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BRUSHES & TOOLS
“My brush kit is my pride and joy. It’s an extensive and eclectic collection of brushes I’ve collected over the years. I rely on all of them like old friends and am a big believer that the right tools – and sponges – can completely transform any look. Given I have well over 30 brushes in my kit, I’ll share the ones I use the most. I swear by my Artis Brushes for seamless blending of foundation, bronzer and powder. The Shiseido Daiya Fude Face Brush is one of my all-time favourites and, whenever I use it, everyone asks me where it’s from. It’s the secret to creamy, flawless-looking skin. MyKitCo is a brilliant brand for tools – every make-up artist will tell you that. My favourites include the Defining Contour Brush and the fluffy concealer one as it buffs everything out so well with no creasing. I’m a big fan of MAC brushes too – they are all worth every penny. Two lesser-known brands worth checking out are Paula Dorf and Bdellium. Both have incredible sets with soft bristles that gently skim the skin.
Finally, I keep a Beautyblender handy as a ‘just in case’. I tend to use flat brushes to apply foundation, but if I want it to really last, I’ll use the blender to ‘beat’ the make-up into the skin. You do this by dampening it, then squeeze the sponge into a clean tissue to make sure it’s not too wet. Then work the product you have on the sponge into your skin, push and rolling it. It blends layers of product together and creates a beautiful finish. I find it works particularly well with cream or oil-based foundations.”
FOUNDATION & PRIMER
“To prime the skin, I keep The Ordinary’s Silicone Primer nearby for oilier complexions and Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer for those needing a brightening boost. Both Suqqu and Charlotte Tilbury have great options with SPF protection. Just like my brushes, I have so many foundations in my kit – you never know what skin type you’ll be working with so it pays to have several. Some of my go-tos include Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation which is brilliant for the red carpet with a soft, dewy finish that lasts. I love the Chantecaille Future Skin foundation too – it’s gel-based and works really well on oily skin, though the shade range is limited. If I want a fresher finish, I’ll turn to Rose Inc or Chanel’s Skin Tints – both optimise bare skin and make it look fresh and quenched. For vast shades and a matte finish, it has to be Fenty Beauty Pro Filter or Shiseido’s Synchro Skin. Another one I have to recommend is the Oxygenetics foundation. It was recommended to me by facialist Debbie Thomas and it’s so breathable, working well on blemished or stressed skin.”
CONCEALER & HIGHLIGHT
“Glowing skin requires good highlighters. The Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette is a must-try for an ethereal radiance, while Lisa Eldridge’s Elevated Glow in Nebula and Cosmic Rose is so silky and easy to build upon. I will always love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, too. It adds a gorgeous gleam to skin at the end of all your other make-up application. The Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone is good for scribbling on. For concealing the skin, Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage is great for what I call ‘pinpoint concealing’ and smoothing out blemishes. Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer is ideal for under the eyes, the tops of the cheeks and around the bridge of the nose, while Cover FX is the one I turn to for heavier coverage as it’s so easy to build on. If you have dry skin, Hourglass Vanish Concealer can’t be beaten.”
EYE MAKE-UP & BROWS
“Good-quality soft pencils and shadow sticks are what I stock up on. They are easy to use – even for make-up novices – and allow you to create any shape on your eyes. Currently I have Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks, Kiko’s Long-Lasting Shadow Sticks and Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon Pencils on rotation. For a budget option, NYX’s Jumbo Pro Pencils are brilliant. For powder shadows, I rate Make-Up By Mario’s and Marc Jacobs’s Beauty Eyeconic Multi Finish Palette. If I want a more sheer cool-girl look, Jillian Dempsey’s Lid Tints are brilliant for adding just a wash of colour. For an intense look, Stila’s Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows are the best for a glittery and impactful finish – they don’t drop at all. For brows, the Suqqu Brow Pen is my favourite. It’s the best for creating the finest strokes that mimic hair. If I want to use pencil, MAC’s Lingering formula has a great texture and is easy to work with. For really dark brows, Huda Beauty does a pencil in Ebony that’s brilliant, and for those with brighter red hairs, By Terry’s eyebrow Mascara in Sheer Auburn is the best I’ve tried. Finally, Anastasia Beverly Hills’s Brow Freeze is the best fixer in the form of a transparent gel – it’s so universal and gives a groomed, laminated finish.”
MASCARA & LINER
“Lancôme’s Hypnose Waterproof Mascara is one I can rely on. It’s not sticky or heavy, it just gives good lashes and doesn’t flake off. Dior’s Pump and Volume Mascara is the best for creating density at the lash line. Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Mascara is so jet black it stands out even against the darkest eye make-up. For a more fluttered finish, Victoria Beckham’s Tubing Mascara is subtle, natural and effective. As for liners, Make Up Forever does amazing ones with vibrant colours. I also love the Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal Liners as you have time to work with them before they set. KVD’s Black Tattoo Liquid Liner is another a kit staple – the hype around this is deserved, it really does stay put. Finally, L’Oréal’s Infallible Cat Eyeliner is easy to use and stays put even on the oiliest of skin, while Marc Jacobs’s Gel Crayon and Jillian Dempsey’s Liner in black are the best for impact.”
“I’ll always carry a cooler bag that contains sheet masks (111Skin and Sarah Chapman are my favourites) and Caudalie’s Elixir Spray. All of these really freshen up dull skin and prep it for make-up. I love to keep Kiko’s Double Pencil Sharpener handy too – it’s the best and brings the bluntest pencils back from the brink. To keep brows in shape, the Shu Uemura angled scissors are the best, as are Tweezerman Tweezers for the flat, pointed edge which grabs everything. I love Tweezerman’s Lash Comb too, and often carry this with me to define and separate lashes. Other staples include my Face Gym Pro to give clients skin a mini lift, and my Kichi Gua Sha Stone for depuffing – both tools provide temporary results but they really do work to tighten. I’ll never be without muslin cloths either, and my make-up light by Glamcor is key.”
“Lips have to look well nourished – whatever you’re using. I always keep MAC’s Lip Scrub handy, then I will apply Sisley’s or Chanel’s Lip Balm as both are an intensive treatment. I like to stash away shades that are universally flattering, so inside my kit you will find Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk, NARS’s Audacious Barbara, MAC Lady Danger, Kevyn Aucoin’s Enduring and Chanel Rouge Coco in Boy and Pirate to name a few. I also love Jones Road Lip & Cheek Tint in Mocha for something a bit different.”
“You’ll always find lots of cotton buds in my kit, alongside antibac from Emma Hardie and multipurpose creams like Weleda’s Skin Food. I love to carry body lotions and hand creams – Clarins does the best – as well as false lashes like Ardell’s Knot Free ones. Disposable mascara wands are essential too. They allow you to to mix and match formulas to create a multitude of lash looks with ease. I also keep Parian Spirit in my kit. An oil-based brush cleaner, it conditions the bristles as it goes, while completely dissolving product and dirt.”
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