Make-Up Artists’ 8 Essential Tools

foundation brushes make up artists

by Sam Freedman |

Ever wanted to know what a beauty pro really cant live without? The one product that surprisingly gets them through ever backstage at fashion week, or behind the scenes of an editorial shoot with an A list celebrity? We spoke to the beauty greats, those responsible for creating some of the more glamourous ad campaigns in the world, and really dug deep on what they really and truly love. From random, to exceptionally useful, we’ve now discovered eight genius products to add to our shopping lists, and we hope you will too…

1. Balm with benefits

Lynsey Alexander

Make-up artist at Streeters

Lynsey Alexander

Having added the campaigns of Miu Miu, Dior and Sonia Rykiel to her very lengthy CV, we can confidently say that Lynsey Alexander is one of the make-up artists to know. Her desert island essential? ‘I couldn't do my job without Estée Lauder Re-Nutri Restorative Balm, £120. The ultimate rescue remedy for dry, tired, sunburned or wind-chapped skin, it's packed with botanical extracts and essential oils to deeply replenish and repair. I also like it as an intensive treatment pre flight.

Estee Lauder Restorative balm]

2. Top Tape

Sharon Dowsett

Make-up artist at CLM Hair & Make-up

Sharon Dowsett

‘Crafty’ is Sharon Dowsett’s middle name. Backstage you’ll find her using the palms of her hands to press on blusher, brushing lipstick onto eyelids, or smudging mascara into brows. Her hidden gem? Surgical tape. ‘It’s a make-up artist’s best friend’, she exclaims. ‘It lets me create precise, clean lines with supreme ease and accuracy absolute accuracy, even when I’m rushing through thirty plus models backstage.’

Red tape

3. Easy Peel Nails

Jenny Longworth

Nail technician at LM Hair & Make-up

Jenny Longworth

Nail pro Jenny Longworth counts Rihanna, VB and Jessie J as her clients, and coined the nail shape,’squiletto’ (that’s a square stiletto, to you and I). ‘My job involves constantly experimenting and changing my own nails, but one of my biggest bugbears is removing gel polish, or even regular varnish. Thankfully, Little Ondine peel-off polishes, from £9.50 each, mean I can wear a look for a day or two, before peeling it off when I get bored.’

Little Odine polish

4. Power Pomade

Luke Hersheson

Hairstylist at Art + Commerce

Luke Hersheson

As creative director of John Frieda, as well as his own salon Hershesons, a lengthy list of industry insiders trust Luke to create suitably fabulous hair. His secret weapon? ‘I always carry Tancho High Grace Vegetable Lavender Pomade, £12.76. I buy it in bulk from Ebay, and it’s honestly the best product I've ever used for taming flyaways and smoothing static hair.’.

Tancho Pomade

5. Exfoliating wipes

Hannah Murray

Make-up artist at Art + Commerce

Hannah Murray

Regularly painting the faces of Hollywood and the fashion industry’s elite Murray’s casually cool attitude translates seamlessly into her work. One of the things we love most about her? She keeps it simple: ‘I sometimes find exfoliating wipes too abrasive for the face, but on the lips they're a godsend. Wrap a Kiko’s Pure Clean & Scrub Wipe, £5.90 around a finger gently buff away flaky dry skin using a circular motion. Follow with a nourishing lip balm.’


6. Sunscreen

Dr Sam Bunting

Cosmetic dermatologist

Dr Sam Bunting

When dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting speaks, the beauty industry listens. So take note… ‘I love Elta MD UV Clear SPF46 Facial Sunscreen, £35.72 – it’s more than just a sunscreen. With its unique primer-like texture which sits brilliantly under makeup, it also actively fights blemishes, due to its high niacinamide content (a restorative power ingredient). Given that one of the biggest barriers to getting women to use sunscreen daily is a fear of blemishes, this is an extremely valuable property.’

Elta MD Facial sunscreen

7. Oil Up

** Sophie Harris Greenslade**

Nail artist at Emma Davies Agency

Sophie Harris

A master of precision, Sophie Harris Greenslade aka The Illustrated Nail artist, swears by cold pressed hemp seed oil - Grazia loves the Erbology one, £7.99. 'Rich in minerals like vitamin E and containing all 21 amino acids, it's incredibly nourishing and transforms dry cuticles. It's even known to alleviate dermatitis and eczema.'

erbology oil

8. An avant-garde accessory

Syd Hayes

Hairstylist at Art + Commerce

Syd Harris

Adored by the likes of Lara Stone, Karlie Kloss and Gigi for his supreme charm and brilliant sense of humour, hair stylist Syd was somewhat sheepish about his secret styling tool: ‘The most random, but arguably useful thing in my kit bag has got to be a garter. I don't know quite where it came from – honest - but I use it to wrap under or over top knots for a cool hint of unexpected texture’. Bobby pins are so last year…

Black garter

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