What’s inside a makeup artist’s makeup bag


I’ve always been curious about what kind of products other professionals use. Like what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush dentists themselves use, or what kind of night cream dermatologists swear by… etc.  So I decided to post my makeup bag.  As a professional makeup artist, one golden rule I swear by when it comes to buying makeup: never pay full price.

The trick to buying makeup isn’t picking whatever off the shelve that you think looks “cool”; this includes those crazy electric blue color eyeshadow and creamy glitter jars.  They’re fun to look at and buy, but chances are you, you will never use them. At the same time, avoid buying the same shades over and over again.  I know people that will buy 10 shades of brown and 5 shades of black, all because they think they’re all slightly different from one another. Another rule is don’t buy makeup because it’s cheap.  I know some women will buy a shade a foundation at 1/5 of the original price, but it’s 3 shades too dark, what’s the point? You can mix it with a lighter foundation, but then again, that means you’ll need to buy a lighter foundation to match, now you have 2 jars of useless foundations.  Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to look at outlet stores or wait for sales to happen to buy some extras from your favorite brands. I’ve hauled away with hundreds of dollars worth of makeup by paying a fraction of the amount by waiting or checking out outlet stores.

Some of the products I use and LOVE:

CONCEALER

Photogenic Concealer by LANCOME – too bad they discontinued this product line! It is the most amazing little jar of the most non-sticky and smooth coverage concealer.  But because I can no longer buy this product, I have found the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (in a square box) to be a good replacement.  I also use YSL’s concealer/highlighter pen for right under my eyes, it totally brightens up the face.  It’s a bit pricey, and Revlon makes a good cheaper alternative.

FACE

I have some of the greasiest skin known to mankind.  Most people might not notice it, well that’s all because I use the right kind of products to conceal this atrocity. Because of how oily my skin is, I mostly only use powder foundation.  To offset my greasy skin, I sometimes use a primer to get rid of the shine.  I use MAC’s Beauty Balm, which works great as a primer, tinted moisturizer, as well as sunscreen.  My two favorite  foundations are Laura Mercier’s mineral loose powder, and MAC’s Studio Fix compact powder.  I love the natural feel and great coverage of LM’s mineral powder, but MAC’s compact is a good solid coverup that you can get away without applying concealer underneath.  And both seem to manage my shiny face sans problem. A cheaper and very good alternative to LM’s mineral is L’oreal’s mineral foundation.

CHEEKS

At any given day, I’ll have at least one bronzer and one blush on.  I hate shiny stuff, it just doesn’t look good on me.  It makes my oily skin look even oilier, so I stick to the matte stuff, and plus, it also works as a contouring powder.  You really can’t do contouring with any shimmer, because it just looks bad.  I use Stila’s shade 1 bronzer, and Shu Umera’s blush (both matte).  The Cargo tin you see, is slightly shimmery, and I only use it right on the apples of my cheeks, just small dabs is all I can handle with the shinny stuff.

EYES

If I want my eye makeup to last more than 3 hours, I am going to use Urban Decay’s super awesome Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I’ve had this stuff on and lasted through a rough night and woke up the next day with flawless eyeshadow still.  This stuff works, and it’s amazing.  In terms of eyeshadows to use, I don’t have any particular preference.  I love them all.  If you use UD’s primer and good brushes, you can make 99 cent eyeshadow look and last as long as the $55 Chanel stuff.  In the photo, I have a small compact variety from Lancome of a bunch of different gold and brown shadows, a deep solid black from Bobbi Brown, and also a very light shimmer (for highlight) as well.  Personally, I only carry neutral and wearable colors in my makeup bag, and if I want something like Chronic Electric Green, I’ll dip in to my professional makeup kit for that.  For eyeliner, I use MAC’s fluidline in blacktrack.  It lasts all day through tears and sweat, doesn’t smear or budge, it is the best stuff if you’re serious about eyeliners. I love Almay’s long lasting eyeliner as a cheaper alternative that achieves similar result but with a fraction of the price.  For brows, I use Lancome’s eyebrow pencil in Taupe/dark blonde.  Even though I am asian, I find the dark blonde eyebrow pencil to be most flattering without looking like I just tatooed my eyebrows on my face. For mascara, there are two that I swear by, and they are both made by Lancome.  I love the Deficils as well as Hypnoses mascaras.  The famous lengthening, separating and lash defining power, this shit is amazing, and Lancome makes the best mascaras hands down.

LIPS

I love Revlon’s Just Bitten lip stain, it’s very cheap, and it gives it a very different look to the lips.  I like Burt’s Bee’s lip balm, so I use that on top of the lip stain to make it look like my lips have color, without looking like I have a lot of stuff on it.  For lipstick, I LOVE MAC’s lipstick call Lustering in this sheen/lustre finish.  Gorgeous on any skin color, and makes my teeth look white because of the blue undertone.  I also have a bright red lipgloss from Lancome should I feel “adventurous”.  I use a 99cent ULTA lip liner that’s just 2 shades brighter than my lip color as base.

TOOLS

Good brushes are important.  In fact, they are so important, that it really makes a difference in application.  Without good brushes, doesn’t matter how much money you spent on your makeup, it won’t look good unless you have the right tools to apply it.  At the same time, with the right tools, you can make cheap stuff look fabulous! I love the mini kabuki brush from Eco Tools as the applicator for my mineral/powder foundations.  The synthetic hairs are very soft and it just grabs the particles for a very soft airbrushed finish.  Also, it’s also a good idea to carry a pencil sharpener.  You’ll always need it!

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