby powder on her face.
Emmanuelle: It was horrible. Or when Kate Winslet was on a press tour for an HBO thing. I guess she has a lot of blonde hair on her face. They had done the powder and it was sitting on top of her face, like on the hairs. I was like, no, no, no. Who would go out like that? Are you kidding?
Do you have any makeup horror stories of your own?
Emmanuelle: No, thank God. Because I'm way too much of a control freak. I will always let a makeup artist do their thing and then I'll go to the bathroom and do my thing. I mean, it's my face. I need to go out and feel good, you know what I mean? Now, I don't even take that chance anymore. Now, there are just certain things I know.
Yesterday, we did a photo shoot together. Right before Anna even started, I said to her, can you make sure when you're doing my eyes that you do the shadow round as opposed to pulled out? Because most makeup artists learn, I guess, to pull out an eye. And on me, my eyes are already so almond that I look Asian when you do that. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm not that. And for me I also want to open my eyes; because they're so almond, I like them to be bigger rather than squintier. So there are certain things that I just say right off the top so there are no surprises. And I guess like anything in life, communication is key.
Anna: Communication is key and I think that we all know our own faces the best, you know? So don't be afraid when you're getting your makeup done for whatever event to say, look, this is what I really like and this is what I really don't like because you have to feel beautiful at the end of the day. Nobody will get offended. Just communicate whatever it is that makes you happy.
Do you have a go-to makeup look?
Emmanuelle: If it's anything special outside of every day, it's generally a smoky eye or variation of a smoky eye. I like to do a smoky eye but sometimes do smoky purple or smoky pinks or smoky navy. And the pale lip. I love that.
How do you feel about wearing more dramatic makeup trends?
Emmanuelle: I love a hot pink lip when it's appropriate with the outfit. It's fun that we get to recreate ourselves all the time. If you're going to go for it, then go for it. But if I'm going to do a bold lip, then I really want my skin to be minimal and have my eyes popping but just because of my lashes—I don't want tons of shadow and liner. I just want my lips. Less is more. Sometimes when you see dark eyes and dark lips, you're like, seriously, what are you doing? It's just a look I've never liked anyway, I just think it's too much. So I love trying new things, but my most comfortable is a pale lip. I just think I look better in it.
What is your skincare routine like?
Emmanuelle: I just keep my face clean. Usually after cleansing, I'll use the Hydration Mist or the Facial Toner. They're both super-soothing and hydrating. I'm really simple. I clean my face every night, every morning, eye cream, a little zit cream sometimes, the mist, and that's it.
I don't get facials. I probably should. But because I have such sensitive skin, I'm afraid. I'm like, no, no, you don't understand, please no oily product, no heavy product. Inevitably, every time except maybe once or twice, I break out. And I'm like, I was way better off without this facial. So I don't. I love to do a de-puffing or an anti-dark circle eye treatment. Things that just refresh and hydrate. But I really don't mess with my skin so much.
What about before a big event—do you do anything special?
Emmanuelle: No, nothing special. I've tried oxygen facials. It's a wonderful thing, but I'm not going to do it before every single red carpet. If I could, I would. If I had someone who was like, why don't I come over and give you an oxygen treatment... I'd be like, sure! I'm very low-maintenance. I think it's better that way. Because then I think I'd be afraid to leave the house if I had a super-complicated routine. Once you start, there are so many things you need to do as a woman.
Do you think following a healthy lifestyle is important?
Emmanuelle: I definitely try as much as I can. This is tried and true and everybody has said this at some point, but I think staying hydrated is important. I drink a lot of water. It gives you a clearer complexion; it makes all your organs act properly. I recently put an alkaline water system in my house. Naturally, we're very acidic due to all the madness we live in. To be alkaline is good for your health; it's good for everything.
How do you deal with the pressure to look good in Hollywood?
Emmanuelle: Trust me, I freak out like everyone else. I look at my face and I'm like, oh my God, what happened this year? But then I immediately have another voice that's like, yeah, guess what, you're not 25 anymore. This is what happens. I have a real desire to age gracefully. I admire it in other women. I think it's a beautiful quality. I think ultimately beauty is far more than skin deep. It's so much more about how you present yourself and what's important to you. I think that's really beautiful. So for now, it's fine. I don't know what it's going to be like when I'm 45.
Who do you admire in Hollywood?
Emmanuelle:Robin Wright. She hasn't had any work done. She looks amazing. She's almost 50. She's petite and doesn't have that extra weight that fills out your face and she still looks beautiful. Diane Lane. It's hard to tell these days who does stuff and who doesn't. I think if you get it done well, then that's good. That's the point; it looks natural and nobody knows. I think what's more disturbing is when you see much younger actresses messing with their faces. That just seems sad to me because it's like, oh my God, this is the most beautiful time of your life and you're already going to start altering it? You haven't even enjoyed it yet.
How do you feel about cosmetic interventions?
Emmanuelle: Recently I was filming and I was looking at some footage and I was like, oh my God, for sure I could do some Botox. I was talking to my director and he was like, you're crazy! You're an actress. You're acting and there's expression. It's gotten to your head because you're so used to seeing people act with no expression. I promise on my life, I did not notice that. And I was like okay, I'm a girl, I'm allowed to sweat it for a second. Because it's available you go, should I, shouldn't I? I just know that I want to age gracefully and try it that way before I resort to anything else.
An actress who believes in beauty from the inside out—and actually walks the talk? Amazing. Thanks, Emmanuelle!
Now, tell me:
Does Emmanuelle's approach to beauty resonate with you?
Are you a mineral makeup fan?
Have you checked out the Mineral Fusion line yet?