The Stealthiest Products Beauty Pros Swear By

Whether it's the go-to red lipstick that looks incredible on everyone or that clutch hairspray, we know there are certain products beauty pros always have on them. But aside from the obvious ones, also tucked inside the kits of top hair and makeup experts are a handful of items we have never even heard of, as well as products (even utensils) that are used in ways you would never expect. Think a greaseless balm, the ultimate concealer palette, or a Clarisonic for your lips.

Those are just a few of the answers we got when we quizzed some of our favorite pros on the craziest (and most effective) products they have with them at all times. The answers differed widely, but all pointed to one thing: maximum beauty realness. Click through to find out what these experts swear by. You'll never look at your takeout chopsticks the same way again.
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Perhaps the biggest sexual innuendo in beauty product history is the name of this hair pomade: Cock Grease. It takes inspiration from the pompadours of roosters — not lube — and it lets you create the easiest slicked-back look, thanks to its water base. Sam McKnight used it backstage at Balmain's spring 2017 show, and hey, if it's good enough for Gigi, it's good enough for us.

Cock Grease XXX Hair Pomade, $14, available at The Grease Shop.
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This palette is actually used in costume makeup to create a sunburn effect, but makeup artists take advantage of pro palettes like this in other ways. "These color wheels contain the best shades of cream blush. The Severe Exposure Wheel is perfect for a brightening and fresh-looking glow," says makeup artist Benjamin Puckey.
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"I love the smell and effect [this dry shampoo] gives the hair. It's great for adding body to fine hair, too, and doesn't make hair sticky," says hairstylist Matt Fugate. He's got a pro tip: Spray at the roots when your hair is 75% dry to buffer sweat later on.
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Yes, that is the strangest lash curler you've ever seen. But makeup artist Nick Barose swears by this little guy and its small clamp, which makes it easy to curl parts of the lash at a time. "Not everyone needs to curl the whole lash," he says. "On some eye shapes, it can make eyes look too doll-like — too round. Sometimes just curling the outer corners helps lift and open the eyes."
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No, hairstylist Lacy Redway doesn't keep chopsticks in her kit for on-set sushi. They're actually clutch for updos. "I use chopsticks to assist on updos like French rolls," she says. "You wrap the hair around the chopsticks, then slide them out at the bottom." Genius.
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Makeup artist Pamela Cochrane is a huge fan of this device, which she calls a Clarisonic for your lips. "It's a great little gadget that all of my clients love," she says. It exfoliates your lips, leaving them smooth and ready for lipstick application.
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Sure, you can apply eyeliner with this brush, but Cochrane actually uses it to place false eyelashes more accurately. "I like to use it for pressing in [the false] eyelashes as far as they can go to the lashline," she says. The smaller tip gets in closer than your fingers can, allowing for the most natural look possible.
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A lot of pros swear by the Beautyblender to give skin an airbrushed finish, but Puckey still uses foundation brushes. Specifically, these from London Brush Company. "These beautiful sable foundation brushes are my favorite to apply cream foundations and concealers, because they deposit a very thin layer on the skin," he says.
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Peek into any makeup artist's kit, and you're sure to find Elizabeth Arden's cult-favorite cream. Why? It's good for everything. "I use it to gloss up some shine anywhere you want on the face," says makeup artist Rommy Najor. "I love to use it on the lips and eyelids."
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The beauty brand RCMA launched in 1963 and is still a major makeup-artist favorite — especially its foundation. "The foundations are still produced by this small company, and every batch is handmade and hand-poured into the packaging," says Puckey. "They contain no perfumes, animal extracts, mineral oils, or lanolin, which makes them great for sensitive skin. They have an incredibly natural finish and are best suited to normal to dry skin."
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Gorilla Snot may not be the most glamorous name, but hairstylist Adir Abergel swears by this gel. "It doesn’t flake, and [it's] not too hard," he says. "It’s the best. I have not found anything like it."
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Fugate has some pretty huge praise for this bottle, calling it the best heat-protectant, ever. "It protects the hair from [the] heat of the dryer," he says. "It's a must for any heat-styling, really."
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This neutral shade isn't just perfect for your eyes. "I like to use it for the lids and even to contour the cheekbones," Najor says.
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Plenty of people shy away from fake lashes because they can look, well, fake. But Puckey swears by this set from Velour Lashes. "They really give the illusion of long, natural lashes," he says. Don't be turned off by the price tag — with proper cleaning, you can wear them multiple times.
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I know, I know — how much better than a Q-tip can a cotton bud be?
Apparently, a lot. Najor loves these buds from Muji because they're smaller and a little more stiff than regular ones, which makes them great for the area around the eyes.
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For Redway, Bed Head spray is a go-to texturizer. She uses it to thicken her clients' hair and add grip to it.
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Not all glosses have to look so...glossy. "This matte-finish, soybean-oil and beeswax-based balm works great when you want moisturized lips without the shine," Puckey says. "I use it a lot on guys...and to thin out matte lipsticks."
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Fugate often uses powder-brush volumizer instead of back-brushing to get volume. "It adds grit and a second-day feel to sweaty hair," he says. It's also great on photo shoots because it doesn't show up under harsh lighting.
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Not all texturizers are created equal. Redway is a fan of this one from Oribe. "I use this to make hair look piece-y on the ends without giving it a waxy look," she says.
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Sure, you'll see this in a makeup artist's kit, but Redway also uses it on hair. "I use this to help tame flyaways on the surface of the hair," she says. "I spray hairspray on the brush and then run the brush on top of the flyaways."
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When your clients all have different skin tones, you'd think you need to carry around a ton of highlighter, right? Not so, says Barose, who swears by this bottle by Tom Ford. "It’s the shade I use on every skin [tone]," he says. "On fair skin it warms it up peachy, and on darker skin it brightens the complexion without turning rosy."
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"Salt sprays can be really harsh on the hair," Abergel says. "That is why you have to find ones that are not heavy on the salt and have great combinations between salt and oil." He recommends this one from Philip B.
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This Dermacolor concealer palette by Kryolan was initially created for people with scarring or pigmentation issues, but is actually one of Puckey's most trusted standbys for its wide range of shades. "This concealer can be thinned down with moisturizer [to create a foundation] or used alone to conceal," he says.
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We watched Redway use this leaf blower on a recent shoot. It helps her add movement to the hair as models' photos are being taken. How else would they get that "I just stepped into a breeze" look?

Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Blower, $99, available at The Home Depot.
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Instead of tossing your foundation and switching to a lighter formula in the warmer months, pick up a bottle of this makeup mixer instead. "It's a great makeup primer, and also great to thin out foundations and concealers," Puckey says. "I also use it to freshen up foundation at the end of the day by gently patting it on the skin, which refreshes and re-emulsifies the base."
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Anastasia Beverly Hills may be the standard among makeup artists, but Puckey swears by this tube instead. "For someone like me who's obsessed with a brushed-up brow, this brow gel is ideal to keep the brows in place."

The BrowGal Eyebrow Gel, $20, available at The BrowGal.
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No, this isn't for a midday tooth refresher on long shoots. Fugate swears by a toothbrush to tame flyaways. "I spray hairspray on the [bristles] and pinpoint my application," he says.

Colgate 360 Enamel Health Toothbrush, $2.99, available at Target.
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Behold the product that will neutralize that huge red zit you've got. "This yellow-toned powder is great in warm weather to tone down reddish complexions and get rid of oily shine," Puckey says. "The powder is a little coarser than most, which makes it even better at absorbing shine and perfect to set undereye concealer."
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"I use [a color-tint brush] to help me apply gel to hair," Redway says. "It minimizes the mess."
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The right finishing spray is necessary for any good kit, and Fugate loves this bottle from Sally Hershberger. He uses it over a hair oil for extra shine.
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You can use this little red tube of ointment on just about every part of your skin, but Cochrane has another innovative idea. "I sometimes use it on the brows to sleek them down," she says. "I find brow gel can dry a bit hard."
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Is your hair feeling a little fried? Fugate suggests running a bit of this guy through your 'do. "It infuses strength, softness, and radiance into the strands," he says. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Pai-Shau Biphasic Infusion, $57.99, available at Amazon.
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