As a pro artist who works both in media and with private clients, I am always on the hunt for brands that work well in front of the camera as well as in everyday use. Because of this I do tend to favor pro artist brands & some prestige brands. Reason being that mass-market/lower price point brands tend to be less pigmented, not blend as well, and fade quickly. There is one very very notable exception to this rule and most artists I know sneak this brand into their kits: Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics.
Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics has been around for quite a while and I am always surprised that more women are not hip to the fabulousness that is this line. The line is sold exclusively at Target, which is a large part of the line’s success. In partnering with a major retailer, Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics is able to manufacture direct to retail meaning that they can provide prestige quality cosmetics at mass retailer price point, whereas if she’d done the line independently, her prices would have to be much higher. The other minor difference is the packaging. By sticking to attractive yet simple packaging, they are able to focus their money on the quality of the cosmetic instead. Long story short – there is little quality difference between Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics and most other boutique brands that you can name. So what do I love from Sonia?
Arch Alert Brow Kit Palette – This is a #1 Priority Item in my everyday working kit. The Arch Alert Brow Kit is a cream-to-powder formulation that applies easily and dries to a very natural looking finish. The quad comes with Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Blonde and Auburn colors so you can mix and match to get any color you need. Applied with an angled brush, you can simply sweep over brows for a natural day to day look or create an sharp arched brow for a more dramatic look. Perfection.
Perfectly Neutral Eye Palette – Good neutral eyeshadow palettes are difficult to get and often when you do find one they are formulated with too much shimmer. The Perfectly Neutral palette is the perfect array of colors with just the right amount of shimmer so they colors are flattering. The palette works on a wide range of skin-tones up to fairer black complexions. I have used these on a few headshot shoots and they have more than enough pigment for natural photoshoot looks and the shadows wear very well with no fading or creasing.
How To Create A Smokey Eye Kit – There are a lot of Smokey Eye palettes and kits out there in the world, my personal favorite being Smashbox’s Smokebox kit. What I love about Sonia’s How To Create A Smokey eye kit is that it contains the look for the entire face, not just the eyes, and it has step by step instructions. A makeup maven may not need this product, but if you want to learn how to wear a smokey eye including how to balance it with the rest of your face (lips and blush) this is the kit for you. If you already know how to create the smokey look, ignore the instructions and just incorporate this great palette into your kit.
Cosmetic Brushes – Any pro makeup artist will tell you that we can make it happen with pretty much any cosmetics brand we have to, but we are lost without good tools. Professional quality makeup brushes are easily amongst the most expensive items in an artists kit. The black handled Sonia Kashuk brushes, however, are a darn good facsimile. It has to be the Black handled ones. The other brushes are probably fine, but the Black handle brushes are clearly based on professional brushes in terms of both the weight of the brush and the density of the hairs.
Kashuk Tools® Bristle Hair Brush – Another darn good facsimile is this Kashuk Tools™ version of the infamous Mason Pearson brush. I bought one of these after having my second Mason Pearson brush “disappear” on me after a job. Mason Pearson brushes cost $200 a pop, so I cannot have them just “disappear” on me regularly. While there are definite differences, the Kashuk Tools brush has proven to be a worthy backup. The secret is in the combination of synthetic and natural fibers to add volume, smoothness and shine to the hair. This is a great brush for both blow-outs and styling. I have owned my Kashuk Tools® version for a couple of years now and it has held up well.
Hydrating Lip Balm – As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am a pure sucker for any kind of lip color product and I particularly love tinted lip balms. For the type of work I do for my media makeup clients, tinted lip balms provide just the right amount of color without looking overly made up. For my private clients, and any product that serves double duty (a lip balm and lip color in one) saves women much needed time in their beauty routine.
Super Sheer Liquid Tint Blush Collection – One of my absolute favorite products in my kit are my Tarte Cheek Tints. They provide the prettiest pop of sheer color and finish the cheek with a beautiful glow. I am extremely excited that Sonia Kashuk’s line has introduced a liquid blush and all indications are that the finish is very similar to my beloved Tarte cheek tints. I have not tried these yet but I look very forward to doing so.
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