Beauty Swag Makeup Artists Actually Use

Raise your hand if you have a makeup bag full of eyeshadows you haven't used since college. Maybe a few mascaras in there? How about some foundation you bought, then realized it was the wrong shade? Yeah, that's what we thought. We're right there with you.
It’s time to clear the clutter. And, who better to help us do that than people who live out of their makeup bags every day? So, we asked five makeup artists to share the stuff they actually use — on their clients and themselves. Ahead, the products and tips that have the best pros in the biz really buzzing.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit; Photo: Courtesy of Polly Osmond.
Polly Osmond

How would you describe your personal beauty style?

"Very natural. I think I look younger with less makeup on. "

What are the top five items you always stash in your makeup bag?
"Lancôme's Hypnôse Doll Lash Effect Mascara, Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream, Chantacaille Pure Rosewater, Elizabeth Arden's 8-Hour Cream, and Clinique's Redness Solutions Mineral Pressed Powder."

What's your go-to summer fragrance?
"Diptique's Figuier Spray."

What's your trick for melt-proof makeup for NYC summers?
"Stay indoors with the air-conditioner cranked high! Or, failing that a good mattifying primer."

What’s the biggest mistake people make when buying makeup?
"Buying the wrong shade of foundation — it still happens way too much!"

What’s your favorite drugstore/bargain product?
"Cetaphil's Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Lotion."

What one product will you wear forever?
"Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20."

Where's the best place in New York to shop for beauty?
"I really like Bergdorf Goodman or Barneys — they're expensive, but they have great lines and brands that are not so mainstream."
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit; Photo: Courtesy of Jay Sullivan.
Shannon Grey Williams

How would you describe your personal beauty style?
"Simple, clean, elegant beauty. Even if I am 'putting on my face,' I love to keep it simple and bring out one feature at a time. Or, adding a little something unexpected but not overwhelming — like metallic eyeliner."

What are the top five items you always stash in your makeup bag?
"Shu Uemura's Eyelash Curler will always be my favorite. I'm a self-professed mascara junky — so I always apply two layers of Maybelline mascara. Make Up Forever's Face & Body Liquid Foundation is super light and provides fantastic coverage and super long wearing. I'm also hooked on NARS' The Multiple Cream Blush Stick in G-Spot. Diorskin's Forever Compact Powder is super light and keeps the shine down, but it's never cakey."

What's your go-to summer fragrance?
"I have been wearing Krazy Krizia all year round since 1992!"

What's your trick for melt-proof makeup for NYC summers?
"You still need to moisturize, but I find a lighter moisturizer works better in the summer. Make sure it has an SPF in the formula — I love the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream with SPF 30.

“Use less makeup. If you are feeling a bit naked, try boosting your glow with some self-tanner. I use the Tarte Self Tanner, it has a tint so I can see that I am applying evenly. More cream products and less powder products: Cream formula blushes and eyeshadows won't crease or cake like powder formulas when the sweating starts. Use waterproof mascara if you must, but a couple coats of waterproof over a regular formula often help keep the raccoon eyes away, and it's easier to remove. If the sweat starts to drip, blot papers are great. Just blot — don't rub — and your face will stay intact. "

What’s your favorite drugstore/bargain product?
"Again, I am a lash junky — I love Maybelline's Lash Discovery Mascara. It has a mini brush that grabs and thickens every lash. I layer it with the Lash Stiletto Mascara for length and a killer effect."

What's one product will you use forever?
"Personally, I've been using Makeup Forever Face & Body Liquid Foundation for 12 years. I also keep it in my kit. You'll have to pry this out of my hands , along with my perfume!"

Where's the best place in New York to shop for beauty?
"There are so many great places, but when I need a quick easy stop that has a million choices, it's Sephora. I can totally wander and play there without pressure. I always find a product I never knew I needed when I walk in there, which can be dangerous."

What's the next big trend in beauty?
"I think multitasking products are just going to keep growing at lightening speed. Like the BB and CC creams, we all just want the shortest route to the best look that lasts the longest. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists are all weighing in and helping create cosmeceuticals (combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals). This marriage of science and beauty is going to just keep getting stronger and stronger."
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit; Photo: Courtesy of Pati Druboff.
Pati Dubroff

How would you describe your personal beauty style?
"Healthy skin is my obsession, and I keep it very minimal with makeup. Glowing skin, a defined brow, and lots of mascara to make the eye pop. I love tinted lip balms and sometimes will rock a strong matte red lip when feeling sassy (and wanting to deal with the maintenance involved). I care much more about health and well-being than being overly painted."

What are the top five items you always stash in your makeup bag?
"Kiehls' Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, Clé de Peau Beauté's Concealer, Dior's Addict It-Lash Mascara, Pati Dubroff's Professional Waterproof Pencil in Caviar, La Prairie's Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection A Porter."

What's your go-to summer fragrance?
"Kiehls' Musk — I like rich and earthy fragrances, and this one is light enough for summer."

What's your trick for melt-proof makeup for NYC summers?
"A mattifying primer and BB cream. I forgo foundations and powders, instead using these helps with an even and less greasy appearance. For eyes I will use waterproof eye pencils and only waterproof mascara if necessary as these are harder to remove and therefore a bit rough on the eyes."

What’s the biggest mistake people make when buying makeup?
"It's SO IMPORTANT to utilize natural light when choosing foundation shades. Also, I see people usually choose a shade too dark in the name of wanting to look tanner. In an ideal world everyone should have two shades, one that matches the neck to use in the center of face and one that matches the cheek for the perimeter of face. If this isn't possible chose one that is right in the middle."

What’s your favorite drugstore/bargain product?
"Jergens' BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream is truly remarkable. It blurs imperfections immediately and with continued use helps the skin get more nourished, and evens the tone and firmness of skin."

What one product will you wear forever?
"Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray."

Where's the best place in New York to shop for beauty?
"I am a big fan of the tight edit at Space NK — only the best of the best makes the shelves there. I also love to visit Barneys beauty floor for new finds and old favorites."

What's the next big trend in beauty?
"In Europe, I discovered Dr. Dray who pioneered the Mesolift — a method of injecting the skin with vitamins, minerals, and hyaluronic acid. I am blown away by how the skin has more vitality, more volume, and the formula is completely free of preservatives. European women know that the overly pulled or overly filled faces don't look flattering, and this subtle way of improving volume through vitamin infusion is the way to go. Also more and more women are taking advantage of all that's on offer in terms of at-home facial devices. The NuFace trinity and Dr. Lancer microcurrent are my go to for giving a quick lift. I'm also experiment more and more with the Quaser photorejuvenation light device as well as the Skin Perfecter from Le Mieux which is ultrasonic and uses high frequency for deep cleansing."
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit; Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Martin.
Daniel Martin

How would you describe your personal beauty style?
"I would say my signature style is ‘Runway Realist.’ An editor once told me that I have a knack for translating a fantasy look off the runway for real women. For me, it always starts with great skin and building around the feature you want to accentuate!"

What are the top five items you always stash in your makeup bag?
"Sana's Powerstyle Eye Lash Curler: This Japanese eyelash curler has the widest band on the market and fits every eye shape. Bioderma's Crealine is an all-purpose makeup remover that breaks down even waterproof mascara. Algenist's Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid is the perfect SPF for those who don't like the feeling of a sunscreen: Its lightweight, noncomedogenic formula is perfect for those who need the coverage without feeling oil on their face. Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9: This magic fluid reduces bumps, spots, and redness on the face. The perfect companion to tame a skin challenge before makeup! Tatcha Deep Hydrating Revitalizing Eye Mask is the perfect cooling aid for puffy or tired eyes. Keep them in the fridge for that extra cold relief."

What's your go-to summer fragrance?
"Diptyque's L'Ombre Dans L'Eau."

What's your trick for melt-proof makeup for NYC summers?
"Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray."

What’s the biggest mistake people make when buying makeup?
"Choosing the wrong foundation color."

What’s your favorite drugstore/bargain product?
"NYX Cosmetics."

What one product will you wear forever?
"Naphcon-A eye drops. I'm totally addicted!"

Where's the best place in New York to shop for beauty?
"SHEN Beauty in Brooklyn."

What's the next big trend in beauty?
"The next big trend will be silver eyeliner or silver metallic shadows. It was everywhere this couture season in Paris!"
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit; Photo: Courtesy of Troy Surratt.
Troy Surratt

How would you describe your personal beauty style?
"I would describe my makeup application style as having a classic approach but always with a modern sensibility. When it comes to beauty, I think it's important for women to be aware of beauty trends without being trend obsessed. That’s what my line Surratt is all about — easily applied products, incomparable textures, and modern, wearable colors. As a makeup artist, I approach each client as an individual with the goal of enhancing her best qualities."

What are the top five items you always stash in your makeup bag?
"Surratt's Relevée Lash Curler is an amazing tool — it’s hand-calibrated and made in Japan. It requires less pressure so lashes are protected while they’re curled. La Mer's The Concentrate works great as a prep or primer because it obliterates any dead or rough skin and also diminishes pore size and fine lines. I use By Terry's Rose Balm to prep the lips — I put it on a client first and allow the lips to soak it in, while I work on other areas of the face. It moisturizes and plumps the lips. Shiseido's Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask are amazing — they eliminate puffiness, brighten the under eye area and the retinol diminishes any fine lines as well. I’ll put those on a client while I’m setting up my makeup station and just let them soak in. Surratt's Expressioniste Brow Pencil and Brow Pomade go hand in hand. I designed a refillable metal case for the pencil so it feels great in the hand and the formula is solid powder so it creates a more natural effect on the brow. The pomade is a flexible wax formula that adds the perfect finishing touch, à la Cara Delevigne."

What's your trick for melt-proof makeup for NYC summers?
"I use Tatcha blotting papers for absorbing too much dewiness on the face or sweat around the hairline are also a must. It’s nice in the summer to keep skin really bare and use the opportunity to create a impactful color moment."

What’s the biggest mistake people make when buying makeup?
"I think taking makeup too seriously can be a big mistake. Some people spend way too much time deliberating over the perfect color or shade. I think it’s better to approach makeup with a sense of fun and irreverence, because, really, it’s not rocket science. If you think a color is pretty or if there’s a cool new shade you want to try, try it! There should be a bit of whimsy and adventure. It should be about having fun and using makeup as a medium for creativity and self-expression."

What’s your favorite drugstore/bargain product?
"I really like Maybelline Baby Lips in the clear version — it’s great for prepping lips for lipstick or gloss application, and it has SPF, which is a huge plus in the summer. Our lips don’t have any melanin or oil glands in them so they have a tendency to burn and chap, especially in the warmer months when we spend more time outdoors, so using a lip product like this is important."

What one product will you wear forever?
"I have to say Créme de la Mer The Concentrate. It’s a great all-around prep product that also soothes and moisturizes. It has the highest concentration of the Crème de la Mer miracle broth, which is derived from sea algae and has amazing healing properties. I’ll put it on no matter what, even if I’m just leaving the house with a baseball cap on."

Where's the best place in New York to shop for beauty?
"Barneys has always been my go-to for both beauty and fashion. Their beauty department is where influencers shop to discover something new. They’re ahead of the curve on new products and have a history of discovering and launching great new lines like NARS, Stila and Lipstick Queen. They’ve always been an amazing springboard for new brands. "

What's the next big trend in beauty?
"I think we’ll see a return to beiges and browns on lips and also more suede-y and matte textures. It’s the antithesis of all of the bold reds and pinks we’ve been seeing on the mouth for some time now. It’s going to be more about neutrality and beiges, taupes and browns. Not just nude lips but venturing back into the brown-based colors that were so prevalent in the early ‘90s. In the past those lip looks were really matte and opaque. Moving forward there will be more moisture in the look because formulas have come a long way since we first saw those shades during the supermodel days."
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