My Beauty Story: Kelly Cornwell

A favourite with A-listers and an expert on all the best skincare brands, makeup artist Kelly Cornwell shares her beauty must-haves.

Actresses Elizabeth Hurley, Claire Foy, Alicia Vikander and Daisy Ridley are just a few of the A-listers who have makeup artist Kelly Cornwell on speed dial.

We don’t blame them. Kelly is a woman who is obsessed with making other women look and feel beautiful. Starting with great skin. She’s an enthusiast, and just five minutes in her company will have you wanting to throw out all your existing skincare and swap it for her recommendations.

Whether it’s a glossy magazine cover, an advertising campaign or red carpet glam, Kelly is renowned for creating beauty looks that enhance rather than smother. In other words, makeup that women really really love because they still look and feel like themselves – just a little bit better!

So what we really want to know is, what are the beauty products that Kelly swears by for her own midlife skin. Here are the things she uses day in, day out. Shopping list at the ready.

Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Protection SPF50, £25.50

Bobbi Brown primer

This product is a must and I use it every day. It’s a lightweight, fast-absorbing face primer that enhances the quality of your foundation, while delivering invisible broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

It’s perfect for layering under makeup because it applies evenly and invisibly. You apply your moisturiser, then this on top, before your foundation or tint.

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Dr Dennis Gross Spectralite FaceWare Pro, £430

Dr Gross Spectralite

Ok, this is a game changer. I’m a massive LED light fan, which I started using about five years ago when I went on a trip to Korea and bought my first mask. It was heavy and you had to lay flat for 20 mins, which isn’t easy with two young children!

Things have moved on and come a long way since then. Now I’ve found the perfect mask. It’s lightweight and has a three-minute setting. More importantly, you can wear it around the house as it’s cordless.

I have noticed a massive difference in my skin texture. Wrinkles have become smoother and the tone of my skin is much clearer. The LED light penetrates deep within the skin’s dermis to boost collagen production and smooth fine lines. The blue light destroys acne-causing bacteria, which helps clear mild to moderate acne. The red light also works on sun spots, age spots and discolouration.

I would recommend this product to anyone – three minutes a day is not much to ask and the results are worth it. 

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Sisley-Paris Black Rose Cream Mask, £124

Sisley Black Rose

This is one product I can’t live without. I use it on every client to prep before a red carpet, press interviews, TV… every time, this is what I apply.

It offers your skin “instant youth”. Rich in active anti-ageing ingredients, it immediately gets to work on signs of fatigue and leaves skin looking youthful and energised in just 10 to 15 minutes. Which is why I swear by it.

Immediately hydrated and plumped, skin is visibly smoother, the signs of ageing are reduced and you look less fatigued. You get your radiance back. I wouldn’t do anyone’s makeup without it.

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Lumity Morning & Night Female Supplements, £74


I have been taking these for three months now and I am starting to notice a difference in my sleeping, and also in my nails and hair. I’ve tried in the past to take supplements but they always made me feel sick. These don’t. They’re soft gels so they absorb fast and don’t take time to break down – so you don’t get the nauseous feeling.

The benefits include zinc and iodine to increase energy and focus, and vitamins A,C, and D to support healthy cells. Omega 3 is in them to renew collagen formation, hair and nails, and amino acids promote skin and radiance.

Selenium and lodine contributes to normal thyroid function and routine production of thyroid hormones, also helps against stress and boost your metabolism, see below an article about taking Lumity while going through the menopause. 

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Slip Silk Pillow Case, £85


Ever woken up with a sleep crease? As skin ages, it loses elasticity – cue the creasing. The creases, which are caused by friction and pressure on facial skin, can become more pronounced and longer-lasting as you get older. They usually go away later the same day, but can be gradually “ironed in” over the years.

All of which explains why sleeping on silk is a great expert beauty tip and a long-time beauty secret. It has been shown to reduce friction by 43% on average, allowing skin to glide along the pillow, which can reduce pressure on creased skin.

I use the pillows at home and I travel with a pillow case and sleep mask. Wherever I am, I can pop the pillow case on the hotel pillow for a great night’s sleep, which is so important.

We spend a third of our lives in bed. Slip’s silk pillowcases were also shown to absorb significantly less face cream than cotton pillowcases, so they can help keep your skin’s moisture and valuable face and hair products where they belong, on your face and hair.

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Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion Skincare Foundation, £122


A fresh, water-based foundation formula with smoothing and anti-pollution skincare ingredients that blur imperfections and leave skin looking flawless.

Lightweight and instantly perfecting, the refillable soft cushion compact makes building coverage beautifully simple. Apply with the puff for a natural, fresh finish or apply with your fingers for even more ease. 

When applying, only use in areas that are needed, like around the nose, cheek and chin. You don’t have to use all over the face. Less is more.

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