I was having a little clear out, update and rifle though my professional makeup kit just a few days ago and it occurred to me there are quite a few products that have been in there for a long ol’ time, with no alternatives or newer products taking their place.
The 10 products that have stood the test of time.
Now when I say they’ve been in there ‘a long ol’ time’ …the same product hasn’t been sat in my kit for over 10 years, that would be disgusting, and I would be potentially libel…I mean that product I’ve re-purchased over and over again over the years. So basically they are pretty darn fantastic and I am yet to find better for what they do.
It’s not just me, I can guarantee these products will all be very familiar seen backstage at fashion weeks and makeup rooms all over the world.
1.) Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer. A makeup artist FAVOURITE. They are quite a dry textured concealer, that need warming up with a brush or fingertips and give a really good, full coverage. I think one of the reasons we like them so much is because they wear really well, due to that slightly drier/non creamy texture ; they travel well, withstand heat and being sat in makeup kits for lengthy periods of time. They are pretty large in size so they last a long time, the compacts are great for space saving in kits and storage and they have always done a great selection of shades that you can custom blend together.
2.) Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. This loose setting powder has been around WAY before that baking trend my huns. I’ve used this in my kit, along with her concealers, for at least 12 years. It’s a beautiful lightweight texture, doesn’t look cakey on the skin (if applied right) and it works on pretty much ALL skin tones. They more recently launched a medium-deep tone too.
3.) NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. You know I love these, I have written about them SO much over the years and used them for so very long. Hands down the best lip colours out there ; they do an incredible selection of shades (around 30 now?!), they stay on, double up as lipliner and lip colour, they are so easy to apply with no mess and easy to pack and travel with. You can check ALL the swatches here of every colour I own.
4.) Chantecaille Future Skin foundation. Ok this may be a little out of the blue as I don’t sing about these loads and writing this has made me realise that but this is one of THE best foundations for red carpet, brides and mature skin. It is the ultimate foundation for that seamless, second skin finish that never settles into lines or pores and looks absolutely brilliant on camera, the ready carpet and TV. It’s expensive, I rarely will use it on myself because just can’t justify it but I carry around 6 shades in my kit for my special clients. Oil-free. Glorious. Glowy.
5.) Stila Convertible Colors. Hello to the most versatile lip and cheek and anything-else cream colour. LOVE a multi-purpose product, love a product where you can just dab and apply with fingertips and these Stila beauties always leave the skin looking fresh, flushed and dewy. I also love the shade selection that they do and these seem to last for ages. I have my own special bag in my kit for all of these to slot into and they are perfect for that bitten and blurred lip colour. Perfect translucent colour!
6.) Inglot Duraline. I have actually recently tried alternatives of this as it’s not that easy to get hold of and I hate paying £5 postage on a £10 product but you know what…..nothing I have tried is quite as good. This a a must-have for ANY makeup artist’s or makeup enthusiast’s kit. It’s a colourless liquid-gel that you can drop into any makeup to make it more fluid and water-resistant. So useful for any dried up cream colours, cream eyeliners, MAC paint pots, brow pomades etc….this little dropper will give them their second-wind and a new lease of life. Money-saving in the long run. It’s also fantastic to use into loose pigments and glitters to change the texture and turn them into cream shadows or eyeliners.
7.) MAC Pro Longwear Paintpots. I’m super disappointed to see the reduction of the shades in these. They are so darn good and I’m clinging onto them for dear life. They are a long wear cream shadow, buildable, smooth to apply and they did and do some fantastic shades including the infamous ‘Painterly’ which has literally been around as a clean eye base shade for donkey’s years ; anyone remember when these came in the metal tubes?! From these shades that I can see they still do (all neutrals) it’s definitely worth picking up Painterley, Groundwork and Layin’ Low. The kind of shades you always think ‘meh boring’ but as a makeup artist you use them ALL THE DAMN TIME!
8.) Benefit Hoola. Still such a perfect cool and muted bronzer. For when you want subtle contouring and warmth. There aren’t many totally matte bronzers and this is an absolute gem for the kit. Best applied in good lighting with a nice fluffy powder brush and built up in layers. So pleased to see they have added more shades and extended the Hoola family!
9.) Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Water*. One of THE holy grail makeup kit favourites. Never not seen adorning rows and rows of tables backstage at fashion week and loved by makeup artists and models alike. The first micellar cleansing water to hit the market a whopping 25 years ago ; way before it’s time! It is still the best in my opinion and I always have a bottle floating about in my kit. They also have new linited edition bottle designs to celebrate the 25 years which is super cute!
Bioderma sensibio micellar water is not only brilliant for gentle makeup removal of all kinds including waterproof anything and everything, but it is also handy for little q-tip clean ups on the skin /eyeshadow droppage and neatening up eyeliner.
Back in the day, whenever a fellow MUA was off to Paris whether it was a day-trip, shoot or London fashion week, you would come back with a suitcase full of these Bioderma bottles to stock up your cupboards and give to your makeup artist friends who would have put the order in with you. Fortunately it is widely available now in the UK so no more frantic stock-piling like we used to!
10.) Ren Evercalm Day Cream* (used to be hydra calm when I first started to use it!) This has been one of my go-to face creams in my kit for so long. It just works on all skin types, it’s really calming and soothing so it’s also useful for fashion week when models are having makeup applied, re-applied all day long and their skin can be a little reactive. It has a really nice non-greasy finish so it sits well under makeup. Pump-type moisturisers are always good for the kit as opposed to dip in creams due to hygiene.
11.) Whoops there is 11, not 10. Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream. The OG of the multi-use balms. This is such a versatile product that can be used on lips, face, body, hair and it is a decent on-the-spot problem solver if you have dry skin, flakiness etc. Makeup artists often use this as a glossy skin/highlight too and I’ve used it a lot for runway and editorial shoots.
So that’s my little round-up of some products that have stood the test of time, seen thousands of faces over the years and won’t be leaving my kit anytime soon!
Can you spot any of your favourites here or perhaps some surprise products you wouldn’t think I would use that often in my kit? Some products I love only for my kit and won’t often use on myself but most I have a spare for my makeup table too.
* Press samples. This post contains affiliate links for more information hit up my disclaimer.