How Mimi Keene's BAFTA beauty look paid subtle homage to her 'Sex Education' character

mimi keene bafta beauty
In the make-up chair with...Mimi Keene at BAFTAsZoe McConnell for Lancôme

“Make-up shows up on my face really easily so we don’t apply too much, as even if I have a little on, it looks like a lot,” actor Mimi Keene tells Bazaar the day after her first BAFTAs ceremony.

She’s had a great time, she says, and despite a busy night, a bubbly Keene appears thrilled about having spent an evening decked out in custom seafoam green Miu Miu with glam by her go-to team, make-up artist Naoko Scintu and hairstylist Daya Ruci.

At 25 (and thanks to many a red carpet appearance), Keene knows exactly what works for her. “My signature is bronzy, glowy and fresh with individual eyelashes that looks natural. I always wear a nude lip and I’m definitely a hair down girl," says Keene, although last night saw her toying with something a little outside of her comfort zone.

“Since we did neutral colours, we thought it might be fun to do a little winged eye. I could never do it like that because I don’t have a steady hand, but Naoko is amazing and she did a proper, long cat-eye. It was really cute,” she continues.

mimi keene bafta beauty
Zoe McConnell for Lancôme

“We wanted a natural finish to the skin as it’s a ‘day’ red carpet, so we kept the skin as fresh and natural as possible with hints of highlights,” offers Scintu, who prepped Keene’s base with Lancôme’s Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Glow Liquid Moisturiser followed by Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow Foundation in 310N and Teint Idole Ultra Wear Care & Glow Serum Concealer in 330N. Keene’s gentle smoky eye was all down to a swish of taupe from the Hypnôse Palette in French Nude 01.

Keene has always been diligent with her skincare (she never goes to bed without cleansing her face, name-checking Youth To The People Cleansing Balm as a firm favourite) but for the BAFTAs, she found her face in the expert hands at clinic Pfferfer Sal. “It was the coolest, most relaxing place. I have combination skin, sometimes I break out, so I had a bespoke facial with LED light and it just made my skin look amazing,” she says.

At the event, lipstick and lip liner were non-negotiables in her handbag, while an oud perfume oil (she stocks up from the local stall) has been her go-to for the past few years.

The BAFTAs dress itself was a departure for Keene, too, who often favours a more fitted silhouette. “But as soon as I tried it, I thought it was amazing especially with the bra which is fitted, and then the dress is draped around it,” she says.

Given the striking hue, sparkle and drapery, Ruci created a sleek and straight half-up half-down ‘do using the new Ghd Chronos. With plenty of heat involved, Ruci prepped the strands using Ghd heat protector, and a healthy misting of Shiny Ever After Final Spray gave Keene’s cocoa locks a reflective finish. While the long hair might be a Keene signature, the velvet bow is a nod to Ruby, the sassy reigning queen of Sex Education’s Moordale High. “I love the bow. It’s quite Ruby as she always wears bows, I’ve never worn it before last night.”

mimi keene bafta beauty
Zoe McConnell for Lancôme

Though Keene doesn’t prescribe to any pre-red carpet rituals, she relies on long drives to help clear her head. “It’s my number one hobby. If I feel any kind of stress, if I’m upset about anything, I just go out in the car. Or I just sit in the car,” she says. After driving herself to the Savoy yesterday, a long shower (“the Savoy has the best, it’s like rainfall”) and room service (“beef tartare, little pieces of lobster and prawns”) helped her feel ready to face the cameras.

As for her favourite part of the ceremony? “The acceptance speeches, I imagine it must be the scariest but the best thing to have to do,” she says. Given Keene’s acting chops, we expect she’ll be prepping for one of her own soon enough.

Lancôme is the official beauty sponsor of the BAFTAs 2024

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