Asking a celebrity makeup artist to show off his or her kit is an exercise in patience: It takes a lot
of unpacking to see it all. We're talking suitcases stuffed with bags upon bags of makeup. And in the case of Kerry Washington's long-time makeup artist Carola Gonzalez
, there's also an entire beauty closet of new
launches to explore. But once you lay it all out and organize it, it's pure beauty gold.
Gonzalez's artistry and expansive product knowledge have deep roots. She's self-taught from the late Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces
book: Makeup was a necessary skill to learn during her early days as a model in Miami, back when even the supers
had to do their own. Her natural talent couldn't be ignored, and soon she was getting booked as an MUA for photo shoots. Today, besides Washington, her celebrity clients include Leona Lewis, Rashida Jones, and Jaime King.
Gonzalez invited R29 into her West Hollywood home to document all the products that have made it into her suitcases. Then, we asked her for her favorite picks. Then,
we asked her to rank those. The result? Makeup that could easily be called the best in the world. Click through for inspiration.
Photographed by Katie McCurdy