From the eternally glowing guise of Adele to Keira Knightley’s annoyingly perfect complexion, Michael Ashton is well-versed in celebrity skin. The Global Artistry Ambassador for Marc Jacobs Beauty (and veritable authority on all things beauty) is particularly proficient when it comes to flawless coverage; be it buffing foundation into Adele’s baby-soft skin, blending blush into the carved cheekbones of Erin Wasson, or adding well-placed strokes of luminosity to Lea Michele’s high points, Ashton is a makeup star. And according to him, you can get that celebrity skin – sans the star status.

Makeup by Michael Ashton on Keira Knightley

Achieving that seemingly impossible red carpet look is actually rather attainable; it all just comes down to good prep and great product, says Ashton. “For me, it’s all about the skin prep that helps to create the initial glow and then, it’s about the type of formulation of foundation you are using.” So in a kind of Hollywood skin script, Ashton explains exactly what he does on his celebrity clientele to achieve that red carpet finish.

Now learn your lines, practise your (beauty) cues and…action.

Adele playing make-ups on Michael Ashton

First Act: The Cleanse
“My clients will always double cleanse, and usually will have double cleansed when I get there. I love Tracie Martyn’s Foaming Gel Cleanser, then I’ll use the Bioderma Cleansing Water and a cotton pad to remove any oil around the nose, forehead and chin. Then on every client, I’ll use a facial oil and a facial balm and really massage that into the skin and hydrate the skin to make it plump.”

Second Act: The prep
“I’ll then use the Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Coconut Perfecting Face Primer on top of that. I put it between the palms of my hands and massage it in; really roll pressing it into the face, almost like kneading, patting it in. Rather than use my fingers, it locks in the oil and balm creating a velvety finish to the skin, so that it’s not as slippery when you start buffing in foundation. This is an issue some women don’t deal with; they get a little slap dash with the primer and think they have this veil but their foundation just slips off. They need to press it in with the palm of their hand.”

“Give it a minute to soak into the skin – maybe curl your lashes while you’re waiting, or put the clear brow gel in your brows, or even starting priming your eye before you then go back – waiting only a minute, everyones skin is different.”

Third Act: The Coverage
“When it comes to foundation, it’s all about the type of formulation. The good thing about the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation is that it’s a medium coverage but you can sheer it down or build it up depending on how you’re going to apply it. If you want a sheer finish, use your fingers and massage into the skin. If you want more pigment on the skin, use the Marc Jacobs Beauty The Face III Foundation Brush and buff it in, this will give you more coverage. But then again, by the time you’ve done that with the brush, you can go in and pat in with the palm of your hands to warm the product up, giving you that really natural looking (even if you have a lot of coverage) guise. It is self-setting so it will dry down for a radiant finish (not matte) without you needing powder.

Final Act: The Glow
“Then for that red carpet glow, use the Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter on the middle finger and just tap tap tap on the high plane of the cheek.””