Who to ask for an honest opinion about a beauty product? Well, the beauty insiders, of course. They’ll road test products at the salon, backstage at the shows, or on their celebrity clients. Here, 10 leading beauty experts reveal the one product that will always remain in their kit. By Natalie Silverton
Gordon Espinet, MAC Senior Vice President of Global Artist Training, Development and Makeup Artistry says ‘I can’t live without mascara in my kit. I grew up in the 60s with sisters who loved to apply mascara. I can spot MAC Haute & Naughty a mile away. It’s really thick but still looks creamy on the lashes and doesn’t go crunchy or dry. It’s blacker than black. I apply the thick end for a dramatic look - you just need one coat.’
Daniel Sandler, top British makeup artist says ‘My ultimate favourite has to be my fluid Watercolour blusher. Unlike most other cheek stains, it blends easily on skin, doesn’t need powdering to set and lasts all day long, as it’s waterproof. My special tip is to either apply using fingers for a natural-looking flush of colour or use my Waterbrush for a more chiselled/contoured effect.’
Daniel Sandler limited edition Watercolour in POP for MacMillan Cancer Support, £14.50. www.escentual.com (Available while stocks last).
Jamie Stevens, X Factor hairdresser, Men’s Hairdresser of the Year 2011 and Celebrity Hairdresser of the Year says ‘I use this every day in the salon, on session and television work (it’s been a big favourite at X Factor!), because it works for every hair type and style.
'It’s a texture cream, which gives short and long hair loads of body and a bit of guts. You’re supposed to use it through damp hair before blowdrying, but it works just as well as a finishing product.
'Warm it up in your hands, then work it through the hair until absorbed. It’s perfect for scrunching and getting great movement on short hair and choppy layers.’
Kay Montano, celebrity makeup artist to Thandie Newton and Amy Adams says ‘This is an innovative product that is so easy to use considering the dramatic look these powder cream eye shadows can create. They seem to blend automatically and it’s almost impossible to make a mistake.’
Vaishaly Patel, super facialist says ‘This serum does everything your skin needs, isn’t greasy or heavy, and smells divine. You can cleanse with it as it’s oil-based and it’s fantastic for removing make-up without stripping the skin. It gets rid of dryness, redness, irritation, lines and dehydration, and leaves skin plump and radiant.
'As well as using it in the evening (the essential oils are very relaxing), a couple of drops in the morning under moisturiser will make skin look dewy. Massage around eyes and onto lips to keep skin nourished.’
James Read, celebrity tanning expert says ‘This spray is great at highlighting certain areas. When you spray the face go over first with an ice cube to seal pores, and then apply a thin layer of moisturiser. This will make sure you tan is light. Start from the face, working down the body in stages. Another way to apply is to spray the product onto a tanning mitt and glide down the body.’
Dick Page, leading makeup artist says ‘The Iron Maiden Shimmering Rouge is an incredibly striking lipstick that is enhanced when worn with minimal make-up. It’s a schizophrenic pink as it also lends itself to a wide variety of other looks; chic with discreet eyeliner, playful with bright eye colours and aggressive with strongly shaded eyes.’
Shiseido Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in Iron Maiden (RS308), £19.50, 020 7313 4774
Caroline Barnes, top British makeup artist says ‘It’s the best stick foundation I’ve tried. They can often be drying or too heavy on the skin and a bit too concealer-like. This has a creamy texture that feels very lightweight and isn’t greasy, but has a beautiful sheerness to it.
'So quick to use, just a couple of war paint stripes across the skin, then blend in with fingertips and it disappears into the skin seamlessly. There’s no need for any other tools or powder. ‘
Jenny Longworth, one of London’s hottest nail artists says ‘I can't live without this brush in my kit. A strange product for a nail technician you may think but this is a tip that every woman should know: after polishing the nails I always take this brush dipped in remover and use it to clean up the paint job. It helps me to create clean lines around the cuticle and sidewalls, so the nails look immaculate on camera.Try at home for a professional finish.’
Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Spray Leave In Lightweight Conditioning Mist
Danilo, super stylist to Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga says ‘I call it wet shampoo, miracle water and a quick fix. This fantastically quick and easy pick-me-up is great for fresh or day-old hair. On the set I rarely have the luxury of washing and conditioning hair, so this product affords all hair types a refreshing re-start.’
Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Spray Leave-in Lightweight Conditioning Mist,£3.99, www.boots.com