Check out the update for this article at Top Ten Products Without Which I Would Die Revisited

As a makeup enthusiast and product junkie I love knowing what’s new in makeup-landia; what the trends are, what the hot new brands are, etc. As a makeup artist, however, I have to temper my enthusiasm with what works. Sometimes all you have 10-15 minutes to do the job and it needs to look like you spent an hour. This is where your Stand By products come in. No time for experimentation; I need to reach in, grab a product, and know exactly what it’s going to do. If you’re an aspiring artist, take note as many of these products are unilaterally loved by makeup artists all over. Makeup aficionados take note as many of these products are what artists are actually using, even when they say they’re using something else. 😉

Here then are my Top Ten products:

10 ) Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.
For sanitary reasons, I use the tin. No matter how craggy someone’s lips may be this fills in the cracks, provides a nice smooth surface and feels good to the wearer. And it’s matte enough to use on men. On the downside, it is not vegan. I would like to find a great vegan balm that I do not have to order online. In the meantime, Burt’s is cruelty free.

9 ) Malin and Goetz Lip Moisturizer
If for any reason Burts Bees does not get it done, it’s time to pull out the heavy gun. The anti-Burts Bees, Malin and Goetz is scientifically synthesized instead of naturally derived. It’s expensive. It’s worth every penny. You have never felt anything like it. It is an unbelievable product.

8 ) Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray
Nothing like working like a dog to create a perfect face only to see it evaporate in a few hours (or less!). Skindinavia stops the insanity. And unlike other finishing products, it is not a fixative (i.e. – hairspray for your face). It is clear, weightless and matte and works by lowering skin temperature rather than gluing the makeup to your face.

7 ) Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette
A while back this would have been higher on the list, but they changed some colors and the formula feels a bit different since this started selling in stores like Sephora. The Flash Palette is still an amazing product for intense color applications or tempering other color cosmetics. If you do not know what that last sentence meant, this probably is not the product for you. Use with caution!

6 ) NARS Artists Palettes
These would be WAY higher on the list – probably top 3 – were it not for the fact that NARS has discontinued all of the ones I use. I have no idea what I’m going to do when I run out. le Sigh.

5 ) Sephora Harmony 2 Lip Palette
Another discontinued wonder product. Perfect selection of colors and a great formulation for $14. Why do companies discontinue great products????

5 ) Three Custom Color “A Century In Red” Palette
A great selection of shades of reds and a great selection of textures (glosses, mattes, velvets) to mix and match to achieve the perfect look. And it’s not discontinued 😉

4 ) Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid
I don’t know if they still make the powder, but if they do skip it. The liquid is the thing. All Over Shimmer Liquid is not too sparkly (or even shimmery), comes in 2 perfect shades that do not have too much color, and gives a beautiful radiant glow that lasts for a good long time. There are many similar products on the market, but this one is my favorite of its type by far. This has to be one of the longest-standing products in my kit.

3 ) Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, and Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert Brow Kit***
My eye trifecta, so many times when I did not have time for a “full” eye makeup, I can use these three and get a nice defined eye. There are a lot of gel eyeliners on the market now, but Bobbi Brown is the originator and still the best IMO. Great Last is one of those “love it or hate it” products, and I’m in Camp Love. Yes it’s thick, yes it’s gloppy, yes it’s dark. That is exactly what I want. You have to work it but once you get the hang of it, the eyes pop like none other*. And yes, Sonia Kashuk is “that brand at Target”. It is a secret makeup artist’s jewel because Ms. Kashuk is – herself – an elite makeup artist and knows how cosmetics need to work. Her brow kit is perfection. It is a wax formulation that dries to a natural looking finish and it contains all the colors you need to do any shade of brow including redheads. Brilliant.

2 ) Embryolisse 24-hour Miracle Cream
Obviously, makeup does not look good on skin that is not properly cared for. If you read up on beauty products at all, you’ve surely heard about this product and with good reason. One product to moisturize, prime and remove makeup? AND that can be used a shaving cream? And it is excellent at all of it? Sold!

1 ) Cream Foundations and Concealers
I am sure you’re reading this going “boo, hiss – which brands specifically???” Well, it is a difficult thing to answer specifically because what I use depends on what I’m doing. I generally rotate between Graftobian Hi-Definition and Cinema Secrets both of which are pro/theatrical brands and Shu Uemura Nobara Cream** for my foundations. For concealer I use the heaviest of heavy duty – Kryolan’s Dermacolor concealer (Kryolan is also a pro/theatrical brand and Dermacolor is medical grade and a tattoo cover). Except for Shu, I would NOT recommend any of these for street wear. Cream foundations and concealers are tricky because they are easy to get wrong. Once you get the hang, however, they are more flexible than their thinner formulation siblings because you can apply them thinly or more heavily and control the level of coverage. So what brands would I recommend for at home use? Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick and Benefit Cosmetics’ Play Sticks or for darker skin tones, Iman Cosmetics Second to None foundation and for concealer,Three Custom Color makes another perfect palette with every shade you could need to blend the perfect concealer color for you.

* there is a new, amazing NATURAL mascara brand on the market that looks extremely promising

**Sigh… I am not seeing the Nobara foundation on the Shu Uemura USA site any longer and Nordstroms is “out of stock”. Looks like another great product has been discontinued…

***OK so with listing 3 products on #3 this is actually a list of 12. So sue me 😉

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