For this installment of “What Should I Get,” the Cut is looking at the best makeup. Four celebrity makeup artists who are experts on everything from no-makeup-makeup to full-on red carpet share with us the best Sephora beauty buys under $60.
Read on for the one beauty tool they use everyday (so many of them recommended it that we had to ask them to pick something else), the perfect eyelash curler, and the one red lipstick used at the Golden Globes that people won’t stop asking about.
Suzy Gerstein, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
I’ve been using this lash curler for years and have even my most lash-curling-averse clients and family members hooked because this curler is so gentle and doesn’t pinch or pull. Putting a metal clamp close to your eye (and delicate eyelashes) is awkward for both makeup artists and regular people, but this device makes it super easy and comfortable to nestle up against your eye-bed. The rounded pad in the curler gives a soft, gradual, not aggressive curl. The strip of red also means it won’t get lost in your makeup bag.
The key to these powders is that it’s the most finely milled, refined, easy-to-blend powder formula on the market. These are Japanese-made blushes, but they’re so versatile that I use the Aureole shade as a highlighter and Grisaille as contour. I like to think of them as the anti-contour contour and highlight products. They gently sculpt the face but never look like “Instagram makeup.” Sometimes, I’ll use the two as a base to a smoky eye, or on their own when I want a no-eyeshadow-eyeshadow look. The highlight tone also works super well applied with a damp brush to give that beautiful glow little kids have at the inner corners of the eyes. The damp brush intensifies the shine and helps the color last all day.
Fiona Stiles, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
I used this lipstick on Lily Collins for the Golden Globes last year and have answered the question “WHAT lipstick is that?” about a zillion times. The color is simultaneously rich and vibrant, like if you looked up “red lipstick” in the library there’d be a picture of this one.
I always apply lipstick with a brush, but it’s easier to apply it on yourself straight from the tube. If you’re not great at getting a razor-sharp line use a flat concealer brush dipped in a little foundation to sharpen up your lip line. Do that — because that way you don’t overdraw your lips and risk making your lips bigger and bigger until you have to wipe it off and start over again. Sometimes subtraction works better than addition.
I think there’s maybe one or two days a year that I don’t use this tool at work. It’s basically become an extension of my hand. I know there are a lot of imitators out there, and I’ve dabbled because I always love seeing how products work, but this is the original and truly the best on the market. I like it in black because I think it looks chic in my set-up but they have a rainbow of colors to choose from. Also, the brighter-colored shades tend to fade and stain, so they don’t look as clean.
For the everyday user, I suggest washing it with the Masters Cleaner to get out the foundation absorbed deep inside. It doesn’t foam like a regular soap, which can take forever to rinse out, and gets them super-squeaky clean.
Ingeborg, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
If I had $60 to spend, I would use it on what I call core makeup — solid, dependable basics you wouldn’t regret buying. I always turn to this concealer and foundation that’s the secret ingredient for all the glowing looks I create, from red-carpet to editorial and advertising work. I even use this one myself, and I’m picky! It’s so easy to use with your fingertips or a brush, and the undertones are beautiful and warm, never ashy. It has a slightly dewy finish, doesn’t look cakey, and is very forgiving on fine lines. I’ve been a devoted fan since Rose-Marie Swift first launched it years ago.
This is what I call a make up classic at a bargain. The little set includes the cult Bobbi Brown gel-eyeliner pot plus an eyeliner brush. I like this because it doesn’t smudge in the crease like some pencils do, and is so much easier for a novice than a liquid liner. This liner can do a subtle line, a graphic cat-eye and a smoked-out line and everything in between. The set also contains their bold, voluminous, inky black mascara. I think bold mascara and flawless glowing skin (from the RMS Un Cover-up) is a winning look and always looks great on everyone.
Justine Purdue, celebrity and editorial makeup artist
This is a good dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills much-loved Brow Wiz. The pencil is thin, yet firm enough to create hairlike strokes. The opposing mini comb on the other end of the pencil is great for brushing and blending. There’s a nice array of ten shades to choose from, but my particular favorite is shade No. 5, a versatile ash I use on both blondes and brunettes.
If you’re a fan of the original highlighter, the Living Luminizer, which is used to create the dewy look for every J.Crew model, this is all that and more. In this compact, it feels slightly more emollient, making them easier to blend. They also come in four shade variations (one with slight sparkle for that extra glow). It’s my new secret weapon for dewy highlights.
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