You know that all-too-familiar feeling of walking through the beauty aisles and having a major sensory overload moment – not knowing where to begin or what to pick?Everyone’s vouching for the best this and the amazing that, but when it comes to actually deciding what you’re going to buy, who can you really trust? Two words – makeup artists!
They’re the ones who make the trends – the hands behind the films and hoardings, the ones that have the first go at every beauty product entering the market and the last word on what’s staying. They know how to tell between makeup gems that actually work, and the stuff that’s just backed by an advertising juggernaut.
And so why we asked three of the best makeup aritsts in the industry – Bianca Hartkopf (Bollywood’s favourite), Elton J Fernandez (the candid YouTube beauty legend), and Sabrina Suhail (the best-kept bridal secret) – to tell us about their favourite products ever. That’s a lot for a product to live up to, so it's safe to say their picks below are all tried, tested, and deserve their place in any makeup arsenal.
Celebrity Clientele: Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez.
1/4 SHU UEMURA Eyelash Curler
"I've tried every eyelash curler out there, but what the Shu Uemura one does is indescribable – pure magic! A trick I use is to heat it up with a hair dryer first; it works like a curling tong for your eyelashes."
2/4 CHRISTIAN DIOR Diorshow Lash Mascara
"This one’s a bit pricy, but worth every penny! It gives the most incredible lift right from the root, and not just opens the eyes but lasts without ever smudging. Just apply one coat on the top lashes by working the wand into the roots of the lashes and pulling them up and out."
3/4 CHANEL Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base
"This bronzer has the most amazing velvet finish and manages to cover pigmentation and blemishes on all Indian skin tones, which is why it's a real must-have. It evens out the skin tone and can be used on lighter skin tones to contour the face on the hollows of the cheeks."
4/4 M.A.C Eyeliner in Teddy
"This is a magical brown eyeliner – I cannot live without it. It isn’t a harsh black, and is especially magic if you’re a kohl loving girl – it smokes up the lash line and adds depth."
Celebrity Clientele: Alia Bhatt, Monica Dogra, Chitrangda Singh, Anushka Sharma, editorials for Elle, Grazia, Vogue.
1/4 NARS Bronzing Powder in Casino
“I can’t live without this one. It’s a greyish-brown with no shimmer – the perfect shade for a bronzer. It suits pretty much all skin tones but is especially perfect for the brown Indian skin tone. You can use it to contour the entire face, or even as a blusher if you want to look like you’ve got some sun.”
2/4 BEN NYE Mascara
“The brown one is great because it adds fullness but isn’t too heavy or dark. I love it for quick, modern, bushy brows.”
3/4 ANANDA SPA Light Moisturiser for Oily Skin
“Ananda is one of the best spas in the world, up in the mountains of Rishikesh. I love this moisturiser because it’s made of juniper and holy basil, and smells exactly like these two things mixed with rain! It’s beautiful. What’s great is that even though it’s oil-free, it’s quite potent and lush. You can use it morning and night and even under makeup."
4/4 BENEFIT Posietint
“You could create an entire look with this tint – just pat it and rub it into your cheeks immediately, because with tints, there’s no time to waste. Apply it on your lips, curl your lashes, fill your brows in, and you have a look!”
Celebrity Clientele: Kalki Koechlin, Yami Gautam.
1/4 BENEFIT BADgal Lash Mascara
"This mascara is excellent to have in your kit – it gives a very voluminous curl. For a beautiful set of Twiggy-like separated lashes, just rotate the wand upward while applying. It's also waterproof, which is great for the summer and for brides who cry!"
2/4 MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
"The Radiant Yellow shade is perfect for golden-toned Indian skin. Mix it with a spot of foundation and use a stippling or buffing brush to apply, and it will make your face glow."
3/4 M.A.C Studio Fix Compact Powder
"This powder is excellent to use all year round. I love it because besides lasting really long and giving a beautiful finish, it starts to warm up to your skin once you've applied it to make it look like skin and not makeup."
4/4 M.A.C Ruby Woo Lipstick
"This one’s definitely my all time favourite. It has a blue undertone that suits Indian skin on light as well as warmer tones, and it’s a must-have for anyone. I like to keep it matte, and not use any gloss over it. A tip is to try using it with the Cherry lip pencil instead of the matching Ruby Woo lip pencils – it creates a much more natural effect."