Every makeup artist has their favorite products, and here are mine! These eight products universally work great on most skin colors and types. I've been trying different brands for 20 years now (both high, middle, and low-end), and have narrowed it down to these "must have" products. This list is unique in that I don't work for any cosmetic company, and have no reason to choose one product over another. These are the products that I always have to have two of: one for my kit, and one for my own personal stash!
1) Maybelline "the falsies" Volume Express. (It's the one in the purple tube). Don't mess with waterproof... unless you want waterproof. The non-waterproof stays put all day. In full-disclosure, the waterproof is difficult to remove at night, so just go with non-waterproof.
Why I love it: the consistency is perfect. It's the best mascara I've ever, EVER used. The wand shape is perfect. It makes my lashes long and thick, without over-doing it. Do yourself a favor and don't pay $20-$30 for mascara. Plus, you have to change it out so often, that it's nice to have an inexpensive option. Bonus for me is that I can afford to have a separate tube for each of my regular clients!
2) tarte CC Undereye Corrector - I use the "light-medium" shade (it only comes in 2 shades). If you're caucasian, you'd probably fall under the "light-medium" category. If you're dark-skinned, the "medium-tan" will most likely work for you.
Why I love it: The coverage is uh-maze-ing! It spreads so silky smooth and has FULL coverage. I use it not just for undereye, but for blemishes, age spots, anything, really.
3) Kevyn Aucoin "The Eye Pigment". I have blue eyes, and for me, the "Titian" shade makes the blue really pop. All four shades are gorgeous, though. What it is is a cream eye shadow, and it sticks and stays all day, unlike a lot of powder eye shadows. It's really concentrated!
Why I love it: I love anything cream based, in all honesty. Cream-based products tend to have much more staying-power than powder-based. Plus, when you apply it, you don't have to worry about it falling on your cheekbones like powder eye shadow! No muss, no fuss!
4) Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Foundation. Best liquid foundation out there, hands down. I use it on myself, and on all my clients. You can match ANY skin tone, as they have so many shades!
Why I love it: It has full-coverage, yet... looks totally natural. It never cakes, doesn't flake out on you. And because you can get an exact match to your skin tone, it literally works for everyone, from the palest of pale, to the darkest of dark. The consistency is creamy, and gives you a glow. It's not matte, but doesn't make you shiny - the absolute perfect finish.
5) Nars blush in Orgasm - Just... get it. Trust me.
Why I love it: Because it's the number one selling blush for a reason. Martha STEWART uses it. It is a coral-peachy shade with golden shimmer that literally makes you look flushed, like you've had a healthy... oh, let's not go there. It looks great on MOST skin shades.
6) Tarte clay pot Amazonian clay waterproof eyeliner. Comes with a brush. Bomb. I've used many different waterproof pot eyeliners in my day. This one, however, does NOT dry out, does stay waterproof, and comes in the best 4 colors you'll ever need. Remember, they're NOT paying me to say this.
Why I love it: Perfecting the cat eye with a brush was sketchy until I found this little duo. The brush that comes with it is so handy. It's a steal.
7) Glo Minerals Redness Relief Powder - 95% of the people I work on have some degree of redness to cover. Whether its from acne, roseacea, flushing, or just your natural skin tone, redness can be hard to disguise. This yellow powder effectively "cancels out" the redness, when foundation alone doesn't do the trick.
Why I love it: I have one client in particular with roseacea. This is the one thing in my kit that will fully disguise her redness. For those with mild redness, you just need a little of this applied with a fan brush, and there's no need for foundation.
8) Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment - I wear the berry color because it goes best with my skin tone. But it comes in some beautiful shades. It goes on like a really hydrating lip balm, and although it's sheer, there's still a lot of pigment in it, so it looks like regular lipstick.
Why I love it: Because it's an all-in-one product. I don't have to apply multiple products to get the effect it gives. Essentially with this, you're getting a lip treatment, lipstick, and gloss. I'm not into scents, but this one is just really fresh. It just makes you feel good!