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AN INSIDER’S LOOK: Inside A Professional Makeup Artist’s Kit

By November 19, 2009No Comments6 min read

(Editor’s Note: Meet Lora and try her signature Xtreme Lash Extension treatment at our Women’s Mafia Insider’s Event: A Highly Productive Day At the Spa, coming up on Dec. 5th! RSVP to

By Lora Condon

vintagemakeupbagWith all the hype from cosmetic companies about their product being the best, it’s my job as a professional makeup artist to see what products really stand the test of professional lights, long hours and every skin type possible. Here are some products I can’t live without when doing a photoshoot or getting a client ready to be on the evening news in HD.

The reason why makeup artists have their favorites is because in the heat of the moment (or lights) the model needs to be done quickly, efficiently and look flawless. On set, time is money and if a product is difficult to work with or doesn’t work, the whole shoot is delayed. Under the professional photography lights or HD video, the concealer must conceal, the mascara can’t clump and the skin must always look even, plumped up and fresh. Even if it’s 100% humidity, the talent cannot look sweaty! For those reasons, the go-to products in each artist’s kits are highly coveted and never out of stock.

Here are a few products you’ll never find me without on set.

wmreparingserumThe basis for any good makeup is good skin. Unfortunately, not everyone comes to the set with perfect skin. In a time crunch, the most I can do is some emergency hydrating and spackling of the pores in order to smooth out the texture of the skin. I love the Phoenix Rising Repairing Serum to hydrate dehydrated or flaking skin. Irritated skin is immediately calmed with a light application of this serum.

If the client has a lot of pox marks or very uneven texture, I’ll use the Heavy Duty Face Balm from the same company to basically fill in the cracks, holes and scars. Once that is done, I’ll apply the concealer and foundation. Either of these products can be used on the lips as well. It is imperative to hydrate the lips before using any other lip products.

wmdrbrandtFor very oily skin or shine prevention I’m obsessed with Dr. Brant’s product No More Pores. Just put a thin layer on the skin before foundation. This is the best product I have found to prevent shine for long periods of time.

I’m only really obsessed with one concealer right now. I love the Secret Camouflage from Laura Mercier. You must be careful with the consistency because it can be dry. I mix the colors together or mix it with a little of the Heavy Duty Face Balm to make it creamier.

WMLauraMercierAlthough there are many good foundations, I stick to two because they work and they work quickly on everyone! They are also matte and this is extremely important for camera and long lasting coverage. The first one is Studio Fix powder foundation from m.a.c.. m.a.c. supplies the best colors I have found for darker skin tones.

The other long lasting foundation I use is the liquid Armani Silk. I use this on extremely dry skin or when I have time to really work in the liquid and make sure the coverage is evenly applied.


Armani Silk

wmmacpaintOn the eyes, I always start with a m.a.c. Paint as a shadow base. After applying a thin layer, I’ll dust some foundation powder over it and then apply the eye shadow color. If I’m doing a natural makeup, I’ll use a Paint color that matches the skin color. If I’m doing a smoky eye, I’ll use a dark Paint color to enhance the smoky eye. For eye shadows, I prefer m.a.c shadows and pigments. A good shadow will be opaque and you won’t have to jam your brush into the powder in order to get the color you want.

I’m totally obsessed with mascara and lashes! If I’m using fake lashes, I buy the basic drug store clusters. These are natural looking and more comfortable to wear. There is no poking the corners of the eye or coming off! Clusters are very easy to apply on yourself as well. The traditional drug store Duo grip glue is fine. I do not recommend the glue they give you with the lashes.

WMMacProLashFor mascara, my favorite is m.a.c. Pro Lash. I like this mascara because it is very black and it’s easy to apply. If you only have time or patience for one coat that gives maximum dimension, this is the mascara. Since I’m obsessed, I always do a few coats!

For eyeliners, I really love pencils. I’m sure it’s my love of the 80’s! We all know the problem with eyeliners is smudging, smearing and the cute disappearing act it does as the day wears on. I’ve finally found a pencil that stays put all day long. Xtreme® Eyelash Extensions sells soft eyeliners that actually last. Their Glideliners are heavily pigmented and come in really beautiful colors.

With so many choices, I feel lucky to be able to try them all and be on the hunt for the best cosmetics for my clients. With new technology coming out all the time, I look forward to all the new product formulations and making the world beautiful one face at a time.

About Lora Condon:

I have always had an interest in the healing arts. After starting my career as a drug and alcohol counselor, I decided to help people on a more spiritual and physical level. This brought me to the spa industry where I perform everything from reiki to airbrush make-up.

As a professional make-up artist, my work has appeared in publications such as, Ladies Home Journal, Wedding Dresses and The New York Times. I have also done work for the Olive Garden, ESPN and Good Morning America. My esthetic work has taken me to renown spas like Completely Bare, and I eventually became the Director of Esthetics for a 5,000 square foot day spa in North Jersey. After being personally trained and working for the “brow guru”, Anastasia of Beverly Hills, I honed my skills for spa consulting, motivational trainings and of course the perfect brow!

My spa and healing work has been featured on the WB Morning Show to Brazilian National TV. Top beauty editors are among my clientele, as well as Joey Fatone, a former Miss America and even Chuck Zito. Some of my clients have included professional wrestlers like Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan, Rick Steiner, “The Dog Faced Gremlin” and even a member of the Wu-Tang Clan!

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