I first saw Victoria Beckham in real life backstage at her fashion show in New York. We all have a favourite Spice Girl, and mine was always Posh, so this was a major moment for me. The hours leading up to a runway show are always chaotic and stressful no matter how seasoned a designer may be. However Beckham looked cool and collected in jeans, a navy roll-neck jumper and immaculate makeup. This perfectly encapsulates Beckham’s signature look—her brand is all about subtle elegance and an uncomplicated approach to getting ready. She retired her fake tan, Cavalli dresses and heavy lip liner a long time ago and made a fashion and beauty empire out of her now carefully honed aesthetic.
Celebrity beauty spin-offs can typically be underwhelming and have poor formulations and high marketing budgets, but Beckham has created a collection of beauty products that actually live up to expectations. She initially entered the beauty space with a collaboration with Estée Lauder in 2016 which sold out almost instantly. She then went solo with her own tight collection of eye products and has since expanded her makeup offering and entered into skincare with luxury skincare professor Augustinus Bader. To put it plainly, every beauty editor swears by Victoria Beckham Beauty. As with her clothing brand, she cleverly uses her Instagram account and public appearances to promote her launches, often posting close-up pictures of her skin and testing swatches of lipsticks.
As Beckham has instant access to every treatment, expert and product in the world and the ability to develop her own formulations for things that have been missing in her own beauty arsenal, getting the chance to grill her on her tips and tricks was a real “pinch me” moment for me. So before the makeup goes on, what does her skincare routine actually look like? “Having clean, healthy skin is the most important thing,” she tells me. “So I cleanse my skin morning and night and make sure to remove my makeup in the evenings. After that, I use my Power Serum and Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser. Beauty ultimately comes from within, and it’s always been about making the most about what I have and maintaining what I’ve been given. For me, to be the best version of myself means wearing makeup every day. It makes me feel good and gives me some extra confidence.”
Beckham’s fashion choices are well documented, and certain styling tricks—super-long trousers here, a pair of giant shades there—are instantly recognisable. But she has also crafted a signature makeup look over time. You may not have noticed because it’s subtle and timeless, but more often than not, Beckham will be seen with a classic smokey eye, a soft nude lip and strong, defined eyebrows. So what are the exact products in her makeup bag behind this trademark aesthetic? “Every day, I use my Smoky Eye Brick in Signature. I start by using the lightest shade as a primer, then the pink shade all over, then mid-tone brown to contour eyelids and use a dusting along lash line and under my eye for that smokey look,” she tells me. “Then, I take the darkest blue from Smoky Eye Brick in Royal, and I use a super-angled brush to line my lashes and add a small flick. Then, I go over my upper lash line with Satin Kajal Liner in Ash. It goes on super creamy, and sometimes, I use the blender or even my finger to smudge it out. When it sets, it won’t budge all day. Then, lashings of Future Lash Mascara. For a nude lip, it depends on the time of the year. Right now, I am using Bitten Lip Tint along with Lip Definer just around my Cupid’s bow and bottom lip. Then, I apply a touch of Posh Gloss on top and bottom—only in the center—to give the appearance of fuller lips. But on days that I want a little more colour, I love Posh Lipstick in Twist.”
But even Victoria Beckham—surely one of the busiest women in fashion—needs a five-minute face sometimes. So if she has to leave the house in a hurry, what does she turn to? “That’s easy,” she says. “Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer in Golden for a foundation-free glow and Bitten Lip Tint in Amour with my #2 Lip Definer for a nude lip. Then, I add Satin Kajal Liner in Cocoa on my lash line. It stays put all day, so I never have to worry. And lastly, Cheeky Posh in Major for a fresh flush.”
It has been 26 years since the Spice Girls released “Wannabe,” which means Beckham has been seeing A-list beauty experts and makeup artists for almost three decades. So what is the advice that has really stayed with her and impacted her approach to beauty? “Melanie Grant [celebrity facialist and skincare expert] recommended that, when I put my moisturiser on, I massage heavy amounts around key areas—my orbital bone, cheek bones, jawline—to wake up the muscles and reduce puffiness and, of course, drink lots and lots of water and to eat well. Beauty starts from within.”
With this in mind, I had to ask about the wellness practices she uses to give herself a mental or physical boost. “I regularly have all my levels checked to make sure I am using the right vitamins,” she says. “I love Puori vitamins because they are super clean and Basis because they are doing some really cutting-edge research. I use the Basis NAD+ Supplement for Cellular Aging.”
Beckham has had as many hair transformations as she has fashion eras, from the Spice Girls bob to the L.A.-era “pob” to her long extensions. Her chosen style has settled in recent years to a mid-length, tousled, relaxed cut, and her approach to haircare products reflects this. She likes to keep things really simple: “I use Josh Wood’s Miracle Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine, Fragile Hair. He uses clean ingredients, which is really important to me. That’s about it!”
Speaking to Beckham, it’s clear that her approach to beauty is based upon a deep understanding of what works, and she takes her routine seriously. I do, however, wonder whether she has any “guilty pleasures” she also likes to indulge in. “I wouldn’t say it’s a guilty pleasure, but Harper and I love to take the time to do face masks together. And with my sons, when they get spots, I can’t help myself. I pin them down and squeeze them!” she says.
We like to ask everyone we interview here at Who What Wear what their beauty philosophy is just in seven words. Beckham’s—“Be the best version of yourself”—is one of my favourites yet and one we could all do with channeling.
Shop Victoria Beckham’s favourite beauty products: