What’s in My Kit?

I was on location the other day for a corporate shoot and I thought I’d share a pic of what’s in my kit. Make Up For Ever, Koh Gen Do, Naked Palette, Ben Nye & much more. Looking for MAC? There’s a few things peppered in there, but ultimately it’s the line I use the least.

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My Foundation and Skin Spray Dream Team

When clients ask what brands I use in my kit I always answer the same way, “the best of the best.” It makes sense, I get to try out so many amazing things from companies big and small so I promote the best stuff to kit status where they’ll make my job as a Makeup Artist much easier. The mistake I often make is leaving them there and not using them for myself.

I usually take a few winter months off from my wedding makeup biz which is typically when we vacation for a few months by the beach. This year we stayed in Colorado to focus on our baby girl and (finally) finding a house after a two year search. (I think we’re there!) So because my kit has been parked in the closet and I just ran out, I got my fave foundation (along with my miracle setting spray) out of my kit and into my bathroom.

I can’t say enough about Koh Gen Do and their moisture foundation, not that I really have to since so many makeup artists and celebs use it. Its perfect ratio of powder, emollients, and water give it a better-than-skin look that’s never heavy or drying. It’s the perfect photography makeup but it’s so light that I overlooked the fact that it’s a great everyday makeup too. My melasma is slowly fading out but I still need some coverage so when I have time I quickly blend it in with my fingers before setting it with my favorite spray.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is another kit staple for many MUA’s because it somehow makes the skin look better. If ever I’m having problems getting foundation to blend into a client’s dry skin, a few sprays pressed into the skin using a Beauty Blender does the trick. I top my foundation with a few sprays and skip the powder. The result using the two together is healthy, even looking skin.

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Just a quick snap I took today in the drive through at Starbucks. I say ‘snap’ only because I’m too old for selfies. See? Even skin. (Side note: I wasn’t mad and I’m not cross-eyed. At least I don’t think I am but it might be because my wonky eye can’t see that it’s wonky.)

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Make Your Own Touche Éclat With LORAC Oil-Free Luminizer

Of course I love YSL’s Touche Éclat, who doesn’t? For those who don’t know- it’s a concealer that’s a cult fave among celebs and Makeup Artists alike for the radiant glow it gives the skin – it marries luminosity with coverage. That said, I’m not paying $40 a pop for their little wind-up applicator that I’d go through in a month. What I’ve been using in my kit for years is Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in White Pearl that I mix with an eye concealer which gives the exact same effect as Touche Éclat. But I’m out of the Becca shimmer. And it’s $41.

Luckily I ran out around the same time as a Hautelook sale on LORAC rolled around, so I picked up  their version for $10. It’s an oil-free luminizer in the same pearly shade as Becca’s that I’ve been mixing into concealer to use under the eyes. A huge benefit in doing this is so I can use a heavier concealer that would otherwise look chalky to get the coverage without the heavy look or weight. It has been working great- making the eyes look so much more awake and vibrant. They say you can mix it in with foundation, but I never do. Dab it along cheekbones or mix it in with body lotion or a liquid bronzer to give skin a healthy glow. It’s one of those versatile things that you end up using way more often than you’d think.

It’s still on sale now HERE at LORAC.com for $10 which probably means it’s being discontinued so grab one soon before the sale (and the luminizer!) are done.

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Makeup Before and After: How to Use Yellow Primer

I was dying to try Koh Gen Do’s Yellow Primer ever since I saw this now infamous photo of it slathered all over Kim Kardashian’s face. Though my technique isn’t the same as her MUA Mary’s, I use it all the time and am addicted to the gorgeous highlight it gives the skin. How did I ever live without it? Pre-foundation I apply a good amount of it under the eyes- all the way across like a half moon and down to the tops of cheeks, I also use it down the bridge of the nose, the center of the forehead, and also on the chin. There are many ways to highlight the skin, but this is how I use this product and get great results.  Because it’s a primer and not a foundation or concealer, the yellow pigment isn’t too dense which can make the skin look sallow.

I used Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation over the primer which has been a staple in my kit for years. As you can see the coverage is perfection and it’s undetectable so it doesn’t look at all heavy. It’s a staple for so many Makeup Artists, but you can use it as a daily foundation too.

After highlighting the skin, I needed to put some depth back in so I used a ton of Jouer’s Mattifying Bronzer aroud her hairline, cheeks, and even down her neck and decloté to give her a bit more color and ensure that her face would match up with her neck. I don’t like bronzers that have shimmer in them which I think give a really tacky Jersey Shore sort of look. Jouer’s are shimmer-free and give a subtle, natural looking glow which is why they’ve become the most used in my kit. This new formula mops up shine by keeping the skin matte, an unusual bonus for a bronzer.

One of my very favorite things I’ve tried this summer is Laura Mercier’s Kohl Liner Extreme,. The black is so rich and deep that a little goes a long way, but it’s the ease of application that I love best. The slightly creamy formula comes to a dull tip that’s a bit wider than a traditional pencil so it’s easy to draw a line on the lid or smudge it into your waterline. If you feel like you can never get your liner on right, you have to try this one out. It will make your liner application 10x easier.

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Mally: The Perfect Bright Lip Kit

Girls who always wear lipstick: I salute you.

I’ve never been one to wear a lot of color on my lips even though I know it livens up your face, adds brightness, and just makes you look more polished especially when you aren’t wearing much makeup otherwise. I always look at women who are wearing lipstick during the day like they know something I don’t. They just look so put together like they have really important jobs and a perfect house and dinner already marinating in the fridge that they’ll cook promptly after their gym session which they never miss. *Sigh* Have you ever noticed? It’s hard to look sloppy when you’re wearing lipstick.

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I can’t say that I did anything amazing today while wearing Mally’s The Perfect Bright Lip Kit in Frisky Fuchsia, but I felt a lot more put together in my workout pants (I didn’t work out today) and maternity shirt at story time and the grocery store.

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Not sloppy from the neck up.

I’m loving this lip pencil. It’s creamy and light like a good lip balm so I forgot I was wearing it until I accidentally wiped half of it off with a napkin when I was eating so I looked like The Joker for probably several hours until I even noticed. Other than that- it didn’t bleed out and stayed bold and bright the whole time. It has the staying power of a long-wearing lipstick without the dryness and weird feel those formulas often have. The lip liner glides on so easily that I had to put it in my kit. It’s made to plump and not settle so it creates a good barrier that won’t allow the color to bleed out.

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My pink lips were a good reminder that bold colors should see daytime every now and again. It was nice to catch little glimpses of my fuchsia pout during an unglamorous day filled with diaper changes and errands. We all deserve to at least look like we might be doing something really fabulous later.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream is nothing short of a cult favorite among Makeup Artists and celebs alike. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

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I first saw it in action backstage at Fashion Week at every show – see the squished up tube behind the Rosewater spray (which I also went out and bought shortly after.)

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And here again, next to Eve Pearl, one of my favorite foundations at a different show. Every artist it seemed was carrying it.

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Even Gwyneth Paltrow gave it some Goop love a few years back touting its big time Makeup Artist following. But why is it a staple in most pro’s kits? Because I’ve yet to find a skin type it doesn’t work on. Oily, acne-prone, dry, and even clients with skin so sensitive they bring their own moisturizer because they’re afraid that whatever I’m using might trigger a reaction. But it never has. On the contrary- it calms, softens, and evens out the skin in a subtle but complete way. I’ve been using fewer silicone-based primers these days because this primes the skin so well that I don’t need the added step. At Fashion Week, I also saw it used as a makeup remover for the girls who came in full makeup from other shows. Without sinks and water, the artists were able to get the girl’s faces totally clean using this cream and tissues alone.

A 1oz tube is just $16, but I get the larger 2.6oz since it’s only $28. Yup, it’s a French drugstore line so not only is it free of nasty chemicals (Europe bans most of the ones we still use here), but it’s also cheap!