LEIGH CAMPBELL: 'I spoke to Emilia Clarke about her 'no makeup' face, and the secret to her brows.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Clinique

You might know her as Daenerys from Game Of Thrones, or perhaps as Lou from Me Before You. Emilia Clarke has played many roles in Hollywood (and with it she’s had just as many hair colours) but her most recent gig as Global Ambassador for Clinique is what I jumped on Zoom late one night to discuss with the English actress. 

Chatting to Emilia via video link, it was easy to feel her genuine love for the products and how growing up with a mum who worked in beauty shaped her knowledge on all things makeup. 

“My mum worked for skincare companies, she was in makeup and branding and all of that kind of stuff. So it was catnip for me from birth, basically,” said Clarke. 

“She gave me a lot of advice about makeup, always. And it was essentially “here's how you make makeup look like you're not wearing any,” so that's always been my vibe.” 

“It also happens that it's something to do with my face. It doesn't take a lot of makeup well. So I've always had to wear less because if I wear too much I can look a little bit like a clown, or you can't see my eyes.” 

Image: Supplied. 

It seems natural then that she would grow up to become the face of one of the world’s biggest beauty brands. Emilia speaks so fondly of her role with Clinique, not only about the products but about being able to represent the brand in her own authentic voice. 

“It's so frustrating, cause it sounds like I'm just saying a line, but I have never worked with a company that I've loved this much. Every single person that I come in contact with from Clinique is just brilliant. It's just like, it's the easiest partnership. Like, A, I use the products and they work, and B, everyone is just a delight. 

“I think that their products work... like they really, really work, and the aesthetics that they have are totally my vibe. They give me autonomy to be able to be myself. Sometimes these sort of partnerships where they're like 'yeah, we wanted you to do it, but say all these things and do it like this,' and that's not Clinique at all. They're literally like 'you say how it how you'd say it,' and it's just been beautiful,” said Clarke. 


Of all the products at her disposal I asked Emilia to share with me her top three Clinique favourites. 

Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator 50ml, $68 


“This is the new Moisture Surge, which is the one hundred hour auto replenishing Moisture Surge. And it's a lifesaver. It's absolutely incredible.” 

“So it's got all the good stuff, it's got hyaluronic acid and aloe vera bio-ferment and the combined nature of these properties result in it being auto-replenishing. So it is allowing your skin to make its own water... you're not just reliant upon putting a product on your face and having that product do its work, your skin is then working with it. It just keeps my skin glowing, dewy and moisturised. 

“You know when you get certain creams and they're a bit thick or they sort of coat your hands? It's not pleasant. But this is a delight. You feel like you're in the advert when you're putting it on, you know what I mean? It's gel-like and it kind of just disappears.” 

Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation SPF20, $65 



“The foundations are brilliant because I'm the kind of person who likes to have a foundation that doesn't look like I'm wearing it. My mate yesterday was like, ‘do you even wear makeup?’ And I was like, ‘I love you!’ 

“I barely wear any makeup at all, it’s the Even Better Clinical Foundation! It is phenomenal because it’s skincare. So it's got all of their magical work as well as the colour that you're looking for, without it feeling cakey, without it feeling too much.” 

High Impact Mascara, $39 


“So those two, and then this mascara. I can't live without it. From my mum to my goddaughter, it does cross every age.” 


Having been in the role with Clinique for about a year, Emilia reflected on that time and how COVID-19 has made her slow down and enjoy the process of self-care and beauty. 

“I think in lieu of ‘normal life’, self-care has played a really big part and people are talking about it. With all aspects of my life I have been trying to be more present in ‘the doing’ of them and taking more time doing them. 

“Skincare is something I've always done and has been something that's been quite enjoyable. And so [the past year has] just pimped that, basically. So I'll just take my time doing it. It's not like a, “Oh, I've got to do this. I'm just going to get it done. And then I’ve got to go”, so you're kind of more aware of what products work and I find myself actually using less because you're putting it on properly.” 

“Also with the change in the weather at this time, my skin just tends to, if left to its own devices, to go blotchy. It's going to go dry. I'm going to get a few random spots on my chin and the Clinique stuff has really kept it at bay more than any of the products I've ever used before,” said Clarke. 

Image: Supplied. 

I couldn't get off the Zoom call without first asking Emilia about her wonderful brows and what she uses on them. 

“I use a Clinique product, Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse - but there's lots of brands that do them. I don't use a filler, but I just use a wand that has a bit of colour on it. Do you know what I mean? So you're shaping your brow at the same time as giving a little bit more definition. That's a style choice, really. And if I don't want to put any of that on, I'll just brush them. Easy!"

Clinique’s fan favourite moisturiser has been upgraded. New Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, with an exclusive aloe vera bio-ferment and hyaluronic acid delivers 100 hours of hydration, even after washing your face. Auto Replenishing Technology helps skin continually rehydrate itself for an endlessly dewy, plump and healthy-looking glow. It’s oil-free and suitable for all skin types. Available at, Myer, David Jones, Mecca, Sephora, Adore Beauty and selected Terry White and Independent Pharmacies. Clinique. Just happy skin.