The holidays are practically synonymous with soft glam, and no look is complete without a shimmery palette. (Not to mention they make great gifts.) London-based makeup artist Ammy Drammeh, whose work has been seen on faces like Michaela Coel, Harry Styles, and Adut Akech, favors the Dior Backstage Eye palette. “It’s become a staple in my kit. They are high pigment, have matte and shimmery finish and their shades are neutral. Perfect for a laidback or glamorous look.”
Other palettes worth adding to your rotation? Milani’s Gilded Nude Palette and the Curated 5-Pan Palette from Hourglass in shade Desert Earth.
For Supercharged Color
Michael Anthony (who’s worked with stars like Ariana Grande and Paris Hilton), says he loves the NikkiTutorials x Beauty Bay palette because “the colors are super charged with pigment and the unique duo chrome shades have a lot going for them: they twinkle like a refined glitter and go on like a silky cream to powder formula!” Anthony notes the multifunctional appeal of this palette as well: “I’ve used these to highlight the cheekbones and brow bones and I love that they are semi-transparent which makes them really fun for layering,” he says. “I love that they are not exclusively for the eye.”
If you believe in going bold or staying home, then it wouldn’t hurt to add ABH’s Norvina Pro Pigment Palette and Juvia’s Place The Zulu Eyeshadow Palette to your collection as well.
For the Minimalist at Heart
Remi Odunsi, who has done makeup for Raveena and Ziwe, is a self-described minimalist. Accordingly, she explains, “my criteria for a good palette is anything with both matte and shimmery shades that also bring some pops of color.” The Amrezzy palette is her favorite thanks to its warm-toned variety, wet or dry. “Best to put this one on before makeup or to use a kleenex on your face to avoid fallout,” she advises.
Ultra minimal and sleek, Glossier’s new Monochromes Trio will cover your matte and shimmer needs in a case that’s perfect for on-the-go touchups, while the Mineralist Sunlit Palette from BareMinerals comes with the only shadows you’ll need to create natural-looking depth to your eye.
For Earth Tones That Pop
Sheriff appreciates the Juvia’s Place palette’s range of vibrant and rich earth tones. Plus, she notes, “it won’t break the bank, as they’re each under $20 bucks!” Other palettes worth considering in this category are Ilia’s The Necessary Palette and Chanel’s Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow in Blurry Green.
For a Touch of Luxury
“What I love is how easily the shadows glide on with a makeup brush. This can be seen in the pigmentation of the eyeshadow which allows for the eye to pop! This is also true when combining colors, whether a smoky eye or building on three or more vivid colors,” says Erika La Pearl, who can’t get enough of Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Divinity Palette. “Pat McGrath has a variety of palettes with amazing shades which complement and enhance. Also, the packaging and quality is what draws and catches your attention. You feel like doing your very best and also making the client look ‘glamorous.’”
Makeup artist Yolonda Frederick, who works with Ciara, seconds these sentiments. “I’m a huge fan of reflective shadows. And Pat McGrath Labs’ Mthrship Mega: Celestial Divinity palette is a stunning collection of shimmery shadows with two or three contrasting matte colors. These luminescent shadows are richly pigmented with a buttery texture for a silky smooth application. This is hands down one of my favorite, most versatile palettes.”
For the All-In-One
Bob Scott, who works with designer Aurora James and Padma Lakshmi, among others, loves the Viseart palettes because “they come in all sorts of color combinations, from neutral to bright to pastel colors, with 16 shades in each compact. The color payoff is great and the formula is easy to blend.”
The Nars Climax Extreme Palette is another recent favorite for Scott due to its versatility. “Its selection of shades can work on anyone for daytime, nighttime, natural or deep and smoky.” Other palettes that will cover every eye look you can imagine: Beauty Bay’s Bright 42 Colour Palette and Morphe’s 35M Boss Mood Artistry Palette.
For the Perfect Smoky Eye
Anthony says the Lorac Pro Palette Noir, along with the brand’s Pro Palette Soleil, are two of his favorites. “They are mesmerizing palettes that encompass a full spectrum of cool and warm neutral tones as well as matte and glittery foiled finishes, so they have been a sure bet for my kit. I really admire the amount of shades they have worked into such a compact and chic palette,” he says. “These are an excellent choice when you want some range—whether you’re daytime business Zooming with a neutral wash of color or making an appearance at a your favorite Zoom Party session in a clubbed out smoky eye, you have everything you need in the palm of your hand!” Also consider Fenty Beauty’s Snap Shadows Palette in Smoky and Chanel’s Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow in Modern Glamour.
For Precious Jewel Tones
“I’m in love with [Huda Beauty’s] Naughty Palette which came out for the holiday,” Sheriff says. “It is filled with a wonderful range of mattes, shimmers and glittery shadows in wonderful jewel and earth tones.” Too Faced’s That’s My Jam Palette and Milani’s Gilded Jewel Palette can also add a wonderfully decadent effect to any makeup look.
For the Avant-Garde
Makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez, the go-to makeup artist for Christopher John Rogers’ shows, says the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership III is his most-used palette. “I love all of the Pat McGrath eye shadow palettes. They really are worth the investment! The colors are so unique, rich in pigment, easy to use and she has some of the most unique finishes that have now become so signature to the brand.”
For another palette that features a unique selection of vibrant hues, check out Byredo’s 5 Colours Palette in Syren.
For Day-to-Night Wear
Delina Medhin, who has worked with Issa Rae, says she loves the Stupid Love Eyeshadow by Haus Laboratories because “it has colors in there for both everyday and fun so you can have fun with it but also do everyday glam.” Other options for a bit of everyday sparkle are the Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette from Nars and Urban Decay’s Naked2 Basics.
For Those Who Favor a Cult Fave
Odunsi calls the Lorac Pro Palette an “oldie but goodie,” adding that the brand’s selection is “great because they go on smooth, have great pigment and don’t leave a lot of fall out. The Original Pro Palette (#1) is a nice cool-toned eye palette, especially if your vibe is chill and you like more muted colors. This one has shimmer, matte and muted color variety. Solid for a nice chill slay!” A couple of additional cult-faves you’ve likely seen in tutorials: the iconic Urban Decay Naked Palette (now Reloaded) and Charlotte Tilbury’s Starry Eyes To Hypnotise Palette.
If you’re a beauty junkie, you know that navigating the world of makeup can be a pretty overwhelming experience. Whether you’re in the market for a new concealer, translucent powder, or setting spray, there seems to be a million options for each—who has time to test them all and find the very best one? Luckily, that’s what beauty pros are for.
Vogue reached out to five noteworthy influencers and makeup artists who are all gaining large followings for their stellar makeup looks. This includes Neon MUA and Robert Welsh—both of whom create colorful eyeshadow looks like no other—and Wayne Goss, who has nearly 4 million followers on YouTube. If you’re a Lil Nas X fan, you may also recognize Anthony H. Nguyen’s work: He serves as the rapper’s makeup artist, and has created many of his memorable red carpet and video looks (like this graphic liner for the “Montero” video). Meanwhile, Shantanu Dhope—whose Instagram tagline is “Brown Boys wear makeup too”—also creates eye-catching beauty looks that incorporate his Desi culture.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #64 series on my blog.
Beyond simply creating enchanting looks, these pros are also proving makeup is truly for all—whether female, male, or nonbinary. Dhope, for instance, says he proudly wears makeup because, “I feel we do not have enough brown skin representation in the beauty industry, especially brown men wearing makeup. In India, a boy wearing makeup is still a very new concept, and a lot of people consider it to be a taboo.” Goss also specifically encourages men who are new to makeup to experiment and have fun with it. “When it comes to makeup, most men tend to want to enhance their looks without anyone knowing they’re wearing any,” says Goss. His tip to achieving the perfect beginner look? “Make sure you apply ‘little’ and avoid over-application. Less is more. And never be afraid of blush—healthy skin has some color to it.”
Below, read on for these five beauty artists’s top products for everyone to try.
Call me biased, but my collection of face palettes with Midas Cosmetics is something that everyone needs in their kit. These palettes are pigmented, buttery, and most importantly, they have the range. My focus with creating this collection was to make sure that everyone can have access to effective contours and bronzers, whether you are fair and need products that don’t run orange, or if you’re deeply rich and are tired of not having access to contours and bronzers that actually show up on your complexion.
This is a recent must-have for me. I love this powder because it is truly translucent. The All Nighter collection is known for being waterproof and locking in your makeup for hours, so being able to finally have a product that helps with sweat and shine that is also a true translucent powder is a gift from the makeup gods.
I will always love NARS foundations because they have such a wide range of shades and undertones, plus their formula is always top-tier. Out of all of the NARS foundations, this is the one that I always find myself reaching for, because it offers a nice amount of coverage without looking cakey, while also giving you the natural, healthy glow that everyone wants.
MannyMUA in my honest opinion has one of the most impressive influencer brands in beauty, because he’s not afraid to play with color and concepts. All of his palettes are truly impressive (especially his revamped Life’s A Drag Facelift palette), but if there’s one palette that I will also grab, it’s the Strawberry Dream palette. Reds and blues are some of the hardest colors to work with in terms of shadows, yet these shades are so pigmented and blend like a dream. Everyone needs this palette.
With the classic technique of soap brows becoming a more recent trend, and many brands releasing their version of brow grooming waxes, this is one of the only brow products I have found that draws smoothly and precisely over a waxy texture. After grooming brows into that fluffy look, this pen is also perfect to draw strokes of hair on the brows, without losing the overall look.
I find a lot of highlighters can look textured or obvious on the skin—either because they contain glitter, or because the shades are slightly off, with a metallic finish. This highlighter is the complete opposite. There are multiple different shades that complement skin tone, instead of the highlighter being just pink or gold for example. When applying this highlighter, you notice how it effortlessly blends, and almost becomes one with your skin. And because it’s buildable, you can start at a natural “glowing from within” to a more dramatic glow.
Beauty Bay has always been a go-to destination for me when looking to try new products and brands, as they offer everything from drugstore to high-end products. Their own brand’s eyeshadows, at drugstore prices, offer high-end quality. Every texture, matte, shimmer, and glitter are extremely pigmented and blend beautifully. They all have an almost creamy texture that is easy to build, and are a pleasure to use when creating a makeup look.
Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo
One thing I get asked a lot is “what’s the difference between bronzer and contour?” These compacts are the perfect representation of what a bronzer and contour should be. The bronzing powder provides just the right amount of “sun-kissed” without being orange, and the cream contour shades create the perfect ‘bone structure-mimicking’ contour colour, which blends naturally into the skin. If you’ve had trouble finding your perfect contour shade before, or perhaps are intimidated by the idea of contouring, this product is the perfect place to start, and stick with.
I cannot leave my house without grooming my eyebrows. I just run this product quickly through my brows to give me a clean and fresh looking brow. It gives me the right amount of color without looking over done.
Whether you’re going full glam for an occasion, or an important meeting over Zoom, it’s important to make sure that beat doesn’t budge — especially after sitting under the glow of the computer screen for hours on end. Luckily, the easiest way to ensure your flawlessly applied foundation, blinding highlighter, and sharp-winged liner doesn’t melt off, is by incorporating a setting spray — aka hairspray for your face — into your routine.
According to Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Victoria Vohland, setting spray is made up of three components: water, alcohol, and a film former that create a barrier to prevent makeup from slipping. It’s the same chemical formula used in hair gel, just made safer and gentle enough to use on the face.
To use, simply give your whole face a mist, or in cues. New York City-based makeup artist Tommy applies setting spray in a zig-zag motion on his clients, starting on the forehead and moving down to the chin. “I spritz it on the skin in distance to help rehydrate the face after applying makeup,” he says.
Another tip, courtesy of makeup artist Kate Lee, who works with celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, and Emma Roberts, dampens a BeautyBlender sponge with the liquid before pressing it on the skin to smooth out dry patches or creased makeup.
With these tips in mind, here are the best setting sprays on the market right now:
Patrick Ta Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist
Patrick Ta’s Major Glow Dewy Milk Mist is made with rosehip seed oil to moisturize, black tea to even out skin’s tone and texture, and witch hazel extract to calm and refresh. All this to say: This facial mist does way more than give you a glowy finish. Plus, the glass packaging is so luxe, you’ll feel rich when spritzing.
Morphe’s Continuous Setting Mist has a nozzle that sprays wide so it hits every inch of your face with just one hit. Just spray it eight inches from your face (eyes closed!) and you’ll immediately thank it for the long-lasting effects it has on your makeup.
Coola’s Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray has SPF 30 in the formula to protect from harsh rays as it holds makeup in place. It’s also made with hydrating hyaluronic acid, and a blend of juniper, date palm, and peony extracts to maintain moisture as it shields.
Benefit The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray
According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, dimethicone, which you can find in Benefit’s The Porefessional Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray, “gives a blurring effect to the skin.” The microfine mist minimizes the appearance of pores, all while maximizing the wear time of makeup.
Tarte’s Maracuja Miracle Mist Setting Spray is made of a cocktail of maracuja oil (rich in vitamin C to brighten and rose and cucumber water to soothe. Spray this over your finished makeup to lock in your look and reveal an overall luminous glow.
Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Another 2020 Best of Beauty winner, the Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is a longtime favorite of magazine editors and makeup artists alike. The microfine mist lets you dance the night away (on Zoom, of course) without worrying about your foundation melting off or your shadow creasing. You’ll seriously be set for 16 hours straight.
When commerce writer Angela Trakoshis first tried Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray, she didn’t have high hopes because setting sprays never really work for her. Luckily, it proved to be the exception. “My makeup lasted all day — even under a mask — and that, my friends, is impressive,” she says.
The way Hourglass Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray is part makeup lock, part skin moisturizer, all with lots of staying power. The Allure Best of Beauty 2020 Award winner creates an invisible shield over skin to give it a forgiving finish if you have any blemishes while keeping your makeup in place for the day.
Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set
The Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set doubles as both as a primer and a finisher, which makes it that more of a favorite to former assistant beauty editor Kat Suico. “I love that I’ve found a drugstore option that works well for me,” she says. “This spray comes out in a fine mist that covers my face in about two to three pumps. I’m convinced it grips and helps makeup last all day.”
L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist
I love a good multi-tasking product, which is why the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist earned a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. Use it as a skin freshener when you need a pick-me-up. The coconut water and vitamin C will prime and give dull skin a boost. And then spritz again after applying makeup to set it.
If you’d spend $5 to have your makeup last all day — look no further. E.L.F.’s Makeup Mist & Set Spray was one of the staples in editorial assistant Gabi Thorne’s makeup bag when the drugstore aisle was the primary source of her collection. “It keeps my foundation lasting all day long for a very low price and leaves a nice mist of product on the face without feeling like you’ve been attacked by the spritzer,” says Thorne.
Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray
The Tower 28 Beauty SOS Save.Our.Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray is a very gentle formula made with saltwater and hypochlorous acid, which calms irritated skin and soothes inflammation. Los Angeles-based makeup artist Robin Black like to spritz it on a clean face before applying skin care and makeup. “It’s also great midday as a quick makeup refresh and at night before bed,” she says.
The Nyx Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray is great if you’re looking for more of a dewy finish, rather than matte. The drugstore find leaves skin looking luminous but never oily. They do have a matte version of this setting spray though, if you need.
Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist
The Marc Jacobs (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist is described as a ‘micro-mist,’ this milky spray is so fine you’ll need to bring the bottle just four inches from your face to feel the full effect. Once you do let the mist hit, it’s ah-mazing. Post-spritz, your skin will look slightly dewier and happier.
“This lightweight mist is always in my kit,” says makeup artist Elisa Flowers. According to Flowers, the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ helps prep the skin for makeup, refreshes it during the day when products tend to separate on the skin, and makes for a great mixer if you add it to powder products.
If glass skin is what you’re after, then Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dewy Set Setting Spray was made for you. The 2019 Best of Beauty winner gives skin a gorgeous radiance with zero shimmer or sparkle to be found — and it locks makeup in place for hours. Just call it liquid gold.
Finding an eyeliner that stays put it is no easy feat, even among those marketed as long-wearing or waterproof. That difficulty gets heightened a thousand-fold (no pun intended) when you’re trying to do makeup for hooded eyes, where a bit of skin hangs down over your eyelid crease and makes your eye makeup transfer with a single blink. But according to celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass, who counts Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Olsen as clients, this annoying makeup issue has an easy fix.
On Instagram Bass posted an incredibly simple way to make eyeliner last on hooded eyelids. Her caption begins: “When you spend four hours doing liquid eyeliner because you can’t see close up without your glasses anymore, and then your liner transfers to your lids because they are hooded, and gravity is pulling them down!! Aaahh!!!”
And then the magic happens. Bass whips out a small brush and dabs it onto the wand of Hourglass’s clear Arch Brow Shaping Gel, then uses the brush to go over her majestic winged liner. She explains, “This is an amazing hack to help set the liner,” but cautions to only do it once you’re happy with the liner’s shape, because once it’s set, the line is hard to manipulate (a good thing).
The technique is genius, leaving Debra Messing in the comments wondering, “Why didn’t you tell me!?!?” and others saying they’re going to try the tip because they face the exact same problem. On Reddit, the “Makeup for Hooded Eyes” forum counts 17,320 subscribers, where the issue is a common thread of discussion. One person writes, “I honestly got rid of all of my liquid liners because I couldn’t find a way to make it work for me,” while others have sworn off the liner category altogether.
Bass’s easy hack might be the path to revolution, especially if you opt for the Hourglass gel she mentions. On Ulta, shoppers write that it’s miraculous for lasting all day, and never flakes or makes your brows feel stiff, benefits that definitely transfer to its liner-setting use.
If you need something to apply it with, Morphe’s $4 angled brush racks up raves for being soft but strong, universally approved for both liner and brow use. And if you layer something like Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner or Hourglass liner Bass uses with the gel, rest assured the combo’s not coming off for hours. Welcome back to the eyeliner fold — pun slightly intended.