Name: Rachel Goodwin
Known For: Red carpet beauty with an editorial touch, inventive use of color, natural with a twist.
Where to Find Her: Los Angeles
Clients: Emma Stone, January Jones, Amber Valletta
Years in the Industry: 21+
Beauty Essential: Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum
Mentions in The Violet Files: Cover Story: January Jones, Beauty Test: January Jones, The Sixties Eye Tutorial, The Wedge Eye Tutorial, Red Carpet Makeup Secrets, Makeup Brush & Tool Maintenance, 6 Ways to Wear Red Lipstick.
Agent: Alexandra Feldman @ Starworks Artists
Goodwin has been setting that stage for a long time. At age 3, she began obsessively drawing women’s faces, a pastime that evolved over the years. “I would always have them dripping in diamonds,” she says. By the time she was 9, growing up in San Francisco, Goodwin was “obsessed with iconic beauties like Marilyn [Monroe], Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo,” and beginning to use real faces as her canvas. “I plucked out so many of my poor friends’ eyebrows trying to make them into Greta Garbo. There were many, many brow casualties,” she remembers with a laugh. Later, Goodwin began studying with the head makeup designer for the San Francisco Opera and moonlighting doing makeup at fetish clubs. “That was very big in San Francisco,” she says. “I loved it because I could use a lot of glitter.” When her high-fashion aspirations outgrew San Francisco, Goodwin went east to paint a bigger town. In New York, she assisted big-name artists like Linda Cantello, James Kaliardos, and Tom Pecheux while working part time at the MAC Pro store and doing test shoots on her lunch breaks. “I was absolutely determined,” she says. “I remember Linda Cantello telling me, ‘No one will know your name for ten years.’ And I was like ‘What? That can’t be!’ But you know, she was right—to the day.”
Goodwin’s break came in 2000 with an introduction to photographer David LaChapelle, who hired her for an editorial job in L.A. It went so well that Goodwin wound up moving here. “I had a fashion book instead of an actress book, which was rare in L.A., so I was immediately hired by photographers who were out here from New York,” she says. “I was able to jump the line a little.” Soon afterward, she was working with such reigning Hollywood queens as Jodie Foster and Diane Lane, rising stars of the time, like Jennifer Lawrence and January Jones, and supermodel Amber Valletta, who had been a longtime inspiration. “She’s one of my absolute dream faces,” Goodwin enthuses. “She epitomizes strong female beauty. In the nineties, there was this one image of Amber in i-D that I ripped out and hung on the wall of my apartment in Queens. Years later, I’m in her house and there’s [the original] on her wall and she’s telling me the story about it…”
By the time Chanel came knocking in 2004, it was clear that Goodwin was a force to be reckoned with. She also happens to be one of the most benevolent forces around. Her relationship with her clients is almost shamanic. “It’s a conversation, ‘Where are you at? What do you want to reflect today?’” she says. “I have to be able to help them connect to what they want to express, and what they’re feeling as women.” Goodwin is also an irresistibly down-to-earth mother of two who runs an ice cream Instagram, @thesundaetimes, in her spare moments. (“Ice cream is a very emotionally charged food,” she says.) While she longed for mass appeal early in her career, she has come to a place of extreme comfort with herself as a person and an artist. “I grew up, and figured out that I had a unique outlook that was only right for particular people. I ended up working with these incredible women who like themselves,” she says. “There’s a quote, ‘I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea.’ And that’s really how I see it.”
MAKEUP BY RACHEL GOODWIN
- JANUARY JONES (READ THE FILE)
- PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN HASSETT
- LAURA MERCIER BROW DEFINER IN WARM
- BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR GEL EYELINER IN BLACK INK
- CHANEL JOUES CONTRASTE POWDER BLUSH IN IN LOVE
- CHANEL ROUGE ALLURE VELVET INTENSE LONG-WEAR LIP COLOUR IN LA FASCINANTE
Rachel’s Kit Essentials
STUDY RACHEL GOODWIN’S HISTORY
OF THE RED LIP
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the best eyelash curler in the world.