Grace Ellington’s working days are anything but boring. She has one of those enviable ‘slash’ careers, comfortably inhabiting two worlds: that of make-up artist and model. One minute she’s behind the camera, the next she’s in front of it. You might find her powdering the noses of Russian royalty or strutting her stuff for a swimwear campaign. We caught up with this Bomb Petite model and style guru to get a few fashion and beauty tips!
How would you describe your personal style?
I love colour and actually I think having a smaller canvas means you can pull off splashy colour without being obnoxious. I also am a huge fan of cropped things. Cropped jeans, especially at the moment cropped kick flares, cropped shirts and sleeves all make me feel elongated and showcase the slimmest, most elegant parts of the body. In general I am a bit of a magpie and think I often end up hopefully on the right side of eclectic. One thing I always wear is heels. Some things are more important than comfort!
What do you love most about being petite?
I love being petite because I get to to go on peoples’ shoulders at concerts and people always help me carry my suitcase down the stairs! But besides these huge perks one of the things I love most about being small is you have the ability to surprise people. I think being petite means sometimes people can underestimate you and think you are shy or cute. That’s my chance to be bold and confident and defy expectations.
Do you feel that being petite limits what you can wear?
I don’t think there is anything you can’t wear if you are petite as long as it is tailored properly! This is why Bomb Petite is such a godsend. I have too many jumpsuits in my closet with a crotch that hangs by my knees. I always used to buy these things and promise myself I would get them tailored but it never happened and I think most women are realistically too busy to go find a tailor and do it with every item they buy. When you know you’re buying something thats been made with your frame in mind the only limit you have is how daring you feel.
I always used to buy these things and promise myself I would get them tailored but it never happened and I think most women are realistically too busy to go find a tailor and do it with every item they buy.
What’s the one piece in your closet you’ll never get rid of?
Two pieces, I can’t choose! One is a beautiful tailored leather pencil skirt that makes me feel instantly powerful and sleek and the other is a bright orange faux fur which is the best conversation starter and injects a bit of needed brightness into grey days in London.
What new season trend are you excited about the most?
One thing I have found really interesting this season is the amazing sleeve shapes. Such a cool quirky way to mix up an outfit. I especially like the flared shirt cuffs with a slim fit sleeve, it feels romantic and modern. I really love the beautiful shade of blue Roksanda created to commemorate the late designer Richard Nicoll. It’s a dreamy shade that feels so fresh and I think is a perfect tribute.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve picked up in your work as a make-up artist?
The number one rule to learn that I think will instantly change the way you approach your makeup bag is to disregard the product’s intended purpose. Essentially you have pencils, powders, creams, liquids and glosses – now go play. Use your lipstick as a cream blush, a rosy creamy eye tint, whatever – it’s all just packaging.
What’s the best ‘quick fix’ tip you have?
Buy one of those French pharmacy thermal water sprays – Avene or La Roche Posey or even Evian – and use it to refresh your makeup. It will reactivite your base and rescue foundation and powder that’s started to crease and cake, bringing life back to your skin.
If you have just 5 minutes to pull together a fresh face in the morning, what do you do?
First a fresh face starts with skincare. Really massage your oil or moisturiser into your skin to get your circulation pumping. Then light foundation like Mac Face and Body applied just like a moisturiser. Let your freckles and any small imperfections show through! It’s more youthful looking and much more charming than a heavy base. I’d tap a little Bobbi Brown Corrector in salmon, which is a pink shade, onto my lower eye contour (pink leaning concealers will offset undereye greyness). Then I will use a brow gel to brush my brows upwards and make them bushy and use Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince Sheer Pink lip colour on both my lips and cheeks. I will do everything with my fingers to allow the product to warm up and melt into my skin.
What are your three must-have products for skin, hair and makeup?
For skin I love Bioderma which is the gentlest most effective remover ever – I use it on everyone. Egyptian Magic cream I love and I also use Kryolan’s Shimmering Event Foundation in Pearl a lot which is an amazing illuminating cream which doesn’t have the pink tone of MAC’s Strobe Cream. Makeup-wise RMS Living Luminizer and Buruti Bronzer and a Japanese brand called DHC makes an unrivalled liquid eyeliner. I have to admit I don’t do much with my hair! I use Lush shampoo bars and NUXE Dry Oil Huile Prodigiuse and that’s about it!
What’s your beauty regimen like?
My skin is really sensitive so I stick with the basics and use coconut oil, and French pharmacy products mostly. I do something different everyday with my makeup! My only rule is fresh skin that can breathe and isn’t smothered with product.
How do you stay fit?
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga changed my life and I try to practice daily
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your work as a model and make-up artist?
Hmmm… there’s been a lot of crazy things but recently I did princess Olga Romanov’s makeup for a documentary about Tatiana Romanov who they say may have escaped Russia and ended up in Lyd Kent. That was pretty cool, although she hates makeup so we did very little with her – but an amazing woman to meet. Modelling I would say a shoot I did for a Lara Ventura swimwear campaign that involved swimming around in a huge bath filled with pink dye, sequins, foam and flowers. That was fun!