“I’m a big believer in adding glow and sheen to the skin, and never removing any natural light from the complexion. I therefore use liquid and powder highlighters to achieve that 3D, ethereal effect. Nobody wants to look flat, so I like to softly contour as well. To get it right, use tones that are warm, but not orange. Sometimes you find products that look great in their jar, but they oxidise throughout the day and become really reddish in tone – which is why you always want to opt for a taupe base instead. For foundation, I swear by the new bareMinerals Original Liquid Minerals Foundation and Concealer, as well as Dior’s Diorshow Face & Body. It’s the best at creating a dewy, sheer finish on the skin, but it never slides around either – you get the best of both worlds.”
BRUSHES & TOOLS
“When it comes to fluffy brushes, my kit is full of them. In my opinion, they result in a better blend and more seamless coverage – and I love to blend. One of my favourites is BareMinerals’ Dual Finish Blush & Contour Brush. Yes, it’s designed for your cheeks, but its shape and texture means it works seamlessly with all foundations. I also love a good concealer brush – MAC does some brilliant ones that give you such a precise finish and even coverage. I’ll always then go over any concealer application with another fluffy brush to smooth everything out and nail that airbrushed effect.
“As for Beautyblenders, they’re a bit of an issue for me. They’re great at pushing in concealer and creating a soft-focused finish, but they have to be clean. A sponge holds onto bacteria so easily, and you don’t want to be moving that around your face, so if you’re going to use them, make sure you clean them every time.
“There are some other tools I love to use pre-make-up, including glass ice balls and vibrating facial massagers. Both will wake up the skin and give you a really radiant glow. The Fraîcheur Ice Globes are my favourite. They’re filled with a cooling liquid and are easy to manoeuvre around your face – think the temples, behind your neck and up to your ears. They give this temporary tightening effect that’s so satisfying, while also helping to take down puffiness and brighten dullness. As for vibrating tools, use these around the cheekbones and anywhere that needs a little tension release.”
“A good primer and concealer are staples in my kit. They’re both brilliant at prepping the eye for any make-up that follows. It’s important to create this protective layer to really hold everything down. I love a cream shadow, but they tend to slip throughout the day, so I actually own and work with more powders. That said, if I want the ‘gloss effect’, I’ll apply powder, then use a cream or sheen-y texture right in the middle of the eyelid, right in front of the eyeball, so that when you open up the eye, you get the glow without that soggy, wet feel. Kevyn Aucoin’s glosses are my favourite – they’re brilliant for novices and aren’t too sticky. As for palettes, I have endless collections of neutral tones to suit all skin types. A few standouts include ones from Sigma, Charlotte Tilbury and Melt Cosmetics. I also love the MAC Pro Longwear Pots – they work on everybody.”
MASCARA & BROWS
“There’s never just one mascara in my kit; I often rotate about three or four at once. Two of my favourites are MAC’s Extended Play and SAIE 101. The former has a unique, thin, tight-knit brush that coats all your lashes and ensures the formula stays put all day – though it’s best for separation, not volume. That’s why I then combine it with SAIE 101. This creates volume, length and definition, but never feels too heavy or clumpy. As for brows, the BareMinerals Strength & Length Serum Infused Gel is my go-to every time. I can honestly say my brows have never looked better.”
“I always have alcohol and antibacterial wipes to hand to help me clean all my foundation nozzles and products. I also dispense all my products out into dishes and apply my client’s make-up from that – it’s the best way to keep things hygienic. I also carry spare mascara wands with me so I can apply different formulas without using the same wand directly on someone’s eyes – if I do, that tube has to go home with them.
“A natural, gentle shampoo is essential too. I usually use one designed for children to clean all my tools and maintain their integrity. I’ll always give them a good wash, then squeeze out any water and lay them flat so zero liquid finds its way into the barrel of the brush – it’ll only cause damage and fraying. My advice? Whenever you use any formula that’s wet – be it liquid foundation or liner – clean the tool you’ve applied it with immediately. Germs thrive in these damp, moist environments otherwise.”
“My kit is home to a variety of textures, shades and tones from numerous brands – including BareMinerals, whose Gloss Balms are my go-to. Some clients like moisture on their lips, others don’t – you need a bit of everything. Matte and satins are my main go-tos, but I like keeping glosses handy. Often, I’ll apply a matte lipstick first, then hydrate it by adding a conditioning balm on top. This way, the formula stays on but you can manipulate it to give yourself a different texture. There’s no colour I don’t own – from vivid reds to neutrals, corals and everything inbetween.”