When you’re applying makeup to so many different people and stocking up a professional kit so often, you find out pretty quickly which products are your favourites. But when you’re shopping for your own personal makeup bag, it can be hard to decide which products are actually worth investing in. There are so many social influencers, advertisements and marketing experts around nowadays that it can seem impossible to spot a genuine recommendation. Am I right?!
Whenever I’m on the hunt for new products to try, I always turn to my favourite makeup artist’s posts to see what they’re using – I feel it’s so telling to see which products people are genuinely investing in and using on their clients. With that being said, I’ve collated a list of my absolute must have items in my professional kit. These are products that I genuinely love and use all the time, so you can take my word for it!
Iconic London Liquid Illuminator – RRP £30
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably seen this product doing the rounds on Instagram. It’s a blogger favourite and once I tried it I completely understood why. This little bottle packs a punch. One drop of this gives the most blinding highlight I’ve ever seen – it’s a game changer. It can be mixed in with foundation for an all over dewy glow, or it can be applied to the cheekbones and high points of the face afterwards for a more intense highlight. What I love about this illuminator is that it doesn’t contain glittery chunks or anything too artificial looking. It just gives the skin an incredible metallic sheen that, when blended out properly, is both undetectable and unmissable at the same damn time (I know, it defies logic, but it’s true). I press this into the skin using a damp beauty blender after I’ve applied foundation and concealer so that it all fuses together, and then set it with a powder highlight if my client wants a super glowy look.
The Balm Cosmetics Highlight ‘n’ Con Tour palette – RRP £32
This palette was a bit of a surprise holy grail for me. I picked it up on a photoshoot a few months ago and it’s slowly but surely become a staple for me. I use it on almost every client. The palette comes with 8 different shades of powder – 2 matte highlights, 2 shimmer highlights, 2 matte contours, a matte bronzer and a blush. I always use the matte highlight shades to set the eyelid before I apply any shadows – it’s the perfect consistency and I love that it comes in a yellow tone or a pink tone, meaning I can adapt it to my clients skin. I use the contour shades when I want a bit of a more intense contour as they’re slightly darker and more pigmented than my Hoola Bronzer. I love using the 2 shimmer highlights as a ‘Pre-highlight’ (yes, I just made that up, but it’s a thing OK), dusting it all over the cheek bone for an all over sheen before going in with a stronger highlight afterwards. And whilst the matte bronzer is a little too orange for most skin tones, I love using it as a transition shade on the lid to warm up an eye look. I get SO many uses out of this palette and I’d be lost without it.
MAC Strobe Cream – RRP £22.50
Another one for the glow-getters, strobe cream falls somewhere between skincare and makeup, On application it’s a moisturizing lotion packed with skin-boosting vitamins and minerals, leaving the skin hydrated and refreshed. But once the lotion has sunk into the skin in leaves a gorgeous pearlescent finish, giving a youthful, dewy look. It’s perfect for prepping the skin before primer and foundation, as it just adds an extra little bit of undetectable glow as well as making sure the skin feels totally comfortable under makeup. Strobe cream now comes in 5 different colours, but I carry the original ‘Pinklite’ shade in my kit.
RCMA Translucent Loose Powder – RRP £13
I carry a few different loose powders in my kit but this one is definitely my ride or die. I was a little skeptical before I tried it because I found it hard to believe that such an affordable powder could be as good as the reviews promised – but guys, it’s really that good! First things first, you get a whopping 85g of product for £13 (compared to the 29g in Laura Mercier Setting Powder for £29 – you do the maths). Secondly, this keeps the skin matte and flawless all day – and I mean all day. I’ve even had clients message me the day after their appointment and ask me what in Gods name I used to set their foundation because they stayed oil free all day and night. Finally, the powder really is incredibly translucent and whilst it may look ghostly white and intimidating in the packaging, it buffs invisibly into the skin within seconds.
Benefit Hoola Bronzer – RRP £24.50
This bronzing powder is a makeup bag classic and I’m pretty sure most girls have fallen in love with it at some point. It’s perfect for makeup artists as it’s a really cool bronze that flatters tons of different skin tones. It can be really hard to find a bronzer that isn’t too orange and harsh on fair skin, but this adds just the right of tan without looking unnatural. For my darker skinned girls, I use this as a base and then warm the skin up with a more intense bronzing powder such as MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in ‘Dark Tan’. Hoola is also amazing as a contour powder as it’s completely matte and really mimics a natural shadow – I actually prefer to use this rather than a contour palette on most of my clients.
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in ‘Soft Ochre’ – RRP £14.40
I first bought this paint pot after seeing every Youtuber under the sun use it as an eye base, and it’s been a staple in my kit ever since. It does everything I need it to do. It’s so pigmented and creates a completely flawless canvas on the lid, making eyeshadow application so much more vibrant. It blends in easily, sets well with a powder on top, and prolongs eyeshadow wear like you wouldn’t believe. I apply it with a concealer brush, buffing it all the way across the lid and up to the brow bone, and then set it with a flesh toned powder before moving onto the rest of my eye makeup.
KISS Haute Couture Trio Lashes – RRP £7.49
I’ve experimented with tons of different lashes on my clients and I always come back to individuals. I like that I can apply them so closely to the lash line, they look super natural and wispy, they’re lightweight and comfortable, and I can completely customize them dependent on the look my client wants. They’re amazing for beginners as the shorter styles just adds a subtle enhancement, or I can build the lashes up for a long, dramatic look. I love using these trios by KISS as they’re not too fiddly to apply and, whilst I’m always against the clock, saves me a ton of time during appointments. If you struggle to apply strip lashes, give these ago – I promise they’re not as scary as they look!
Happy online shopping girls! Tell your credit card I said sorry…