A Celebrity Make-Up Artist Shares Her Beauty Kit Staple

Ever wondered what a pro make-up artist keeps in their kit? In this series, we ask industry insiders to spill their secrets. Known for her impeccably glossy looks and ‘second skin’ finishes, A-list make-up artist Vivi is an authority on all things beauty. From the brushes she loves to the cream formulas she swears by, here’s what she relies on time and again…
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“A good set of brushes is key for getting the look you want – no question. I match each brush to the look and style I’m creating. For example, if I want to achieve a smooth, creamy look, then I use Kat Von D’s Foundation Brush as it’s so great for blending both primers and foundation. It gives you great control and the dense bristles mean you get a seamless, even blend that looks natural and fresh. Aside from that, my current obsession is the Sigma X Jordan Liberty Master Artistry Brushes. They are all vegan and offer a great replacement for real hair brushes – the Ponytail Brush is a personal favourite as it allows you to accurately apply eye make-up with zero mistakes. Finally, Tom Ford’s Brushes are always in my kit – particularly the Cream Foundation Brush as it buffs products so well into the skin. I like using it for cream bronzers and blushes, too – it’s the perfect shape and size. As for other tools like BeautyBlenders, I’ve never seen the appeal. I find them extremely difficult to clean, and hygiene is a priority in my line of work. Instead, I would rather tap any product on with my fingers to areas like under the eye to warm up the product and ensure a smoother application.”


“This is the most important and enjoyable part of my job. I pride myself on creating that ‘second skin’ finish, and to do so, I really work on prepping the skin. I carry different primers with me at all times – one that boosts the skin’s glow and hydration, another that mattifies and finally, one that visibly brightens. I swear by By Terry’s CC Brightening Serum in Apricot Glow, as well as Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primers – these are a must. When it comes to foundation, I always use buildable formulas. Most of the foundations in my kit are light-to-medium coverage with a dewy glow – Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation always has a permanent place in my bag. It melts beautifully into the skin and gives great hydration. Fenty’s new Ease Drop Tint is a favourite of mine, too. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks on myself and I am obsessed with how quickly it evens out your skin tone, but still leaves you looking barefaced. If I use a powder, I’ll always opt for one that mattifies the skin, but protects it at the same time, like By Terry’s Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. It’s brimming with hydration so your skin never feels suffocated, just silky smooth.”


“For contouring and blush, I always use cream products for an even blend. They melt into the skin to give a soft finish that looks effortless. The key with cream products is to ensure they don’t leave you looking greasy. I love formulas like Fenty’s Contour Cream, Kat Von D’s Contour Cream Palette, and for highlighting, you can’t beat the Dior Backstage Palettes. The latter come in the most beautiful shades and they’re also universally-flattering.”


Lancôme’s Hypnose Mascara is my number one and has been in my kit for years – as well as my own personal make-up bag. It lifts the lashes so well and keeps them curled and locked in place. When I am after speedy length, I’ll use
Benefit’s They’re Real Magnet Mascara as it’s great for separation. As for brows, the SoapBrows kit is a must-have, as is HD Brows Glue. I like to apply either against the hair growth’s direction, then run backwards again, before tapping the brows with my fingers to ensure everything has set nicely. I’ll then fill in brows using Glossier’s Brow Flick or Revlon’s Colorstay Shape & Glow. Both have such fine tips that give me total control and allow me to replicate the most precise hair strokes.”


“My kit is never without eye primers. They’re essential for achieving a long-wearing look, or to even out skin tone before applying eyeshadow. Both NARS and BareMinerals do great formulas that are tinted, so they can be worn on their own or as a good base. For pencils, I always keep MAC’s, Armani’s and Pat McGrath’s handy, as all of them have options that are soft and easy to blend. For palettes, I like Natasha Denona’s Tropic one as it has the highest pigment payoff with great quality finishes – her palettes have been a staple in my kit for years. Likewise, Melt Cosmetics do great eyeshadows that suit all skin tones, with a great array of different textures, too. Finally, I love a good eye crayon. The brand Nabla Cosmetics do some brilliant ones that are easy to blend and provide a good base to anything you want to layer on top. They come in great shades and are so easy to use when time is of the essence. On a lot of my clients, I prefer matte shadows as they compliment the glossy skin I create.”


“I carry heaps of nude lipsticks as they suit everyone. I will deposit all my favourite tones into a separate container and create my own palettes. For me, the key is mixing different shades so that I can create more bespoke looks for clients. In terms of brands I keep handy, I love KKW Beauty. In my opinion it’s the brand for nudes, especially their shade ‘1.5’ which looks brilliant with nude pencils, too. Just like blusher, I recommend using creamy lip formulas with a semi-silk finish as these will always give the appearance of a fuller pout. If I am applying reds or plum tones, then I will opt for a matte finish so you can get that real rich quality. Again, I keep my favourite tones in a separate palette – it’s a real make-up artist secret that we never use just one shade, we always mix and match.”

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