Secrets From a Makeup Artist: 10 Items You Need From Sephora


Are you constantly lusting over makeup looks on Instagram, wishing you could create the same beauty look at home? Most celebrities we follow (and now even bloggers) have their makeup done by a professional and, sadly, that just isn’t feasible for our daily lives (although it’s fun to imagine!). That’s why we contacted Los Angeles based makeup artist Elaine Barnett. She primps everyone from editorial photo shoots to wedding parties and her advice? Novice or expert, you need a solid foundation of products and tools to create those Instagram worthy looks.

Today Elaine is sharing her 10 must haves from Sephora, which all ring in under $100 (and most of them under $50). Why Sephora? Not only is it easily accessible (either online or in your town) with high quality items, but the website is full of tutorials and reviews to help you make the most of your favorite products. It’s almost like having an expert in the room with you.

1. BeautyBlender $20

I’ve used countless of foundation brushes and the BeautyBlender knocks out the competition every time. It not only gives an amazing finish to every foundation, it also gives a streak-free application without wasting a ton of the product. Plus, you can use the tip end to apply a smooth application of concealer, so it doubles as a concealer brush.

To properly use your beauty blender, wet it first with water and squeeze the excess liquid so your beauty blender is left damp. In a stippling motion, bounce primer, foundation, cream blush, or any other complexion product onto the face for a flawless result.


2. Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate $55

This oil-free, super lightweight foundation gives a natural matte finish with a 24-hour full coverage wear. It seriously looks good on everyone and though it gives a matte finish, it doesn’t give a flat look like other matte foundations are known to give. Also, it really does give amazing coverage that lasts forever.


3. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette $49

First off, Too Faced knows what they are doing when it comes to formulating shadows. They are super pigmented and are scented with real cocoa powder! This palette is full of 16 matte and shimmery shadows that range from neutrals to pops of color that look good on every skin tone for every occasion.


4. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette $46

I’m obsessed with this palette because of its range of color and the texture of its powders. There are three highlight colors and three contour colors to flatter and enhance any skin tone’s facial features. The powder is a very refined matte powder that gives a fade proof smooth finish. Plus, Kat Von D provides an illustrated step-by-step contour tutorial featuring three ways to define and highlight your features. You can also see the video versions here, here, and here.


5. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed $38

If you pick up any of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors, you’ll find that all of them give a beautiful shimmery glow to the skin. These pressed powder highlighters are formulated to give a smooth, almost creamy application, to create a natural glow. There are five main colors to choose from: Opal, Moonstone, Rose Gold, Blushed Copper and Topaz. Plus, they collaborated with makeup artist Jaclyn Hill and came up with Champagne Pop, which is my all time favorite color because it looks good on everyone!

Apply any of these Shimmering Skin Perfectors on the highest points of your cheekbones, down the center of the face, and on the brow bone to create a ‘glow from within’ look.


6. GLAMGLOW Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment & Wet Lip Balm Treatment Duo $36

There is nothing more annoying than dry cracked lips, especially when you want to wear an amazing matte lipstick. This is where the GLAMGLOW Poutmud comes into play. This duo scrub/treatment is infused with natural oils and botanical extracts to help exfoliate, nourish, and treat lips. I use this before I apply any lip product to ensure a smooth application every time. I also recommend using it at night before bed so you wake up to beautifully plump, nourished lips!


7. NARS Blush in Orgasm $30

NARS is my go-to brand for blush because it carries an array of different colors to flatter every skin tone. My favorite color is Orgasm, which creates the perfect pink-peach flush that subtly highlights with accents of gold shimmer for a radiant “afterglow.”


8. tarte’s Tarteist Clay Paint Liner $24

I am a huge fan of the cat-eye look so finding the best black eyeliner that creates a smooth, stark black, matte finish was a struggle until I bought tarte’s Tarteist Liner. With its squeeze, line and define application, this blackest of black eyeliner gives a waterproof, no-budge, smooth application and it comes with a liner brush!


9. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks $24

Just like most makeup lovers out there, I am obsessed with the matte lipstick trend and though I can’t stay loyal to just one lipstick brand, Stila is my favorite liquid lipstick from Sephora. They are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way and it feels weightless on your lips. They also are infused with Vitamin E, which keeps your lips hydrated even though it gives a super matte finish. The application is easy due to its doe-foot applicator and you’ll have a budge-proof finish for up to 6 hours, even through eating and drinking. Plus they smell like cake, which is amazing!


10. Ole Henriksen’s 3 Little Wonders $72

I always say that a flawless makeup application starts with skincare, and this skincare kit is just that good. Ole Henrisken is known for his highly potent natural skincare line that is enhanced with clinical ingredients to ensure your best skin possible. The reason I love this kit so much is because it’s formulated to target every skin concern for any age. It comes with a day serum, night gel, and a day/night moisturizer. The day serum targets fine lines and wrinkles while boosting collagen, brightening the skin, and protecting against free radical damage. The night gel targets adult acne, fine lines and wrinkles, helps smooth skin texture, and helps promote cell turnover. The day/night moisturizer is oil-free, super lightweight, and calms the skin while gently exfoliating and fading dark spots. Ole Henriksen is my go-to skincare line because it’s natural, effective, and all of his products smell amazing!