In the age of “no-makeup” makeup, “clean girl” aesthetics, and an understated, dewy visage, celebrity makeup artist Erin Parsons is a breath of fresh air. Her social media portfolio serves as an ode to old Hollywood glamour, with vintage-inspired tutorials that transport you back in time yet somehow maintain an elevated, modern twist. (One day she’ll test a 1930s Rigaud Rouge; the next, Westman Atelier’s cult-favorite Lip Suede.)
“I really feel like I’ve seen every vintage classic film you could possibly watch,” she gushes over the phone. “I’m so inspired by Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Josephine Baker…how they do their makeup is so fabulous.” On camera, Parsons can pretend she’s starring in one of those classic films—her “fantasy world,” she calls it. Her commitment to various roles and genuine passion for makeup history feel refreshing among the swarm of “effortless” beauty looks; it’s what no doubt fuels her 1.7 million TikTok followers.
As you can probably guess, Parsons has no shortage of application tips and techniques. But recently, I got the chance to catch up with Parsons about her personal routine, the products and rituals she gravitates toward when she’s not Marilyn, or Josephine, or Joan Crawford, or Lucille Ball, or Clara Bow—but the striking, warm, fabulous Erin.