Have you ever wondered what's in a makeup artist's makeup bag? Well, it's safe to say that it's probably a combination of eye shadows, eyeliners, eye brow pencils, mascaras, foundations, blushes, lipsticks, and bronzers. However, it really comes down to the brand and the quality of the makeup that's the biggest difference in what a professional MUA has versus an everyday beauty lover.
Kate Lee, a Chanel makeup artist, has been working alongside the brand for over 17 years. Over that time, she's worked on the faces of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Anne Hathaway, Kaitlyn Dever, Emma Chamberlain, Charli D'Amelio, and other beloved celebrities to create jaw-dropping looks for award shows, television appearances, and red carpets.
To get the latest scoop on the best makeup products you should buy from Chanel, Lee shared some of her favorites from over the years and why she doesn't leave home without them.
Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum
"I now use Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and/ or Chanel Hydra Beauty Camélia Water Cream pre–makeup application. Containing hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E, it is easily absorbed and leaves the skin luminous and hydrated," says Lee. Customer Review: "This is the most hydrating product I have ever used. It's fabulous!"
Chanel Calligraphe de Chanel
"Paired with and angled brush, this is the most intense matte black gel-cream liner around. It can be blended immediately on application to soften the line or left sharp and clean," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Absolutely amazing. It blends so nicely and it's so easy to use."
Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Noir
"This is my go-to for red carpet events. It has a fantastic wand, which makes it simple to coat every lash from root to tip, and the waterproof formula dries fast and holds in a curl," says Lee. "It will not let you down through tears or extreme heat."Customer Review: "I love this waterproof mascara! I just moved to a very hot climate and this is my first time trying waterproof. My eyelashes look naturally long and curled AND very easy removal with soap and water."
Chanel Le Crayon Kohl Eye Pencil
"Lovely colors and so easy to use! It’s also great because it’s perfectly formulated to work inside the waterline," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Absolutely the best. This is the only eyeliner I have used for probably 20 years. It's simply the best you can find. It's great for the waterline. It goes on smoothly and is soft enough, but not too soft to sharpen. It's firm, but not firm enough to tug at the skin. It will stay put, but you can smudge it if you want to. It's beautiful. There are lots of pretty good pencils out there for a lot less but this one is the best and it's worth every penny. When mine is half way gone I order another because I never want to run out. I have [not] run out for 20 years."
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner
"This pencil is so good! It does not move and comes in some brilliant vibrant shades alongside neutral go-tos like Intense Noir and Espresso brown," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Longtime favorite! This is the only eyeliner I have used for many years. It doesn't smudge (unless you want it to) and is long-lasting. Cassis is my favorite, a great complementary color for green eyes."
Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick
"The love I feel for this product is real. We usually have a few seasonal colors, but the transparent and sculpting shades are my favorite," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Very creamy and light. It gives my skin a subtle glow without the shine and is moisturizing! This baume works as a blush, for lids and lips, or a sun kissed glow of natural color."
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour
"This is my go-to for a red carpet," says Lee. "It delivers intense pigment, dimensional color, and stays put."
Customer Review: "Love this lipstick! Long-lasting and the color is beautiful! I bought two colors. One at Nordstrom and had to buy this color online!"
Chanel Rouge Allure Ink
"This is a great choice if you want a versatile product that can be used as a stain or full-bleed as a lip color," says Lee. "It also makes a great blush if you work quickly!"
Customer Review: "Love the color and texture of this lip color. Great staying power as well!"
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush
"This is an old-school, classic Chanel product! It has multidimensional pigment packed colors, and I love the seasonal shades. The core shades are user-friendly and the powder blush works for everyone," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Classic neutral blush color that will work for multiple skin tones. It's a beautiful color and I like that it's buildable. Will definitely keep this blush in my makeup bag."
Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15
"This foundation is truly foolproof. It comes in a great range of colors and has the appearance of an elevated, natural complexion," says Lee. "It's easy to travel with thanks to the lightweight plastic bottle, and it's my all-time favorite Chanel foundation."
Customer Review: "Beautiful for mature skin! I have to admit, I'm a little obsessed with Chanel makeup products, but it's taken me a while to find the perfect foundation for my 50 something year old skin. I do have fine lines and wrinkles and even the most luxurious foundation settles into those wrinkles. I don't use powder because that just exaggerates the problem. So one day, in Chanel's website, I just typed in 'best foundation for mature skin' and voila! This is what popped up. I quickly made the order in two different shades and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. It is so light you can barely feel it on your face yet it covers imperfections and hyperpigmentation like a dream! Thank you Chanel!! You are still my favorite!"
Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Complexion Touch
"Think of [this] as a big sister to the Water Fresh Tint, but slightly more pigmented and available in some great shades," says Lee. "Using micro droplets of pigment, the gel texture is light, refreshing, and buildable."
Customer Review: "Love the texture—light but flawless coverage, and the brush makes application easy and even. Love this product even after I was disappointed that the CC Cream I usually use was not available."
Chanel Le Blanc Rosy Light Drops
"I love this product so much. It is a subtle rosy tint that you can add into foundation, pat over cheekbones, or wear on its own to make the skin look tight and luminous," says Lee.
Customer Review: "Absolutely fabulous, lightweight, versatile product perfect for the days you just don't want to wear foundation. However, it adds a nice glow when you choose to wear foundation. I received this in a Christmas gift set (with few other products) last year. I used it for holiday parties and other events and it gave me exactly what I wanted—a nice glow. It has wonderful consistency, a nice scent, and you don't need a lot of it to get the effect. Highly recommend this one as essential for everyday use!"
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream
"This is the OG of cream bronzers. Lately, we added another two shades, which makes it great for most skin tones," says Lee. "I love the deepest shade, 395, and sometimes use that as a contour."Customer Review: "GORG! This bronzer is incredible. It blends well and gives a natural warm look. I wish the next level up was available, the Soleil Tan Bronze is somewhat subtle on my skin but would def buy again."
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
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