I decided to change direction in research and gather some information on the best bought beauty products.
BEST POWDER SHADOW
MAC Eyeshadow, £12.50, MAC
“These eyeshadows are full of pigment, so what you see exactly in the powder is what you’re going to get on the eye,” says make-up artist Louise Constad, who’s worked with Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Pink. For vibrant colour, “always apply them with a brush, never use your finger, as it leaves a film over the powder shadow”.
Lipglass, £13.50, MAC
When make-up master Caroline Frazer wants to create a plumped-up lacquered lip, she reaches for these glosses. “They change your lip shape to a full, 3D effect,” she says. “The more you apply, the thicker, the glossier and the glassier the texture becomes, but it’s not too sticky.” Dab a bright colour on with your finger for a lip stain effect, or work a power pout with layers of gloss, she suggests.
BEST BROW FILLER
Eye Brows, £12.50, MAC
“I wish I’d discovered these years ago!” says make-up artist Alex Babsky, who has recently used them on Naomi Campbell, Alicia Keys and Georgia May Jagger. “The nib is narrow enough to draw on feathery strokes, but deposits dense colour that brushes through brows easily.” To get spring’s groomed arches, “use a shade slightly lighter than your natural colour to bulk out the brow and a darker shade to fill in sparse areas”.
BEST LIQUID/GEL LINER
Gel Eyeliner, £17, Bobbi Brown“I love the finished looks you can achieve with this gel eyeliner,” says make-up pro Florrie White, who has used it on Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Rosamund Pike. “Plus, you can be confident that it will last all day.” For a s/s 2013 twist, “use Caviar Ink as a your staple colour. This brown-black hue is softer on the eye than black, but still gives depth in the definition of the eyelash.
BEST MINERAL BASE
Original SPF15 Foundation, £24, Bare Minerals
“This gives a perfect blank canvas in seconds,” says make-up artist Yvette Redmond, who has used it on Daisy Lowe and Poppy Delevingne. “Plus it's buildable from sheer to full coverage depending on what you need. It’s kind to sensitive or problematic skin, doesn’t get cakey or settle into fine lines and it contains SPF – it’s my absolute secret weapon.”
BEST UNDER-EYE CONCEALER
Touche Eclat, £25, YSL
This is one cult concealer pen: star make-up artist Ruby Hammer has used it for 20 years. “I love the texture and the pump-action pen, plus it’s now available in many shades and it’s super-versatile too.” Case in point? “Clean up mascara smudges with a Q-tip dabbed in the concealer.”
BEST NEW LAUNCH
Touche Eclat Foundation, £28, YSL
This is the foundation equivalent of your favourite gold pen. “I fell in love with it when I was looking for a range of darker skin foundations with a light texture,” says make-up expert Liz Pugh, who’s worked with Mary J Blige, Adele and Eva Green. “It goes on smoothly and blends seamlessly into skin. My favourite way to apply it is as if it’s a face cream – really massage it into skin with your hands. Any extra coverage needed can be applied with a foundation brush.”
Tweezerman tweezers, £12.50, John LewisIt’s the slanted precision tips and perfect alignment that make it easy to grab every last hair, says star make-up artist Kirstin Piggott. “To ease the pain of tweezing, apply a warm cotton wool pad to the area beforehand. This opens pores to allow the hair to come out easier – always remember to pull gently in the direction of hair.
Shade and Illuminate, £55, Tom Ford
Make-up artist Lisa Laudat loves the ease of this universally flattering highlighting and shading duo. “When working with celebrity clients there is never much time, so I like anything that gives good results, fast. And Tom Ford gets the colour and ease spot on with this palette! Use a brush shade under the cheekbones to instantly sculpt, then dust the highlighter over cheekbones for a sexy sheen – you’ve got a contoured, glowing complexion in seconds.”
Nutritive Lipbalm, £41, Sisley
Make-up pro Gina Kane doesn’t leave home without this winning lip balm. “It’s an absolute essential. I’ve used it on Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson,” she says. “It's smooth, non-greasy, not at all sticky and once it’s on, it stays put.” It’s a fantastic base for lipstick and even works for hydrating dry cuticles.
BEST FACE POWDER
Sheer Face Powder, £26.50, Shu Uemura
Need a multi-purpose powder? “This genius formula works perfectly either brushed over foundation to set it or pressed into bare skin to mattify,” says make-up expert Alex Babsky. “It's invisible and doesn't build up on the skin.” Try it as an eyeshadow base too,” he says. “Or blend it over cheeks to tone down over-enthusiastic blush.”
BEST EYELASH CURLER
Eyelash curler, £20, Shu Uemura
It’s the slanted precision tips and perfect alignment that make it easy to grab every last hair, says star make-up artist Kirstin Piggott. “To ease the pain of tweezing, apply a warm cotton wool pad to the area beforehand. This opens pores to allow the hair to come out easier – always remember to pull gently in the direction of hair growth.”
BEST BRUSH LINE
Make-up brushes, £22.50, Shu Uemura
“These brushes are strategically shaped, super-versatile and give the best performance,” says make-up veteran Alex Byrne, who swears by them to create her favourite looks. “They work with both cream and powder formulas to blend, line, define, highlight and contour and give the smoothest finish.”
BEST POWDER BLUSH
Nars Orgasm, £21.50, John Lewis
“It’s the most versatile colour and is loved by every celebrity client of mine,” says make-up star Liz Martins. “I use it on all skintones – as a light sweep on a redhead for a natural flush or as contouring on black skin.” Use a fan brush to apply this standout hue, she says. “It helps you build colour naturally.”
BEST INEXPENSIVE MASCARA
“If you’re looking for a classic mascara that fits in your make-up bag, delivers good, quick coverage and doesn't clog up or break the bank, this is it,” says make-up maven Ruth Funnell, who has used it on Natalie Portman, Emma Watson and Cate Blanchett. “It’s all down to the firm rubber wand that produces the correct amount of mascara and coats each lash, however hard to reach.”
BEST LONG-LASTING LIP COLOUR
Lipfinity, £10.99, Max Factor
“If I need a lip colour to stay put, I know this won’t let me down,” says make-up artist Yvette Redmond. “Plus, the range has super-wearable colours from pale nudes to deep dark violets.” For extra-staying power, “apply two layers of colour letting it dry in between – a sweep of waterproof mascara remover works a treat to take it off”.
BEST COMPACT FOUNDATION
Studio Fix, £20.50, MAC
A smooth finish and perfect for touch-ups on the go is why make-up pro Lee Pycroft keeps this foundation in her kit at all times. “I also use it as a finishing powder when extra cover is needed. Dust it over a liquid foundation down the centre of the face for a refined finish.”
BEST EYE PENCIL
Eye kohl, £14, MAC
“Everyone loves MAC’s kohl pencil,” says make-up artist Georgina Graham. “The pigment is so intense and the waxy formula means it draws on smoothly and smudges just as easily – I’ve used it on so many celebrities, from Florence Welch to Lara Stone and Naomi Campbell.” Try Smolder, a deep dark classic black, which works on everyone, or opt for Teddy, a rich brown colour as a softer, daytime alternative, she suggests.
BEST LIPSTICK RANGE
MAC Lipstick, £14, MAC
“I can always find the perfect shade I’m looking for,” says make-up artist Lee Pycroft about these number-one lippies. “Everything works with this range – the variety of textures, colours and finishes available, the staying power and the shape of the bullet. My favourite shade is Ruby Woo. It’s the most dramatic matte red around. Moxie, Shy Girl and Pink Nouveau are this spring’s must-haves pinks.”
BEST TINTED MOISTURISER
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, £33, John Lewis
“I’ve used this product on Jennifer Lopez and Chloë Moretz,” says make-up maven Georgina Graham. “It works for women of all ages, because it’s sheer yet gives great coverage and it’s very hydrating so it acts like a moisturiser.” The result? “Your skin looks flawless but feels lightweight.”
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, £26, John Lewis
Make-up expert Lauren Parsons has used this cult classic concealer on Kate Hudson and Lara Stone. “It’s every girl’s dream – it camouflages, it stays put and the two shades are brilliant, as almost no one is a single skintone.” To avoid product overload, “use concealer after foundation to cover still-visible blemishes and redness,” she says.
BEST WATERPROOF MASCARA BEST WATERPROOF MASCARA
Hypnôse, £21, Lancome
”I always use this waterproof mascara on the red carpet, as it keeps lashes lifted for hours,” says make-up expert Liz Pugh. “It’s the texture that’s key – it isn’t drying like many waterproof mascaras out there can be and it lets you build volume without clumping.” Her top tip? “Don’t forget to coat the thin lashes at the inner and outer corners. It makes all the difference for full-on volume.”
BEST INEXPENSIVE FOUNDATION
True Match, £10.29, L'Oreal ParisWith shades from ivory to cappuccino across warm, cool and neutral tones, this foundation is practically bespoke. “Prime the skin, then work it into your complexion using your fingers – it gives an undetectable finish and fabulous coverage,” says make-up maestro Lica Fensome.
BEST LIQUID FOUNDATION
Vitalumiere Aqua, £32, Chanel
Make-up whizz Ruth Funnell uses this foundation as an instant skin-perfector. “It feels almost like a tinted moisturiser when it goes on, but covers where it needs to and leaves an incredible glow.” Press it into skin for a natural finish or apply it with a brush “for an airbrushed effect”.