“As You Get Older, Less Is Best”: At 52, Naomi Campbell Has Never Been More Comfortable In Her Skin

Naomi Campbell is in between rehearsals for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pageant. She has just returned from Cannes Film Festival, recently celebrated her 52nd birthday, and is fresh from shooting the campaign for Pat McGrath Labs’s Divine Skin Rose 001 The Essence, with a noted photographer – and British Vogue favorite – Steven Meisel. She is on a very hectic schedule. Constantly traveling, at events, and in front of the camera, she is never anything less than dedicated when it comes to the subject of her skin.

When I was younger and I started in the business as a model, I wore as much make-up as possible,” she says. “Almost like a mask. Now, I feel completely the opposite. I feel as though I’ve come to realize that it’s better to wear as little make-up as possible. So you can see you. I don’t want to be behind a mask. I want people to see me. And to feel me. And to see my expressions.”

Seen fresh-faced and make-up-free in the latest Pat McGrath Labs campaign, Campbell perfectly illustrates the mantra of British Vogue’s beauty editor at large and make-up maestro, Pat McGrath: “Divine make-up begins with divine skin.”

Campbell, who was photographed with her baby daughter for the March 2022 issue of British Vogue, is aware of how motherhood has heightened her perception of the importance of self-care. “Obviously I want to take care of myself because I want to be around for my daughter as much as I can, you know, but I was already on this track – I just think that being a mother has enhanced it.”

It’s better to have skin that looks like it doesn’t need copious amounts of makeup,” she explains. “I think if you take care of and nourish your skin, you won’t need as much make-up.” The supermodel is not glowing, something she points out is intentional: “I love to shine. I love skin to look, hydrated, dewy, and oily… Some people don’t like that. But I think you look better that way. As you get older, less is best – and it’s better to have a hydrated face, as opposed to a matte base.”

McGrath stands as a witness to Campbell’s luminosity. “Naomi was glowing, inside and out, as she arrived to shoot Divine Skin: Rose 001 The Essence with the legendary Steven Meisel,” the make-up artist and mogul says. “Her beauty and joy filled the room, and her skin absolutely glowed on camera. She’s been using The Essence for more than a year, so it was truly breathtaking to see how divine she looked on film. Naomi’s beauty is without compare – what makes her special, and the ultimate McGrath muse, is her loyalty, unparalleled work ethic, and sublime soul,” McGrath goes on. “It is an understatement to say that I consider myself blessed to call her a friend. To be a part of her legacy as a trailblazer in the worlds of beauty and fashion is an honor.”

Campbell also uses the word family when she talks about working with McGrath. “It was a coming together for us [to do this campaign], and it was so special to get to work with family. I am so proud of what Pat has done and created. It’s not just about putting on make-up, it is the transformation of people’s lives that she has changed through her make-up and her brand.”

Divine, indeed.

VOGUE