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Makeup Tips from a Pro Part 1 – Kit Essentials

Fitness model / Frontpage textlink / Modeling / Photoshoots / Recommendations / October 19, 2010

I often work with models who don’t have so much experience with makeup, especially what is appropriate for photoshoots. In a three part series, I would like to share with you some tips on what’s part of my kit, techniques used, and specifics for man vs. woman.

In high school I had the opportunity to learn about beauty, graduating from beauty school before graduating with my diploma.  Few years later I worked as a model, then later as a makeup artist for the subjects that I would shoot. As the photographer, I also do post production on my images and with careful Wacom tablet attention, I create my final masterpiece.

It’s an obsession of mine to create that perfect portrait where skin is flawless yet has pores, smooth gradient blended makeup with high and low dimensions highlghted across the face and body.

I’m going to list the essentials in my makeup kit.  Note that this certainly isn’t the comprehensive collection but just what I find myself using in 90% of situations.

The Essentials In My Kit:

  • Revlon Colorstay liquid foundation for oily skin in a light and dark shade, mix together to reach person’s shade.  This stuff is fantastic because it stays put throughout a long shooting day, unbelieveable coverage, natural tones.
  • Lumiere mineral makeup loose powder foundations, eyeshadows, bronzers, blushes. This is a boutique makeup line which has usually five or less natural ingredients, extremely high pigments which is usually the first ingredient on the list (no cheap fillers like drug store brands). For sensitive skins like myself, I can’t express how good it feels to put on very pure makeup and know that my skin will not break out afterwards.
  • MAC highlight and shadow definition compacts. The play of light across the face that gives it a 3D sense is when a portrait becomes interesting to me. After evening out the skintone with a proper foundation base, you need to put back in the high and lowlights via makeup. You can also contour the face into higher cheekbones, more aquiline nose, hiding of gobble neck.
  • MAC blot powder compact. Definitely necessary to cover the typical shine spots of the face, especially over the duration of the shoot.
  • Rimmel black and brown kohl eyeliner.  A kohl eyeliner creates a beautiful smudged eyeliner experience that I like.
  • MAC liquid eyeliner in black. I love to create a saucy looking cat eye at times and you absolutely must have a good liquid liner and steady hand to achieve this.
  • Smashbox shadow primer.  Eyelids have a tendency to get greasy over time so the shadow primer keeps everything in place and prevents that nasty crease which can ruin the look.
  • Wet and Wild 666 lipliner. Oh yeah, baby, this is a classic in all MUA kits.  It’s a fantastic neutral shade which can be used as a base for most lipsticks and glosses to keep the edges and color smooth and tight.
  • MAC lipsticks – various shades.  I use the classic tubes, the long lasting varieties, the lipglosses, etc.  I like the variety of shades that they come in and texture range.
  • MAC lipglass clear.  I haven’t seen a shiny lipgloss comparable to this stuff.  It’s incredibly sticky but who cares when you look this amazing.
  • MAC makeup brushes.  I have approximately 30 MAC brushes and a few off brands mixed in.  The artist needs the right tools to dust, paint, and draw.  The brand isn’t so important as is the bristles.  Look for sable hairs, which are the best quality bristles – soft, flexible, yet durable.  These brushes will also be the most expensive.
  • Covergirl yellow stick corrector. I use this to cover blemishes and also as a highlighter.
  • Shu Uemura or Shiseido Eyelash Curler. It features a flatter curve and silicon rubber squeeze point so that it better grabs all of your lashes and smushes the curl on a resiliant surface. Industry bests.
  • Baby wipes, cotton swabs, eye makeup remover. You’re gonna make a mess so anticipate for this.

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Natalie Minh

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on October 20, 2010

Hello Natalie.

Its me Dennis Baptiste. Just reading about your makeup tips which was really great , i really want to know is that i have good healthy skin but one thing even in the warmest of climates and coldest of days my skin tends to get very oliy and shiny and have to persistently pat it dry now and again througout the day. So Natalie as i am a male is there anything you can suggest for me or prescribe [i’m a black guy].
Love your comments as always Natalie [work also].

Hope to hear from you soon

    on October 21, 2010

    HI Dennis,

    Thanks for the note. I too have very oily skin and experience the same problem. Here’s my routine to manage this –

    – very clean diet, lots of water (a gallon a day)
    – Follow my skin care process here (
    – I blot my face regularly. The most cost efficient way is to use those brown cheap napkins often found at fast food restaurants. As funny as it sounds, the napkin fibers are extremely dry and suck up oil like crazy when u blot on face. They are also alot cheaper than those fancy oil blot papers.


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