5 Beauty Pros Share Their Go-To Products—And Why Makeup Should Be For All

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.

Neon MUA

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.

Buy on their website $42

Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder

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.

Buy at Sephora $34

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

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.

Buy at Sephora $49

Lunar Beauty Strawberry Dream Palette

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.

Buy on their website $48

Robert Welsh

Glossier Brow Flick

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.

Buy on their website $22

Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter

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.

Buy on their website $27

By BeautyBay Eyeshadows

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. 

Buy on their website $24

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.

Buy at Sephora $38

Shantanu Dhope

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Concealer

I love this product a lot because it gives me an amazing amount of coverage with very little product. It is great for making my under eye area look bright and awake with a flawless finish. 

Buy at Sephora $26

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This has been my go-to setting powder for the longest time because it sets my concealer in place without creasing and mattifies the oily areas of my face without feeling heavy. 

Buy at ULTA $39

Morphe Continuous Setting Mist

This mist just refreshes my makeup and makes my skin look and feel hydrated throughout the day. Its like an instant touch up to make my skin dewy. 

Buy at ULTA $16

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel

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. 

Buy at Sephora $20

Anthony H. Nguyen

KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner

This is the most jet-black, fine-tip liquid liner I go to when I need something to stay put without smudging or creasing!

Buy at Sephora $21

KVD Beauty Lock It Setting Spray

This setting spray is hands down the best insurance for securing all-day wear for your makeup. Helps with less touch ups!

Buy at ULTA $29

Blot Film

It can be anything from Clean & Clear to the Target dupe. I love taking away oil and shine without having to add more product on top when not needed.

Buy on Amazon $11

Ardell Individual Lashes

You can always count on individual lashes to create the most natural lash effect without weighing down your eye, plus it’s super comfortable.

Buy at ULTA $6

Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss Radiance Boosting Bronzer 

Bronzer adds a healthy glow to the skin that isn’t obvious or adds texture.

Buy at Beautylish $61

Wayne Goss Weightless Veil Blush

While I know this often feels like a feminine product, adding “red” or a “flushed” look to the skin gives everyone that instant healthy been-outside look.

Buy on Beautylish $61

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer 

Use concealer with caution. If using to cover a pimple, it must match exactly, otherwise you’re highlighting it! Used under the eyes, stay within the darkness only—it should be invisible.

Buy at Sephora $30

RCMA No Color Powder 

I like both loose or pressed. Keeps shine at bay all day long. 

Buy at Beautylish $19

VOGUE ARTICLE

Wayne Goss – the Beauty Star Selling Out Product in Five Minutes

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #16 series on my blog.

Wayne Goss is not your typical YouTube star. He has amassed over a million subscribers on his beauty channel, and has the consumer influence to match: His first collection of brushes on Beautylish sold out in five minutes. But he stands out among other beauty vloggers for several reasons — the first of which is that he’s a guy. A guy who can quickly and confidently demonstrate Kardashian contouring tricks on his own face. He eschews the cutesy, neighborly tone used by most beauty vloggers in favor of a methodical, straight-to-the-point delivery.

Goss spoke to the Cut about how being a guy is advantageous in the YouTube beauty world, how he got started, and why he doesn’t wear makeup himself.

How did you get started in the business?

It was something I’ve been interested in since I was a young boy. I always liked looking at magazines and seeing the pretty faces. When I was 20, I started suffering from acne. That experience reminded me of my love for makeup and how I could use it to fix my skin.

I am self-taught. Fifteen years ago, I picked up some books by Way Bandy and Kevyn Aucoin and read them to practice. I went to London and studied makeup artistry. Then, I discovered YouTube. I found that there were so many kinds of people on it, but there didn’t seem to be any teaching and instructions on how to make the process simpler. I feel like my videos fill a gap in the market. I keep them short and clearly explain what I’m doing. My point of view is that you don’t have to have a degree in art to be able to explain it.

How do you think you became successful on YouTube?

It was so gradual. You don’t really notice it creeping up on you. I remember hitting 20,000 subscribers and thinking, Oh my god, that’s a lot of people. And then it started to increase very rapidly after my first year, especially after I did videos on concealer and blusher. But I don’t really know. It’s still a mystery to me. I imagine it is a combination of people doing searches in Google, seeing a video, and liking it. The social media aspect certainly helps.

Do you think that being a man in the field is advantageous?

Absolutely. I’m pretty much the only male in my age group doing it. I think people appreciate that I’m not going to be talking for an hour about something I could do in a few minutes. I’m very matter-of-fact. I’m not very handsy nor flamboyant. Even if I’m demonstrating something on myself, it’s not about making myself a pretty princess. It’s about the technique and explaining it very succinctly. In real life, I don’t even wear any makeup. It’s not my cup of tea.

Since you demonstrate a lot of the tutorials on yourself, I think people probably do think you wear makeup every day. 

I think it does surprise people. I love putting eyeshadow on people. But I’m six feet tall. I’ve got a beard. It doesn’t interest me. I don’t want to be pretty. I’m just a bit scruffy and unkempt, and that’s just sort of my style.

If you don’t wear makeup yourself, why do you demonstrate the tutorials on yourself?  

Well, lately, I have been using models in my video. But sometimes, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is see anyone else. Also, apart from the fact that I’m male, my eye shape is very realistic. Models have good skin, very large eyes, so that makes everything very easy to do. If I apply eye shadow, you get a more realistic impression of what it looks like on my eye, not someone who is genetically blessed.

How did the brush project with Beautylish come together?

I contacted Beautylish because I read their online content a lot. I mentioned that I was pursuing a brush line and they liked the idea, which was to create a really good-quality brush using Japanese craftsmanship techniques. The difference in quality would be understood the minute you opened it.

I knew about the bristles and furls and what to look for. It was difficult finding companies that could deal with all the requests I had. It had to be hair that couldn’t be cut. Nothing could be done by machine. There’s a bluntness to machine-cut hair that cuts your face at harsh angles. Especially as we get older, that can be harsher on the skin. With the right makeup brush, makeup goes exactly where you want it. For women over 40, it’s a great benefit to have a brush that’s not moving the eyelids around.

This project was self-funded, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I learned they sold out in the first five minutes. My philosophy has never changed. I still believe you should buy the best makeup you [can] afford, and if you can only afford one thing, buy one brush. Most people are applying makeup with their fingers. But a brush is an instrument you can use it for several purposes, and blend at the same time. For someone like me, not born with this artistic flair, good brushes enabled me to do makeup well. I really don’t have this innate talent, I struggled all the way and managed to find the right sort of brushes. It was a very selfish project, in a way.

What do you think of the story that came out a few weeks ago that said YouTube stars like Michelle Phan were making millions?

I obviously know of Michelle, although I’ve never spoken to her. I would say that’s an exaggeration in terms of figures. But again, I don’t know anything about her. I started about a year and half after her. At that time, the partner programs for YouTube weren’t available.

The bulk of us who started doing YouTube did it for the love of doing it. Those of us that did it for the right reasons are still around for the right reasons. There has been an influx of people thinking, I shoud make a fortune here. 95 percent of them don’t make it any way. And those that do certainly aren’t making six-figure salaries. It would be nice to start with a thousand. The bulk of people earning good wages from it now were around when there was no money.

The partner programs now, I believe, make it more difficult. Everyone wants a slice of the pie. I think this pie is really wonderful and big. You hear these glamourized stories, but the reality is very different. We still have full-time jobs. We work hard. And YouTube is a full-time job, because you have all these components, like filming and editing. I imagine that 90 percent of us do that ourselves without the help of anyone else.

I’m still a makeup artist. I still do jobs. I always will do that. I’m in a wonderful position of doing a job that I love. It’s a great thing. YouTube is the icing on it. It’s lovely to be able to connect with people on it I would never otherwise be able to meet.

Check out Wayne Goss’s makeup line at Beautylish

Check out Wayne Goss’s Instagram

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