Mary Lambie Interview
Back in 2011, when I heard Mary Lambie was speaking at a local women’s business event, I used the power of social networking site, LinkedIn, to contact her and request an interview. Having been in broadcasting for 20 years (including ‘Good Morning’), but recently making the switch to operating a Subway franchise, I figured she’d have something to say about makeup, practicality and life.
Mary agreed to chat where she was staying at the Sebel Hotel and, in return, I applied her makeup for the event while we talked. Her three energetic children were in tow, having come down that day from Auckland for a weekend-long volunteer recognition event. Mary’s husband, Jim Mora (of TV’s ‘Mucking In’), was to arrive later.
Makeup Mishaps and Challenges
Having set up my kit in her apartment, I ask Mary whether she has any favourite makeup techniques.
“Because I very rarely do my own I don’t have any great tricks. It pays to spend some time with your eye lashes – lengthen them, curl them, really mascara them well. Good use of brushes. I’m not really big on sponges, I tend to use a brush over a sponge and sometimes fingers, because fingers seem to warm up the foundation so it looks a bit more natural and blends in a bit quicker.”
I open my makeup kit to start applying her makeup. “That’s a very tidy makeup box, compared to Paula’s,” she chuckles. And I’m stoked. All the various brands I use and their mismatching product make my kit look a bit ‘mish-mash’, but if it’s tidier than that of a TV makeup artist’s, I’m quietly pleased…
What technique has most changed the way Mary applies makeup? “The foundation and how people put it on. I remember, it started with fingers and then they moved to sponges and they used to disintegrate all over the place, then everyone went to brushes. Another techniques that’s changed is quite a few of the artists do eyes first, then foundation last. I’m not sure if I like that, I’m not sold on it, but quite a few do that.”
Any memorable makeup mishaps? “One day for the TV I had a big purple [eye makeup] look going on and, blow me down, my eyes wouldn’t stop watering. They just ran and ran. I think it was just the once as the girl wasn’t my normal makeup artist. But I just remember when I walked into the studio and the lights were really bright, my eyes were streaming and mascara was going everywhere. There was a great big fuss of panic and we had about a minute until going to air. My makeup artist said it would settle down but of course it didn’t, it got progressively worse through the course of that morning, and the more I thought about it the more they seemed to water. It was just dreadful. Even thinking about it now makes my eyes water.”
I ask whether she’s ever experienced ‘bad’ makeup backstage: “No-one wants to get out of the makeup chair looking worse than when they went in and when that happens it’s soul-destroying because there’s never any time to repair it. Some makeup artists just don’t have the knack. I’ve certainly encountered that. And you know professional hands. You can tell very quickly whether they’re onto it…or not.”
Of what beauty asset is Mary most proud? “I’m told I’ve got good hair. It can do anything, it behaves itself.”
And current skin challenges? “Wrinkles. Fighting dryness. I use less foundation now. Foundation on an old skin looks hideous, It gets stuck in the crevices. It looks so dreadful, but they still pile it on for the cameras.” But there’s still a need for foundation: “A good foundation evens you out, so you’re not a blotchy face, you’re even-toned, one colour. And there are some beautiful foundations out there.”
So how do you look so well-groomed? “I don’t,” Mary says matter-of-factly. “The key to being well-groomed is good shoes. Good shoes, good jewels. Good skin is good too, you’ve got to take care of the base layers.”
In a world of changing trends, and complicated style do’s and don’ts, this is sound advice. Thanks for chatting, Mary!