The Only Makeup You Need, According To One Pro

What's your idea of a powerful beauty look? Is it a cat-eye and a red lip or electric-blue eyeshadow paired with a bold brow? Do you think of a killer contour game or even no makeup at all? Our answer would be all of the above...and so much more. At Refinery29, we like to think of your beauty look as the next-gen version of a power suit. We're dubbing it a "power face." Now, this doesn't refer to a specific beauty look. Nor does it cater to a certain shade, skin type, or personality. It's universal. "It's unapologetic and says 'I'm here,'" says celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes — who very much believes that makeup can be used as a tool to hone in on your power.
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While Hughes uses a variety of different colors and products on her clients, she does have her go-to essentials to create an impactful look on anyone. Here, we asked Hughes to lay it all out for us. From a palette to get that kick-ass red lip to a foundation that makes skin look and feel healthy, like this one from COVERGIRL, she shares how she creates beauty looks that make a statement, as well as tips to create your own.
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An All-In-One Balm

The one product Hughes believes every woman should have in her beauty kit: the Farmacy Beauty Honey Savior. "It’s a cuticle balm, elbow [salve], highlighter for cheekbones, gloss for the eyelids, and eyebrow groomer," she says. "I love it." Made with honey, amino acids, and vitamin B, the rich balm calms and soothes the skin while also hydrating. Carry it in your bag for touch-ups or extra hydration throughout the day.
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Foundation That'll Make You Glow

The first thing Hughes learned as a makeup artist is that it all starts with the skin. "[It's] the first and most important part of the whole look," she says. "No matter what you’ve got on your eyes, lips, or brows, if the skin isn’t done right, all the other stuff doesn’t look right, either." To create a no-makeup-makeup look, Hughes prefers a foundation with a glowy finish, like COVERGIRL Vitalist Healthy Elixir*. This full-coverage foundation leaves your skin soft and glowing — going on smooth and building easily — and it even has SPF 20, too. For the smoothest finish, Hughes suggests exfoliating prior to makeup application. "If there's dry skin on the surface of the face, [your makeup] isn't going to look how you want it to look," she says.

*Use as directed.
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A Palette With Red-Hot Options

A bold lip is a staple for many women, so Hughes makes sure to keep a lip palette featuring multiple bright shades in her kit — although she's partial to red lips. Her go-to lip product is the MAC Select Lip Palette. "It’s great if you need to throw on a red lip quickly or if you need a bit of cheek color," she says. "You’ve got multiple shades and it’s so good to use on the go."
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A Liner Duo For The Killer Cat-Eye

The cat-eye goes back all the way back to Cleopatra, and if that doesn't scream power, we don't know what does. To achieve this timeless look, Hughes suggests mapping out the shape of the wing with pencil first (she uses Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl in Bedroom Black), tracing along your upper lashline and winging out at the outer corner of each eye. Then, to set the pencil and to get an extra-dramatic effect, trace over the wing with a liquid eyeliner, like Surratt Auto-Graphique Eyeliner. If a cat-eye doesn't come easily to you, it's all about practice. "Our eyes change as we age, so you can never get comfortable with it," she says. "You should [practice] a couple of times a month, [otherwise] you’ll get floppy at it and forget it."
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A Stay-All-Day Concealer

When choosing a concealer that'll cover everything from dark spots to acne scars, Hughes looks for one that's sure to stay in place all day. And the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer does just that. "It controls oil through the T-zone, and it works in harmony with foundation [with] no dryness."
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Mascara That Is #LashGoals

Hughes' clients love the long-lash look, but according to her, what makes a great mascara is its ability to be layered as much as you'd like. The Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara fits that bill. It contains red seaweed extract and a combo of natural waxes to give lashes intense pigmentation and volume.
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A Grown-Up Glow Stick

We love highlighter, but there's a fine balance between glowy and oily. Apply it just at the T-zone and on the high points of the face, says Hughes. Cult classic Glossier Haloscope has crystal extracts that'll give you that angelic dewy effect you crave. Plus, it's full of vitamin-rich oils that'll nourish your skin.
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A Brush To Blend It All In

A solid makeup kit doesn't stop at cosmetics. You also need tools that will make your application smooth and precise, like this multipurpose NARS brush. "I’ll dip it into the concealer and mix it on the back on my hand to remove any excess product," says Hughes. "Then I’ll just skim it around the nose, a bit under the eyes where the orbital bone is, a little bit above the brow, and around the mouth to brighten [the skin] and to bring a little bit of matteness to the face."
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