Dollar store cotton pads should be reserved to whisk away chipped nail polish. When it comes to your complexion, plush, lint-free cotton is the only way to go, whether to remove eye makeup, apply toner or cleanse with micellar water. Quality and shape of the cotton pad is key – they shouldn’t have rough edges and they should be lint-free. “For me its all about how soft the cotton is,” says Coleen Campbell-Olwell, an L.A.-based makeup artist who works with Kate Mara and Orange is The New Black star Laura Prepon. “I love Koh Gen Doh Cotton. It’s 100% cotton, unbleached and natural. I also love a less expensive one called Swisspers – they are so big so they are more suitable for face makeup removal but the are soft and with no rough edges.”
ELLE Canada pick: Shiseido Facial Cotton, $11. At Shoppers Drug Mart and The Bay.
When you want to shade in sparse spots on your eyebrows, avoid shimmer as it can highlight patchiness. “A matte eyeshadow palette is the most versatile,” says Julie Cusson, Chanel makeup artist, who’s a fan of having several complimentary matte hues in one palette since that allows you to create depth and natural-looking “hairs.” “Dampen an angled brow brush, dip in powder and you can sketch lines that look like real hair,” she says adding that matte shadow, when it’s wet grips on to each individual hair so you get longer wear.
ELLE Canada pick: Chanel Le Sourcil de Chanel Perfect Brows, $73. Available at Holt Renfrew and The Bay.
For skin that’s got a Millennial model-worthy glow, cocktail your makeup base with skincare. “For a more natural look, mix BB cream with highlighter rather than foundation,” says L.A-based makeup artist Hinako who works with Leighton Meester. She suggests putting a dab of BB cream in your palm, adding liquid highlighter, and mixing with your finger. “You can check how much dew and glow is right for you by adding more or less highlighter,” says Hinako, who encourages experimentation because everyone’s skin is different. (And, just like a cocktail, each person likes theirs mixed a certain way. Cheers!)
ELLE Canada pick: Vichy Idéalia BB Cream, $37, at drugstores, and Josie Maran Enlightenment Luminizer, $31 (exclusively at Sephora).
“One of the fastest ways to up your luxury beauty game is with brushes and tools,” says New York-based Troy Surratt, makeup artist and founder of Surratt Beauty. Natural bristle brushes will yield the best results and last forever if you care for them properly (gently cleansing in baby shampoo will do it). “Buy the softest brushes that you can find. The daily ritual of applying your makeup should be a delicate and sensual experience.”
ELLE Canada pick: Bobbi Brown 6-piece Basics Brush Collection, $220. Available at Holt Renfrew and bobbibrowncosmetics.ca
Who doesn’t feel like a boss swiping on colour from a Chanel-stamped lipstick bullet? ” I like to think that a woman should own at least one Chanel lipstick some point in her life,” says Campell-Olwell. “Not because of the name, but the quality. They are simply gorgeous.”
ELLE Canada pick: Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Emilienne, $42. At Chanel counters.
Taking the time to massage your face with an oil is like therapy for your skin. Use a drop or two in your moisturizer or alone as a treatment – it can really make you feel like you’ve got a standing appointment with a French facialist (even if it is in your own bathroom). Not only are they highly concentrated with good-for-skin ingredients like argan oil, but they often can double as a dose of aromatherapy due to their fragrance. “Facial oils hydrate your skin and add firmness and elasticity,” says Hinako. “I like massaging facial oils into moist skin for best results and I sometimes mix them with foundation to create super radiant and dewy skin.”
ELLE Canada pick: Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Oil, $55. Tartecosmetics.com