After seeing him work his magic on famous faces like Kate Mara, Lupita Nyong'o, Emma Roberts, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw among many others, we've long wondered about the staple products celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose keeps in his kit. Just in time to give your personal beauty stash a fall makeover, the pro gave us an exclusive sneak peek at the mix of products both he and his star clients are obsessed with.
"My kit is combined with products I swear by and some of my clients' favorites, but it also has to be seasonal. I kept adding new stuff to it," he tells InStyle.com. "It's like my toy box, basically!" Barose keeps his tools of the trade housed in a vintage Shu Uemura train case, which he received as a gift. "I always get so many compliments on it, and sometimes, people will ask if I'm a plumber—maybe a very chic one!"
For most of us, getting the Hollywood glam squad treatment remains a pipe dream, but since Barose was generous enough to let us raid his makeup kit, we can add a touch of red carpet flair to our existing makeup bags! Keep reading to get all the details on what the pro keeps stashed in his train case.
As evidenced by the bold lip hues his clients have worked on the red carpet, Barose knows a thing or two about rocking a statement shade. "Every woman should have at least 3 signature lip colors every season," he says. "Don't get stuck wearing the same formula!"
A stay-put lip liner is the basis for any vivid look, and rather than trying to find a perfect match, Barose opts for nude hues by Votre Vu ($15 each; votrevu.com) or a clear version by Estee Lauder ($22; esteelauder.com). "Votre Vu's pencils are long-wearing and not drying, and they come in nude shades that I pair with any lip color," he says. "I always trace a clear wax pencil along the outer edge of bright lipsticks so the color won't feather as the hours go by."
Barose's current go-to lipsticks are Estee Lauder's Pure Color Envy in Tumultuous Pink and Dominant ($30 each; esteelauder.com), as well as the Sisley Phyto Shine in Sheer Berry ($52; sisley-paris.com). "Rich, long-wearing pink tones are a big trend this fall, and are a more fun, quirky alternative to the usual red, which can look too serious," he adds.
Prefer a gloss formula? Try MAC's Mineralize Glasses in Fashion Perk and New Love ($22 each; maccosmetics.com), but if you really need to ease into the bright lip territory, the L'Oreal Glossy Balms in My Babydoll and Ginger Candy ($7 each; drugstore.com) each pack a lot of punch without being too loud. "Light pink and peach-tinted balms are perfect for the '60s mod trend," he says. "Light lip colors with a little shine won't wash you out, and it looks fun and girly."
Even if you're the type to go easy on the eyes, a rainbow of shadows always tends to come in handy for creative and subtle effects alike. "I look for interesting colors and choices of texture to create a sexy, sultry fall look," says Barose.
A sweep of Dior's Backstage Eye Primer ($28; dior.com) will hold any color of the spectrum in place, whether you reach for Make Up For Ever's massive 30-color palette ($250; sephora.com), or a neutral set like Estee Lauder's Pure Color Envy in Fierce Safari ($50; esteelauder.com).
"Bronzy red toned eyes, like the colors in Chanel's Tisse Cambon palette ($61; chanel.com), look so sultry and badass—don't be scared of the color! They especially look gorgeous on brunettes like Hailee Steinfeld," says Barose, who also recommends the Lancome Color Design Palette in Olive Amour ($50; lancome-usa.com) for a smokier take on the trend.
On the market for something a little more simple? Reach for a do-it-all cream formula like Dolce & Gabbana's Mono Eye Shadow ($36; saks.com), or Giorgio Armani's Eye & Brow Maestro ($34; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com). "This genius product can be used on eyes and to fill in brows. The copper and golden shades are perfect for red head and light blond women who have a hard time finding a brow color," he says. "I love smudging cream shadow around the eyes to create a sexy, spontaneous feeling—particularly with Dolce & Gabbana's Dahlia shade."
Liners and Lashes
Of course, no eye look is complete without a sweep of liner, well-defined arches, and a set of lush lashes. "The best way to define eyes is by using eyeliner, a lash curler, and false lashes. You don't have to do your eyes up the same way every day," says Barose.
Though he keeps an arsenal of black and brown liners by Chanel ($35; chanel.com) and Tarte ($24 and $20; tarte.com) on hand, glitter formulas like Urban Decay's ($19 each; urbandecay.com) or jewel tones by Lancome ($31 each; lancome-usa.com) give the tried-and-true noir strike an extra touch of flair. "Lancome's richly-pigmented liquid liner comes in stunning bold shades like gold, copper, and green," he says. "It's my favorite to use on Lupita."
While faux lashes can be intimidating, Barose recommends looking for less-obvious options to avoid the dreaded spider effect. "Eylure Naturals in #15 ($5; ulta.com) are pretty much the most natural-looking false lashes in the strips category. As I always say, just because it's fake, doesn't mean it can't look real!" Barose tells us. "MAC's individual 30 Lashes ($17; maccosmetics.com) come in 3 lengths, so you can blend them in seamlessly with your own."
Top off the look with a few pumps of Troy Surratt's Lash Curler ($25; barneys.com), which Barose swears is the best around, and a touch of Lancome's Brow Sculptor ($26 each; lancome-usa.com). "The super-precise, thin pencil lets you draw soft, feathery strokes to create fuller brows," he adds.
Bronzers and Blushes
Last, but certainly not least, come the blushes and bronzers perfect for either giving off a lit-from-within glow, or imparting a chiseled contour. "The right color and texture of blush, bronzer, and highlighter can really make your complexion sing," says Barose.
Although the day-glo shades by Kevyn Aucoin ($23; nordstrom.com), Surratt Beauty ($32; barneys.com), and NARS ($30 each; narscosmetics.com) look intimidating, the effect of each hue is actually much more subtle when blended onto your skin. "A stain of the Kevyn Aucoin products give a pop of color to your lips and cheeks, and NARS gentle peach and pink blushes add just a hint to create a healthy, fresh appearance," he says.
As for the contouring method, duos like Charlotte Tilbury's ($65; net-a-porter.com) and Tom Ford's ($77; saks.com) take the guesswork out of finding complementary colors, but if you prefer your highlighter and bronzer to ride solo, Barose offers up a few favorites. "Make Up For Ever's Mat Bronze ($32; sephora.com) is so subtle, and the lightest shades are perfect for fair skin like Kate Mara's," he says. "Giorgio Armani's Sun Fabric Sheer Bronzer ($54; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com) is so fine—the shimmer doesn't look detectable, so you bronze is more convincing."
Cream-based highlighters like Jouer's ($20 each; jouercosmetics.com) guarantee the most natural-looking dewy effect when blended onto the high points of your face, but if you prefer to look radiant all over, try Armani's Fluid Sheer in #4 ($62; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com). "It's a golden champagne liquid that adds a candlelit glow when mixed with liquid foundation," Barose says.