Secrets of Makeup Artist Moms

Beauty consultants to the stars share the products they can't live without.

  • They make up some of the most famous faces in the world.

    They've handled, sampled, and applied every cosmetic, cream, and beauty implement in the industry. Now, four celebrity makeup artists -- all of them busy mothers -- want to save you time by taking the guesswork out of finding products that deliver radiant results with a minimum of fuss. Peek inside the beauty kits of the pros as they reveal their favorite picks for moms.

  • Nikki Wang

    Clients Include: Britney Spears, Natalie Merchant, Edie Falco.

    Philosophy: "To me, a big part of beauty is keeping everything simple and being relaxed," says Wang, who lives in New York City and has an 11-year-old son, Max. "There's no reason to devote lots of time and energy to complicated beauty routines. Subtly enhancing what you have gets the prettiest, most naturally beautiful results."

    Beauty Secrets: 1. Stila Sport Clear Color Moisturizing Lip Tint in Sugar. This moisturizing lip tint in a tube has an SPF of 8. "The light crystalline-pink shade gives your mouth just a hint of color for a great natural look." 2. Kiehl's Light Lip Gloss in Golden Berry "This is another lip product I can't do without. It adds beautiful shine and polish to lips, yet you look like you're wearing almost nothing." Wang says she also likes to wear this gloss over bright orange, red, or pink lipstick to really make the color come alive. 3. L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream "My skin just eats this up. I have normal skin that's on the dry side, and this gives me a great, moist texture." 4. MAC Eye Kohl in Minted "I use this muted green eye pencil to line the rim of my lower lids. It defines your eyes by adding a little visible yet subtle color." 5. BeneFit Benetint This liquid blush is made in just one color that works for everybody. "It comes in a little bottle with a brush -- I just dab a small amount on both cheeks and then blend it quickly with my fingers for an instant glow."

  • Cohl Katz

    Clients Include: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Thompson, Jodie Foster.

    Philosophy: "It takes me less than five minutes to do my own makeup," says New York City-based Katz, mother of Norah, 9, and Stella, 6. "I love simple products with no gimmicks that are quick and easy to use and give clean, fresh, pretty results."

    Beauty secrets: 1. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Ironically, Katz's favorite product isn't makeup but a lightly foaming cleanser that rinses it off. "I won't go to bed without using it. It's fantastic; it cleanses my face and removes my makeup in one easy step." 2. Shu Uemura Pressed Eyeshadow in Silver ME 945 "This is my absolute favorite eyeshadow. It's amazing -- it's called silver, but there's a little bit of gold in it. I use it really lightly for a natural look for daytime." The secret to this subtle effect, she says, is to apply only the tiniest dab -- almost an invisible dot -- onto the fingertip and blend it from the lashline to the crease. "At night I can use more or mix it with other colors for a more glamorous, playful effect." 3. Bobbi Brown Neutral Lip and Eye Palette "This versatile palette comes with a pencil, a brush applicator, and multiple colors in the pinky-brown range that everyone loves. You can use them individually or play around and mix them together to achieve any number of looks." 4. Chanel Powder Blush in Tempting Beige Katz loves this color. "I just smile, then very lightly brush it over the apples of my cheeks for a healthy glow. Most people overdo blush -- it really should be very subtle." 5. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat concealer in Luminous Radiance (No.1) "I apply this fair shade under my eyes to instantly brighten my face and eliminate dark circles. No matter how tired I may be, it hides the fact." Katz says she was able to find the perfect match for her complexion by dotting three different shades of the concealer on her face and choosing the one that "disappeared" into her skin.

  • Mel Rau

    Clients Include: Ashley Judd, Shania Twain, Julianne Moore.

    Philosophy: "Like most makeup artists, I wear little makeup. I think we'd all agree that less is definitely more," says Rau, who lives in New York City and is the mother of 5-year-old Jack. "For instance, I only use foundation where I need it. Many busy women spend a lot of precious time applying makeup that they really don't need."

    Beauty Secrets: 1. Lord & Berry Lipstique Ultimate Lipstick Pencil in Spicy "It's soft, thick, and easy to put on. Its color and texture look natural, so you won't look like a clown if your lipstick wears off -- a plus for anyone who doesn't have time for constant touch-ups." (Rau likes the Espresso hue for darker skin tones.) 2. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler Rau believes everyone could benefit from an eyelash curler: "It's the great forgotten step, yet it makes such a difference; I love this one because it's easy to use. Curling my upper lashes really opens up and defines my eyes to the point where I rarely even wear mascara." 3. L'Oréal Visible Lift Foundation in Sand Beige "Its sheer formula blends beautifully and also contains sunscreen. Since I wear it only to hide flaws, I apply it with disposable makeup wedges; these allow for easy blending, which can be a bit difficult with your fingers. You also toss them when you're done, so there's no chance of bacterial contamination." 4. Stila's Powder Brush #8 Rau says this is her mandatory powder applicator. "It's fluffy, soft, heavenly -- and guarantees a perfect application." 5. T. LeClerc Powder in Banane This aptly named loose powder is just right for skin with yellow undertones and neutralizes the red in pink-skinned types.

  • Sharon Gault

    Clients Include: Angie Harmon, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Garner.

    Philosophy: "When I'm working, I wear little or no makeup because it can be distracting to the client, but otherwise I like to have a little fun with it," says Venice, CA-based makeup artist Sharon Gault, mother of 4-year-old Adelaide. Despite her celeb-packed client list, Gault's most exciting recent experience was at a military base, doing makeovers on wives and mothers of soldiers. "It was the most rewarding thing I've ever done."

    Beauty Secrets: 1. Nars Duo Eye Shadow in Elsa "I keep my makeup simple but fun and colorful. This eye shadow duo has shimmery lavender and sky-blue hues. I just dab some on my eyelids with my finger. People shouldn't be afraid of wearing color -- it really does brighten the day." 2. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 This moisturizer gives a smooth finish to all skin types and protects with an SPF of 15. "I don't wear much makeup, so I'm diligent about my skincare products." 3. Lancôme Amplicils Panoramic Volume Mascara "I like to use lots of mascara, and this product gets my lashes super thick in just a few coats and really highlights my eyes." 4. Tony & Tina Herbal Aromatherapy Lipgloss in Cosmic Valkyrei This cheerful cherry-hued gloss provides maximum shine with minimal stickiness. "I enjoy wearing red lip color, and this one has a hint of glitter in it too. My daughter loves seeing me with bright, sparkly lips." 5. Smith's Rosebud Salve Acclaimed by makeup artists, this lip conditioner and softener can be worn on its own to provide a subtle sheen and also makes an ideal lipstick primer. "It feels great on lips and adds a pretty touch of pink."