Today’s post is the second instalment in my freelancing series. Last week I talked through tips on developing your kit whilst today I wanted to go more in depth with my product recommendations. These are all bits I’ve been familiar with for years and frequently use on both myself and my clients!
Of course, what works for me may not work for everyone else – it’s all down to trial and error and personal preference. Regardless, I hope this post provides some guidance! Let’s get started…
I like to keep the skincare in my kit really basic. I always have a jar of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream at hand as it’s incredible for all skin types – It works as a primer as well as a moisturiser meaning it’s an amazing base for make-up. For a more budget-friendly option, the Embryolisse Lait-Crème is fantastic.
I don’t usually use cleanser as I ask my clients to come bare-faced to their appointments, but I always keep one in my kit just in case. I’ll either use the Charlotte Tilbury Multi Miracle Glow Balm or the Goddess Skin Cleansing Ritual to melt away any make-up.
Primer isn’t something I tend to reach for very often as I find the Magic Cream does such a good job of keeping make-up in place. One base product I absolutely adore, however, is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. If there’s one product I’d recommend you buy from the brand it’s this – it’s honestly a game changer! Containing a small amount of colour and coverage, it looks amazing underneath foundation for a beautiful glow. It can look a little greasy when paired with a super dewy foundation but underneath a matte or satin finish it looks incredible. Literally a filter in a jar!
Foundation is the one area that I truly believe you get what you pay for. Your base can make or break your make-over, and while the drugstore offers some beautiful products, when it comes to foundation I find the premium brands are the ones who deliver.
My favourite foundation for years was Estee Lauder Double Wear – it’s a little heavy for me now but perfect for clients who want a really flawless, matte base. The Double Wear Light is my go-to these days – it still gives amazing coverage, but it doesn’t feel quite as heavy as the original. Another fuller foundation I love is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish – again, the coverage is incredible but it’s not quite as matte as Estee Lauder’s offering.
For a dewier finish I love the Chanel Vitalumiere (I find Chanel’s base products on a whole are fantastic), a sheer yet buildable foundation that gives the skin a beautiful glow. I also like Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder for clients who prefer something a little more natural.
Finally, the Dior Forever Skin Glow is perfect for a dewy yet full coverage base. Again, Dior’s foundations in general are amazing!
Concealer and Powder
My favourite concealer at the moment is the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher. It’s full coverage yet incredibly lightweight and sits well on all skin types. The shade range isn’t great, however, so I also like to use the Magic Away Concealer, which has a slightly thicker consistency and is a little more matte.
I also think there are amazing Drugstore concealers on the market – Maybelline do some fab ones (The Eraser Eye and FitMe are two of my favourites) and I still love the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer – a real cult classic!
As for powder, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish is my absolute go-to. I mentioned this in my On-the-Go Beauty Essentials post – I’ve used it on both myself and clients for years. It’s enriched with almond oil and rose wax and is super finely milled so it doesn’t give your skin that overly-powdered finish. It’s also amazing for blurring the complexion and helping disguise large pores and fine lines.
Cheeks are my absolute favourite part of any make-over, whether it be on myself or a client. I’m absolutely addicted to blusher and am known to get a little carried away with it at times! Orgasm by Nars is my favourite when it comes to freelancing – I find it suits most skin tones and looks incredible paired with any eye/lip look. I’m also obsessed with the Charlotte Tilbury blushers – her powder range is amazing, but I’ve recently found myself reaching for the Beauty Light Wand in Peachgasm; a beautiful rose-gold cream blush.
As for bronzers and highlighters, I’m a huge fan of MAC. Give me Sun is amazing for warmer-skinned ladies or clients who fake tan, while Soft and Gentle is one of my all-time favourite highlighters. For those who favour more of a natural look, I like to use the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow.
If I have a client who wants a heavier, more contoured finish, I’ll use a cream bronzer before I powder. My favourite is the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand – I usually pop a dot or two just underneath the cheekbone and blend it out with a stippling brush.
Eyes are one area of your kit I believe you can afford to spend a little less on. There are so many budget brands producing beautiful palettes and pencils that perform just as well as their premium counterparts. Morphe is my go-to for shadows – their colours are incredibly pigmented and blend beautifully. I find I get the most use out of the 35g which is a fantastic all-rounder.
As you’re probably aware, having a decent black liquid liner in your kit is crucial! Personally I find a gel much easier to work with – I’ve used the Maybelline Lasting Drama for years and find it perfect for creating an dark, crisp wing. If I want to create a softer, smokier look, I’ll use pencils. Because I get through them so fast I don’t like to spend too much, so I usually buy my pencil liners from Rimmel. However, Charlotte Tilbury and Mac sell some fabulous ones, too!
Lashes and Brows
Amazing lashes are the perfect finishing touch to any make over, so it’s essential you have a selection of good-quality mascaras. Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara is fantastic, as is Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes. As for falsies, I always favour individual lashes over strips when I’m doing freelance as they look so much more natural. They’re a bit of a faff and can take a while to apply but trust me, they’re worth it! The Eyelure lashes are my favourite, in particular the Fleur de Force range. Make sure to always go knot-free for an undetectable finish!
I’ve found brows to be the trickiest aspect of my kit as they’re so personal, but I’ve finally managed to put together a small selection of products I’m happy with. The Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift Pencil is my go-to for most clients – it’s super soft and the nib is slanted, which means it’s perfect for re-creating the appearance of little hairs. If I have someone who is looking for more of a defined brow, I love the Sleek Brow Kit. This contains a pigmented powder/gel formula which is great for adding a little more colour and structure. I’ve used this on myself since I first got into make-up around eight years ago and it’s still one of my all-time favourite products.
To finish off, I like to apply brow gel in order to create texture and give the brows a ‘fluffier’ look. The Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows is my favourite – it features a tiny little brush which is perfect for distributing product through finer, fairer hairs. It also contains castor oil which encourages growth and helps nourish the brows. This is also lovely on its own for clients who prefer more of a natural look or who are already blessed with beautifully bushy brows!
Charlotte Tilbury is my go-to brand for my lip products; they’re of such a high quality and have incredible staying power. As I make up a lot of brides I like to keep a good selection of nudes/subtle pinks in my kit. A few favourites include: Pillow Talk (both the matte and Superstar version), Bitch Perfect, In Love With Olivia, Penelope Pink, JK Magic, Dancefloor Princess and Glowing Jen.
I’m a big fan of gloss – one of my favourites is the Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath. Enriched with coconut oil and peppermint extract, this can be worn on its own or on top of lipstick. Due to its hydrating ingredients, I also like to pop it on at the beginning of a make-over to prep the lips.
As for lip liners, cult-classic Pillow Talk is a must have for me! I also love Hot Gossip, Pink Venus, Supersize Me and Kiss ‘n’ Tell if I’m applying a red lip. Mac and Barry M do some fabulous liners, too!
Other bits to keep to hand: Fixing spray (I like Mac Fix+), a good sharpener, eyelash curlers, body shimmer lotion (perfect for brides/bridesmaids wearing bandeau dresses) cotton pads, cotton buds, alcohol spray/brush cleaner spray, sponges, disposable mascara wands, cosmetic spatulas, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, small scissors, tweezers and mints.
Do you freelance? What are must-haves for your kit? x