In my years as a beauty director I have met more professional makeup artists than I could possibly list. They tend to be charming, easy-going, friendly folk who love a chat - unless it's on the record. Then, they're a little more, well, shy shall we say.
You see, makeup artists stand to make big money through cosmetic company sponsorship and often don't want to formally 'endorse' a product unless they've been paid to do so.
Don't get me wrong. I understand. That makes perfect sense to me. But given I have spent so much time with them I'd love to tell you the products I spot in their makeup kits time and time again.
During my career I have peeked into more makeup collections than you can poke a stick at. One of the products I always find is an inexpensive mascara. In particular, Maybelline New York's Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, $12.95.
Makeup artists love this mascara because it creates lashes that are long and full and never, ever clumps. The waterproof version is particularly good if you touch your eyes or are likely to weep. Let's face it - it happens to the best of us.
I've not attended a single makeup session that hasn't included a hydrating foundation product. Skin needs moisture and that's all there is to it. Coverage that provides said moisture is a must-have.
The version I am seeing almost daily right now - L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow, $27.95. It has a luminous and dewy finish that lasts while providing excellent coverage. What's not to like?
Budget buy number three is a paw paw ointment. Yes, I know it's largely made up of petroleum jelly and in fact, contains very little actual paw paw, but makeup artists love this stuff and I must admit, me too.
The tubes are handier than a jar of traditional Vaseline, although makeup pros often have a pot of this too, and are easier to carry about. They will often use one or the other to comb through unruly eyebrows, soften chapped lips or, provide a soft sheen to cheekbones and even eyelids. Who knew!
Finally no makeup artist worth his or her salt is ever without a quality concealer. These wonder products can disguise the darkest dark circles, the breakout of a lifetime, redness and even be used as a foundation in an emergency.
The one I am seeing everywhere right now - Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, $14.95. Seems this little beauty is true to its name and really does bring the fresh, dewy look we all crave and for very little spend.