The Hamilton Spectator

Get glowing

Genius celebrity skin care tips you can use every day from Margot Robbie’s go-to complexion whisperer


You might not be familiar with Pati Dubroff’s name, but you’ve definitely seen her work. The Hollywood makeup artist has been painting A-list faces for decades now, getting stars ready for countless red carpets, cover shoots and TV appearance­s.

Margot Robbie’s perenniall­y flawless, is-this-woman-an-angel-or-something makeup? That’s all her. Dubroff’s enviable client roster also includes Elizabeth Olsen, Kirsten Dunst, Priyanka Chopra, Kaia Gerber — the list goes on.

But while she may be famous for her mastery of makeup, for Dubroff, everything starts with skin care. She’s known to spend a good chunk of time prepping the skin, massaging and moisturizi­ng and massaging some more until she achieves a perfectly plump canvas. “Every time I work with someone, whether they’re 19 or 59, I see the difference in what their skin looks like after — it’s so incredible,” she says. “It’s definitely become what my clients expect of me.” Here, Dubroff lets us in on her skin-transformi­ng secrets.

How has your relationsh­ip to skin care evolved?

“As a younger person, I was very blessed with good skin, so I would take care of it, but I didn’t have to put too much focus on it. Then, when I got into my early twenties, I started developing psoriasis patches, which were directly related to what was going on with my health and well-being. That was one of my first cues that I really needed to pay attention to what my skin was saying because it was telling me a bigger story. It was reflecting a lack of sleep and too much stress, too much sugar, blah, blah, blah. So that’s when I started to pay more attention. And then, with me taking better care of my own skin, I started doing that with my clients’ skin, too.”

How do you prep a client’s skin for a big event?

“I first want to make sure the skin is clean. I used to use wipes but I hate all the waste so now I’m going to use the new Weleda Skin Food Nourishing Oil-to-Milk Cleanser. (Dubroff, a long-time fan of Weleda’s original Skin Food, recently partnered with the brand.)

It’s wonderful because if there’s a little residual, it’s not a bad thing — it’s going to help the process. Next, I would do the Weleda Skin Food day cream. It’s lovely in that it feels serum-like, so it makes a really good base to move a gua sha or ReFa roller around. I work those tools around the bottom half of the face while they have eye masks on.

I’ll often use a micro-current tool like NuFace or Ziip, then I’ll go in and do more work with a tool that doesn’t have a charge wherever someone needs more of a lift. Very often, I’ll also use a cold tool, like some cryo globes if I have the ability to keep them cold, and I’ll focus that around the eye area, after taking the eye masks off, or anywhere else I want to brighten or make less puffy.

Then, I’ll look at the skin and assess: ‘OK, do I need to add primer or do I just go in with moisturize­r?’ If it’s moisturize­r, I would usually focus the product on the perimeter of the face, avoiding the centre. If someone really needs to be mattified in the T-zone, then I’ll apply a mattifying primer in that area. And then they’re ready for foundation — I always use two shades for dimension.”

Do you do all these steps on yourself when getting ready in the morning?

“I wish! (Laughs)] If I need to step up my game or I have the time, then yeah, sure. It’s not as often as I could or should, but every time I do it, it makes such a difference. You can do one side of the face and see a very noticeable difference.”

What is your typical morning routine?

“As far as beauty goes, it’s pretty simple in the morning. I ask myself. ‘What does my skin need today?’ In the last few days, it’s been really angry so it needed something healing. Other days, when it’s more straightfo­rward, I’ll just use something like a serum. I have one from Bioeffect I like. The new Skin Food (day) cream is also in the mix, as is the Skin Food lip balm. I also like Tata Harper’s hydrating floral mist for when I need a little boost. And I like sunscreen from Supergoop! Those are light and they don’t leave too much of a cast or too much texture. I don’t break out from those whereas with a lot of sunscreens, I can get really reactive.”

What about your evening routine?

“The evening is when I get a little more complicate­d with my skin care regimen. I cleanse at least once, sometimes twice if my skin’s not angry. I also take a bath every night — that’s my ritual to unwind. So in the bath is when I devote time to cleansing and masking — sometimes I’ll use three masks. I’ll put one on and then take it off and be like, ‘Oh, that felt good. That was a purifying one, now I need something more hydrating,’ and then I’ll do another mask. I’m in the bath for a long time. It’s my happy place. I keep all my masks there, I like the ones from Tata Harper and Susanne Kaufmann. Usually, they’re cream masks. Sheet masks I reserve more for during the middle of the day. If I feel like I just need to get quiet and chill out, I’ll put on a sheet mask; I like the ones from a company called knesko. One of the reasons being that it prevents me from getting up and doing stuff or looking at my phone. It’s like a reminder: “Lie down, be still, let this thing do its thing while everything else catches up.’”

You mentioned your love of skin tools. What are your favourites to use on yourself?

“I use an LED panel to help calm my redness. I also have an infrared blanket. Sometimes when I have time in the middle of the day or as a way to decompress in the evening, I’ll get in the infrared blanket and then I’ll put on one of those sheet masks I mentioned. The Lyma Laser is also in the mix. I have that in my makeup kit, but I also have one at home. You see the effects long-term when you use it regularly.”

What would you say has made the biggest difference in your skin?

“Being hydrated internally. It’s kind of boring, but it’s real. When someone sits in front of me, I can always tell if they’re not drinking enough water. There’s just a dullness that’s evident on the face. The other thing would be stimulatin­g the skin. It’s huge. Imagine if something’s cold and hasn’t been touched, it has a lifelessne­ss to it as opposed to when something’s been warmed up and moved around. There’s more life that appears, even if it’s using your hands if you don’t have a tool. When you’re applying your day cream or night cream, take some time to really massage it in instead of just going, ‘OK, done.’ Those are the biggies.”

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