Discovering the products that celebrity makeup artists use on their A-list clients is highly sought-after information. And while it’s easy to pinpoint what’s used for your favorite beauty looks, gaining knowledge of the products pro artists genuinely love takes a bit more searching. Since there’s no shortage of exceptional beauty products on the market, a notable product must meet each artist’s specific needs. “An excellent product meets all my criteria—how it wears throughout the day, how it photographs, how easy it is to apply, and how many different, versatile ways you can use and wear it,” says Nina Park, a makeup artist on Chanel’s roster.
“I say two things make a great makeup product: the overall versatility of the product and amazing packaging,” adds international celebrity makeup artist Theo Turner, who counts Teyana Taylor, Phylicia Rashad, and Usher as clients. “It sweetens the pot when the product is as aesthetically pleasing as the results it provides.”
We asked six makeup artists to reveal their all-time most beloved beauty products—the lifer lipsticks, best blushes, and can’t-fail foundations they always have on hand. Here, they share their career staples, and some new additions to their coveted kits.
Park says that she always has at least three fresh tubes of the Chanel Inimitable Mascara stocked in her kit. Alongside the Inimitable Mascara, you’ll find the Chanel Vitalumiere Fluid Foundation (in all shades) and Chanel Le Rouge Duo Ultra Tenue lip colors.
“I like how the Inimitable Mascara separates and defines the lash line without it ever looking too heavy or dry,” she says. And, when it comes to the Vitalumiere Fluid Foundation, “Those are for editorials—I can mix them with a drop of face oil for a skin-like finish, or I can layer them for more coverage while still looking natural,” Park notes. The Le Rouge Duo Ultra Tenue is another staple in Park’s kit. “You can create different levels of intensity that stay on the lips for a long time,” she adds.
Turner tells W that he refreshes his kit for every client, but one product always remains a staple: Givenchy Beauty’s Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Lip Balm in the shade Perfect Pink. “I’m a huge advocate of implementing new technology and colors when they launch to keep my creativity flowing,” Turner says.
In addition to a great balm, Turner also stocks up on the Velvet Noir Mascara by Marc Jacobs Beauty. “The Velvet Noir Mascara is guaranteed to bring the drama,” he says. For effective application, Turner suggests a fail-proof trick: place the brush along the lash line, and blink. To finish, place the brush back at the lash line and move side to side as you brush the product up simultaneously.
“These products are always a must in my kit: Buxom Cosmetics Xtrovert mascara and the Dior Forever Skin Corrector Concealers,” says celebrity makeup artist Ash K Holm, whose roster of clients includes Ariana Grande, Shay Mitchell, and Candice Swanepoel. Holm prefers the Buxom Cosmetics Xtrovert Mascara over others due to its ability to build quickly and add drama to any look.
An impeccable concealer is also on Holm’s favorites list. She recommends spot-treating problematic areas with the Dior Forever Skin Corrector. “Let the concealer sit on blemishes for a minute or two before blending it out. This will allow the concealer to thicken for more coverage on those stubborn areas of the skin like redness and blemishes. Then blend it out with a small concealer brush for perfect coverage,” she explains.
For celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño, who counts Camila Cabello, Jenna Dewan, and Ashley Graham as clients, great makeup has quality ingredients. “The saying ‘You get what you pay for’ is usually right,” he says. Throughout Avendaño’s career, a few products have remained consistent. “Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation has been a staple in my kit since its launch—there’s no foundation quite like it,” Avendaño says. Another constant is MAC’s Eyeshadow, which Avendaño uses to create bold looks with luxurious finishes.
Even though old favorites still reside in Avendaño’s kit, there are a few new residents, like the Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation. “The foundation can be combined to thin out thicker foundations, but it’s also usable by itself for a sheer and somewhat buildable coverage,” Avendaño notes. To apply the foundation, use a dense, domed, synthetic brush. According to Avendaño, using a blending sponge will absorb the oil and leave you with uneven pigment.
Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Blush is also a newer product in the kit. “It’s easy to use the wand that the blush comes with, or you can use your fingers and work the blush toward your temples gently,” Avendaño says.
Flawless simplicity makes a kit-worthy staple, too. “My favorite and most iconic beauty products are always simple staples done exceptionally well,” says Molly Greenwald, a celebrity makeup artist (she works with Constance Wu and Natasha Lyonne, to name a couple). In her kit, you’ll find a Beauty Blender—it’s simple, yet it provides exceptional benefits. “The beauty blender is often imitated but never duplicated,” Greenwald explains.
“Intense pigment, and the ability to consistently perform the same every time” make a great makeup product, according to Erin Parsons, who works with Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner. The product should also provide long-lasting, stay-put power. In Parson’s kit, you’ll find the Maybelline Falsie Lash Lift Mascara and Maybelline’s Tattoo Studio Gel Pencil in Deep Onyx.
“The Falsie Lash Lift Mascara works on every type of lash, and it’s affordable enough that I can buy and leave it with the model afterward,” Parsons says. And, if you are looking for a true black eyeliner that doesn’t smear, note that this one by Maybelline is one of Parson’s most employed. “This eyeliner glides on so smoothly while depositing intense pigmentation. It doesn’t budge,” she says.