If you’re lucky this holiday, lots of slim envelopes with the promise of gift cards will be coming your way. How should you spend them? Consult the experts. In honor of the holiday season, and Ulta’s first store in NYC, we asked four professional hair and makeup artists about the best ways to judiciously spend $60 at the chain.
Michael Angelo, owner of Wonderland Beauty Parlor
“This hairspray isn’t heavy, but it holds. It blocks humidity, and you can even brush your hair the morning after using it and it’ll still look good. The secret to hairspray success is this: Spray up and into the hair. Do not go over the top — that just adds weight. Doing it section by section gives volume and moveable hair.”
“Uniquely, this is a sea spray without actual salt. That sounds like a scam, I know, but it really works. Actual salt is drying on the hair. When I do Victoria’s Secret–like looks on set or at Wonderland, I prime the hair with a sea spray to create touchable volume and reduce slipperiness. Spray it most heavily near the scalp and air-dry or blow dry to create beachy texture.”
“The shade range is so fun! I was actually the person who took Doe Deere, the creator of Lime Crime, baby blue for the first time. We use this to do fantasy colors at Wonderland, but the reality is they aren’t super long-lasting. This is good to keep at home to refresh your color. You can add a half a jar (or even less — have fun playing!) to your conditioner to keep your bright hair or unicorn hair looking vivid every day.”
Bob Scott, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
“I like this mascara more than other mascaras because of how well it holds without being waterproof. I can get thick volume and curl without having to worry about flakes or fallout. I’ve used the Eyeko black magic mascara on my client Padma Lakshmi. She has naturally straight lashes that need a good curl and a strong mascara to hold them — this mascara is perfect for that.”
“It’s the perfect creamy-yet-oil-free moisturizer. I can apply it before foundation and it won’t make the skin too dewy. I can even use it over foundation to help the makeup sink in and know that I’m not adding shine. This product also has SPF that won’t show up in photos taken with flash. I use this all the time on Hannah Bronfman. A little bit goes a long way with this product, but as with any moisturizer, apply as you need!”
“Technically this brings our total up to $61, but hear me out. At a shoot all about lip products, this one stood out on table covered with maybe 200 other lipsticks, creams, and glosses. The range of colors is beautiful, and the formula is soft and lightweight. I like applying three dots to the bottom lip and two to the top lip, then smudging them together. Take the edge of the wand to apply a clean line around the lips.”
Samantha Lau, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
“I love this product! I was blown away by how soft it made my lips. I find that a lot of lip treatments can be too thick and you’ll end up with lip boogers. Or it’s just not that moisturizing. It sinks right in, has a luxurious feel, and you can apply lipstick afterwards. I use it on my cuticles too, when I’m traveling.”
“More companies should make travel size packets of eye masks. This is a trick I’ve been doing for red carpet clients — I put the eye mask on and you do their eye makeup. If you’re using powder eyeshadows, the eye mask catches the fallout while hydrating and plumping your undereyes.”
“This is one of my favorite highlighters out there. It just has a wonderful buildable coverage. The texture is great — it’s liquid enough to move it around and doesn’t dry out too fast. It sits on the skin in a really pretty way. I apply it by putting some on the back of my hand and then using my ring finger to spread it around. Start by dabbing it on your cheekbones, on the inner corners of your eyes, a little bit down the bridge of the nose, and on the cupid’s bow. Then use a clean finger and blend out the edges so everything is seamless.”
Clara Leonard, celebrity and editorial hairstylist
“I think everyone should use some type of leave-in conditioner primer. It prepares the hair for any style without weighing it down. It’s like a face mist for your hair that you can use by itself or under product. It’s great for any type of curly hair on day one or day three, as it deactivates limp or flattened curls. I used it on Georgia Fowler who had naturally curly hair to bring out her natural texture and help it curl up without weighing it down.”
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