6 Things a Makeup Artist Would Never Buy (and 3 Total Must-Haves)

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Spoiler alert: Even though sometimes it feels this way, you don’t actually need every beauty product in the market. (Shocking, we know.) So we tapped makeup artist Tricia Turner from NakedPoppy to give us the breakdown on six things she should never buy, and the three items you should definitely add to your makeup bag.

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things a makeup artist would never buy cosmetics with harmful ingredients
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1. Cosmetics With Harmful Ingredients

FYI, clean beauty is here to stay (and the growing trend is only getting more popular). “Cosmetics that use harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, nanoparticles, sulfates and synthetic fragrances are dangerous not only for us but also the environment,” said Turner. Believe it or not, switching to a cleaner alternative won’t break—and they actually work. Many popular brands like RMS Beauty, Ilia and Kosas have advocated for having natural ingredients in their products and successfully developed a cult following.

Shop the products: Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette ($28); Kosas The Sun Show Bronzer ($34); RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Concealer ($36); Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 ($46); Kjaer Weis Cream Blush ($56)

things a makeup artist would never buy latex sponges
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2. Latex Sponges

The key to a smooth and silky finish is...not a latex sponge. Turns out, this beauty tool is actually doing more harm than good to your skin. “Materials like latex can be irritating to sensitive skin, so latex-free sponges are a must-have in my kit,” she said. Turner recommended the clean and non-toxic Jenny Patinkin's Pure Luxury Makeup Sponge Duo to make blending your foundation easy and worry-free.

Get the products: E.L.F Cosmetics Total Face Sponge ($5); Morphe Highlight & Contour Beauty Sponge ($8); Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100 ($16); Beauty Bakerie Blending Egg Beauty Sponges ($18); Beautyblender Makeup Sponge ($20)

things a makeup artist would never buy expensive mascara
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3. Expensive Mascara

A fancy-schmancy mascara may look cool to show off, but is it worth the $$$? Probably not. “Expensive doesn’t mean better, especially when it comes to mascara since it has a short shelf-life of 3 months,” said Turner. Even the most affordable or budget-friendly mascara can do the same (if not better) job in making your lashes voluminous and bold (and your eye look pop).

Get the products: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara ($5); Milani Dangerous Lengths 3D Mascara ($10); L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara ($11); Lily Lolo Vegan Mascara ($20); Kosas The Big Clean Mascara ($26)

things a makeup artist would never buy matching foundation powder
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4. Matching Foundation Powder

“Colored setting powders can look cakey and add another layer of unnecessary coverage,” explained Turner. So instead of choosing a heavy foundation-and-matching-powder set, look to a translucent finishing powder to secure your look and minimize any shine. “Translucent powder is a staple in the kit of every makeup artist because it works for almost every skin tone and gives a natural looking finish,” Turner explained.

Get the products: RMS Beauty “Un” Powder ($34); Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Finishing Pressed Powder ($27); Ilia Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20 ($34) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39); Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder ($46)

things a makeup artist would never buy wrong liquid eyeliner
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5. The Wrong Liquid Eyeliner

“A good liquid liner should be a staple in every woman’s makeup kit, but finding the right formulation is key,” she said. When it comes to finding the liquid eyeliner, it’s all about trial-and-error. However, to make things easier, look for these red flags when trying out eyeliners: dryness, poor applicators and harshness across the eye. Turner recommends the NakedPoppy’s Clean Liquid Eyeliner for its added subtle definition to the eyes and the felt tip that runs across lids smoothly. Plus, the pigment is out-of-this-world.

Get the products: Maybelline Hyper Easy Waterproof Liquid Liner ($9); NYX Epic Ink Liner ($9) Stila Say All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22); Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner ($24)

things a makeup artist would never buy harsh cleansers

6. Harsh Cleansers

After a long day, all you want to do is wash your makeup off. And while you’ve learned the proper way to clean your face, do you know if using the right cleanser? “A lot of women are using cleansers that are too abrasive for their skin without knowing it. They strip the skin of its natural oils and can potentially damage the sensitive outer barrier,” Turner explained. Find a cleanser that won’t only clean off every ounce of your makeup, but also has gentle ingredients that won’t cause redness, irritation or breakouts.

Get the products: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($15); Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Cleansing Bar ($15); Indie Lee Purifying Face Wash ($34); Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser ($36); Fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash ($38)

The Total Must-Haves

OK, so you tossed out all the products that just wasn’t sparking joy and now you can add these three items to complete your everyday look: a lash curler, mascara and brow pencil. “I'm a big believer in a day-to-day makeup routine that’s fast and easy. A must-have combo in my bag is a lash curler, mascara and brow pencil because it's such a great way to emphasize eyes quickly and make them stand out,” she said. Turner especially loves the Ere Perez's Spectacular Eyelash Curler, Kosas The Big Clean Mascara and Alima Pure's Natural Definition Eye Pencil to for an eye look that pops.

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Chelsea Candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...
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