Beauty Insider: Products This Makeup Artist Lives + Dies By


As a makeup artist, everyone always asks me makeup questions. What it’s in my makeup kit; what I used on them; and my opinion on the latest products. It’s par for the course and the opposite of an occupational hazard, since I invite questions so I can share information!

Most of the time that I am working with clients, I am not wearing much (if any) makeup, so it doesn’t really surprise me that I’m not often asked what my personal favorite products are that I use on myself.

How strange, right?

I am a woman, as well, with the same makeup needs. I also have products I live and die by, that allow me to achieve the highest form of the “no makeup” makeup look. Smokey eyes and a full face of foundation is not my ideal look for the daytime (or in general) and I’m sure some of you will agree. I want to look like me, just in the best, most beautiful way. I never want to spend more than five minutes on my makeup, so the products I use are generally multi-purpose.

I do like to brighten up under my eye a little because I am not 18 years old anymore. Even if I’m not planning on wearing any foundation or tinted moisturizer, I still like to color correct a little without being too obvious. Solution? I think I found it… It’s a concealer which comes in a double-sided stick from Make Up For Ever. One side is peach, and the other is a light beige It does many things including hiding dark spots, camouflaging certain blemishes, minimizing lines and wrinkles, and reshapes the contour of lips if needed.

What I use this pencil for almost every day is to neutralize the purple undertones under my eye. The concealer pencil blends like a cream, but has the precision of a pencil. After moisturizing my face, I use the peach side of the pencil under my eye and directly in the hollow point or darkest area under my eye. It glides over and corrects the darkness perfectly. I then blend slightly with warmth of my ring finger. Since it’s not a creamy product on a brush, it’s not messy. It sets to the point where you might not even need to set with powder, unless you get very oily. I use the lighter side of the concealer pencil on the inside of my eye –as opposed to white which can sometimes look a little too dressed up. For darker skin tones, you can use the peach side on your water line to brighten inside your eyes as well. The result is two major spots brightened all at once and with minimal effort.

I think eyebrows should always be clean, neat and on point, and that alone will make you look put together. After years of trying everything from powders, gels, and different kinds of pencils, I find that MAC’s Eyebrow Pencils are one of the best products for brows. The point is super tiny and accurate, and the pencil glides with ultimate color. Just use it in the little gaps of your brows and make sure you have a clean mascara spoolie to brush them.

As I stated before, I am no longer an eye shadow wearing queen. In my teens and early ’20s, I certainly experimented with color and eyeliner but now I put the focus on the lips since I feel that is a positive feature. (Editor’s Note: Sam has amazing lips, the kind that women spend money at plastic surgeons to try and emulate I covet them! They always look beautiful) For a year, I have had an almost exclusive commitment to one product for my lips, as crazy as that sounds. It is a Velvet Matte Lip Pencil from Nars in the color Dolce Vita. It gives me the right amount color needed, and it’s a few shades deeper than my own lip color. Because it’s a chubby pencil, I don’t even have to look in a mirror when I put it on; it just gives the overall wash of color and does not have to be applied perfectly.

As far as mascara goes, this seems to always be the question. I honestly suggest trying a few of them to see which one is your favorite. Since this is about specifics, I will tell you that my favorite mascara for the last year has been Yves Saint Laurent’s Mascara Singulier. Since mascara is something I use almost every day, I prefer one that does everything all at once, but not in a dramatic way. This mascara gives volume, curls and lengthens, all with an effortless application. It’s almost as if the wand was doing all of the work for you. It is not a mascara that clumps so. If you haven’t tried this one — despite the high price tag– I highly recommend it. It is worth the investment.

So now you know some of my personal makeup secrets and favorite products. I haven’t ever revealed exactly what I do for my effortless look but now you have it. Just remember: Makeup does not always mean smokey eyes or bold lips; it should be about perfecting all the other little features on your face.

Samantha Lennon, Makeup Consultant & Artist
“Your Makeup Artist”
Beauty Insider @ Keyword: Samantha Lennon

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