I often mention, I’m “slightly” biased when it comes to products and brands that are created by professional makeup artists.
So today, I thought I’d delve into some of these brands and also give a snippet of history on the artists’ journeys along the way too…
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Whilst I’m appreciative of all the variety we have in the beauty industry, brands and products that are created by fellow makeup artists always have something unique and special about them.
Knowing products, colors, textures and performance by heart, pro artists have an eye for detail that always adds an element of surprise and quality to the products they launch.
Lets start with the classic original brand NARS – by celebrity makeup artist Francois Nars.
Before the beauty industry evolved to where it’s at today, before social media and countless brands and product options, Francois NARS was providing the professional beauty industry, as well as general consumers with his amazing products.
With an impressive line of work behind him, Francois Nars launched his own makeup line NARS in 1994 with a range of lipsticks exclusive to Barneys New York.
An instant hit, this enabled NARS to develop a full line, which to this day is one of the most “consistently” successful brands.
Their best-selling, and at the time very controversially named Orgasm Blush is still the brand’s most iconic product.
Personal recommendation: NARS knows foundations like no other.
Their Sheer Glow Foundation has been a staple in my personal and pro kit for years. Any time I want a natural yet flawless finish, I know my NARS foundations always come through.
NARS is also renowned for their incredibly stunning packaging; especially their exclusive/limited edition compacts and palettes.
Can’t go wrong with this brand
Hailed “the world’s most influential makeup artist”, Pat McGrath is pretty much the epitome of success in the beauty industry.
Look into any iconic fashion week makeup trend, and 9 times out of 10, it’ll have Pat McGrath’s signature on it.
With her hands-on approach to makeup from a very young age, mixing her own color and texture concoctions, it’s Pat’s relentless innovative creativity that made her the most sought after makeup artist for fashion brands, especially during fashion week.
And with such a title, anything Pat released as her own brand was going to make a lot of noise. So, in true Pat McGrath fashion, she launched a single product: Gold 001 – a metallic pigment which could be intensified with a mixing medium. She released this product in limited numbers which added to the mystery and the hype. And the rest is history.
Today, Pat McGrath line features base products (foundation/concealer/powder), as well as eyeshadow palettes that are famous for their insane colors, finishes and pay-offs.
Her online content is also a work of art, always showing an element of modernism laced with retro, renaissance; and classic Hollywood too. These snippets of trends also reflect on her packaging.
Personal recommendation: Pretty much all of her eyeshadow palettes are collectors items. I’m also quite fond of the stunning high shine lipstick tubes adorned with gold lips – my favourite shade being Labeija
Another OG celebrity makeup artist that’s been around for decades is Scott Barnes.
Scott is best known for being “the” makeup artist that created Jennifer Lopez’s famous glow. He’s also a visual genius when it comes to playing with lighting and shadows.
Creator of Body Bling, the shimmering bronze liquid goodness that gives the body an instant cover model finish, Scott did indeed try his hand at his own line many years ago.
Maybe it wasn’t the right timing, maybe the industry wasn’t ready for his vision at the time, however the line wasn’t around for long.
It’s only recently that Scott Barnes re-launched his brand with a new look and concept featuring eyeshadows, lip and cheek products which highlight his love for perfectly sculpted faces.
I also love that he incorporates that old-school editorial vibe in his promotional material.
Personal recommendation: All of Scott Barnes products are well thought out, however I am totally in love with his Chic Cheek blush/highlight palette. The color family is perfection which has a balanced blend of light & dark, natural & bright, matte & shimmer. The palette is fully customisable which makes it a dream for pro artists to have in their kits.
He also has Get The Look Bundles on his site where you can shop his specially curated looks, taking the guess work out of what products to purchase. Genius!
Scott regularly posts makeup videos and tutorials on his Youtube channel which you can check out HERE
London-born celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury started her career assisting another legendary makeup artist Mary Greenwell.
Her exposure to the beauty industry from the beginning, led Charlotte to work for magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair and with almost every actress, model and singer one can think of – predominantly Kate Moss, Gisele Bunchen and Kim Kardashian.
Charlotte also collaborated with designer brands like Tom Ford, Prada and Chloe.
With a long list of accomplishments behind her, Charlotte launched her own makeup and skincare brand Charlotte Tilbury in 2013.
Being renowned for her secret formula “magic cream” which she would concoct herself to use on her clients, it’s become a staple product in her own brand as everyone wanted this hydrating, perfecting base cream to transform their own faces and hence makeup too.
Today, Charlotte Tilbury holds its spot as one of the most popular makeup brands. Featuring a full line of products, Charlotte Tilbury continues to expand on their already versatile product range.
Personal recommendation: I featured these two key products from Charlotte Tilbury in almost all my “favorites” posts, however it is with good reason. Hollywood Flawless Filter which is a tinted moisturizer + liquid highlighter hybrid is literally like a glow-filter in a bottle. Another must have is Airbrush Flawless Filter Powder.
These two products are perfection.
Continuing with British makeup artists, Lisa Eldridge happens to be one of my favorite pro makeup artists.
Having her first break working with Cindy Crawford for Elle Magazine, Lisa’s modern, clean approach to makeup has fast made her a favorite amongst celebrities, especially for editorial and red carpet.
Having worked as creative director of makeup for brands such as Boots No7 and Lancome, Lisa is no stranger to product development. Coupled with her interest in history of makeup where she owns an impressive collection of museum-piece makeup items, it’s only natural Lisa delved into developing her own makeup brand.
Starting a YouTube channel prior to launching her brand (where she continues to share her priceless wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks), helped introduce her and her products to a huge following.
Lisa Eldridge made waves in the beauty world with her initial launch of lipsticks which was pretty much a first in its category. Using a unique ‘stamping technology’, her velvet line of lipsticks literally look like they’re wrapped in a velvet film. The lipstick launch has now expanded to foundations, liquid blush, highlighters and eyeshadows too.
Personal recommendation: Velvet Muse Lipstick is probably my most cherished lipstick from the Lisa Eldridge line. The packaging, the texture, the color, the wear…everything about it screams class…but then again, everything Lisa Eldridge does screams class.
MAKEUP BY MARIO
If you use social media, you probably already know Mario Dedivanovic.
Renowned for being Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario has created some of the most iconic looks for Kim K, both in her personal and professional life.
Having started as a makeup artist at Sephora in New York, Mario’s big break came when he first worked with Kim Kardashian. With his attention to detail and perfect lines, Mario’s glam makeup style has inspired millions to replicate his work.
Mario collaborated with Kim Kardashian on an exclusive collection for her own makeup brand, which I guess was the first sign of him starting his own line sooner or later.
Shortly after, he launched his own brand Makeup By Mario, starting with core products every makeup lover or pro-artist could appreciate.
Featuring key eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners and makeup brushes, Mario continues to expand on his line which now includes lip and cheek products.
Personal recommendation: Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette is a must have for any makeup kit. This all matte eyeshadow palette features beautiful silky earthy shades for all skin tones which is an absolute staple.
His latest launch of tinted lip balms are also selling like hot cakes.
Croatian-born Natasha Denona started her makeup journey through her love of performing arts.
With a background in modelling and stage productions, Natasha displayed her creative flair in makeup and arts at a very young age.
Although her pricing was quite high for a new-comer, niche brand, the unique textures and formulas of Natasha’s products fast became must-haves in both personal and professional kits.
Today, Natasha Denona continues to hold top spot for her incredible products, both in innovation and quality.
Carrying the same level of performance from her eyeshadow palettes to face palettes, I would confidently stamp Natasha Denona palettes with a “guaranteed satisfaction” label.
Personal recommendation: A well rounded Biba Eyeshadow Palette featuring practically everything you would need to create looks from the most neutral to the most glam.
The Bronze Eyeshadow Palette if you’re into delicious shimmer/metallic finishes; and her mini eyeshadow palette range if you prefer a taste of all her palettes in smaller doses.
Her face palettes with a blend of cream/powder and hybrid formulas of bronzer, blush and highlighters are also a must. And the list goes on.
*Stay tuned for a review post of a Natasha Denona palette coming soon
There are so many more insanely talented pro artists I absolutely adore but I can only fit so many of them in this post. But I also can’t go without these special mentions to add to the above list:
Kevyn Aucoin – the late celebrity makeup artist who was my muse and reason I started my own career as a pro makeup artist. His makeup line still continues to this day; his eyelash curler being my all time favorite. Shop Kevyn Aucoin HERE
Hindash – Dubai-based makeup artist with an arts background, Hindash became an instant hit with the gorgeous looks he creates on his Youtube tutorials. His first product launch, the Beautposy Palette, featuring a gradient of multi-use powders is possibly one of the most innovative and versatile products to hit the beauty industry of late. I did a full review of this palette HERE
Let me know who your favourite makeup artist is; and whether you tried products from any of these amazing artists’ brands xo