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Dame Helen Mirren is a legend on the silver screen and in fashion. Having previously walked the L'Oréal runway in Paris, she tells Vogue about her process of applying makeup and her experience of the show itself.

When asked about walking in the L'Oréal show, Mirren said, "I’ve done a lot of theatre in my life so the whole idea of walking out to do a show is in my DNA. But what I love about fashion shows is that—unlike theatre where it’s all rehearsed and everyone knows what they’re doing (you hope!)—it’s absolute chaos! I love the technicality of how they put a fashion show together, it’s so fun to watch. And I have to say that all the real models are so sweet. They’re relaxed because they do it over and over again, so they’re used to the chaos. Meanwhile, I watch it all in awe and wonder. Somehow, miraculously, there is a moment where you all line up and go on one after another and it all comes together. It all looks perfect and everyone knows what they’re doing and I never quite get it! But it’s really fun."

When asked about her makeup process, Mirren said, "I always mix it up and do something different. I apply make-up according to how I feel. Usually I apply whatever is immediately to hand in my make-up drawer—I put my hand in and grab the first thing. If it’s a silver eyeliner or a black smudgey one, I use it and make it up as I go along. I love make-up and products in general—I love the feel and smell of them, as well as the bottles. I like to break my own rules as much as possible. If I’m working with a makeup artist, they will ask what I like and I always tell them that my face is their canvas and to do what they want. You always find new ideas and ways of looking at yourself that way. We all get stuck in our ruts in the way we make up our eyes, hair or lips—it’s good to shake it up."


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"Usually if I have some sort of function to go to, or if I’m traveling or have an interview to do, I sort my clothes out the night before," said Mirren on getting ready for events. "I’ll lay out my tights, shoes, sweater, underwear—whatever it is—all of it is ready to go. It means that if I am in a panic in the morning, which I often am because I’m late, I’m not worrying about what I’m going to wear because I know it’ll all work together. That’s the only little thing that I do."

Information originally sourced from Vogue.