SLIDER BASIC take ONE © 2012 kaymontano. All rights reserved.

This Make-Up Artist’s Basics

 The Photoshop revolution has made it hard to tell make-up artists, photographers and- yikes- at times even models- apart, as many of the top fashion magazines have embraced a hyper-real, clone-like use of Photoshop with considerable zeal.

This, mixed the omnipresent Kardashian aesthetic, means that boiled egg faces with fake contours and identikit features are everywhere. 

As a make-up artist who had to learn and perfect the request for an undetectable base, this is just a wee bit of a cosmic joke.  What, you mean after all of those years of seamless blending, painstaking dot-to-dotting with a smorgasbord of concealers and neutralizing tones, carefully mattifying and highlighting exact areas to create recess and lift,  along comes a computer programme that can wipe out the skin and facial uniqueness completely with a silken alien beige? Plus change your work completely, when it is you that is named for the resulting, tres bizarre facial reconstruction? Create a whole new aesthetic archetype whereby retouched features set a new physicality? Whoah, Sci Fi.                                                                     Am I the only one who prefers the before…?

Oh well. My 20th century Eagle eyes still come in handy for press junkets when an actress has to look stunningly perfect-in the flesh and for me on my nights out-ha.

Meanwhile, you guys out there who haven’t yet evolved into a Photoshop human, perhaps you can still benefit from my old fashioned skills and the choices of products I choose to create a beautiful canvas.

Welcome to my September 2012 rebooted BASICS KIT. This is what I shall be using to create fabulously perfect canvases on famous and not so famous faces.


Clockwise from left: Salma Hayek‘s reasonably priced Nuance range, available from and Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation spf 17 both impress me for their extensive colour range and staying power. Tom Ford‘s Traceless Foundation Stick is a luxurious and handbag-friendly product that is great to have on hand for regular touch ups. MyMix Foundation by MyFace Cosmetics has been a staple in my kit for years and is loved by the actresses I work with as it is dewy, with a natural-looking coverage. Chanel Aqualumiere is similar in this regard but more sheer and light. My Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand is very handy for bringing out the upper cheekbones before blusher is applied. Shiseido’s Advanced Hydro Liquid Compact spf 15 is another handbag-friendly product in compact form with a useful wide mirror.

Tinted Moisturisers/‘BB Creams’

The Nuance Tinted Moisturiser is in my kit, it is sheer and I use it one shade up from my subject if I want to create a subtle glow.  Having sniffed at the irritating marketing jargon of ‘BB Creams’, I love this Bobbi Brown BB Cream and use it on myself. The spf 35 is particularly helpful on my long dogwalks, and the ‘tinted-ness‘ of it basically makes it a foundation. That is what it is. An accurately toned foundation with SPF, that is why I like it, and what I think it should be called but I understand how make-up loving women respond to ‘the latest thing’ more than a ‘better version of what has come before’.




From top left: Nuance Concealers by Salma Hayek (available as before). What I like about these are that they have a consistency which is suitable for under eyes as well as blemishes (I’m usually a stickler about the important difference in both colour and texture) and comes in colour corrective shades. Bobbi Brown Pro Concealer Palette. This is the Rolls Royce of Concealer Palettes. On one side you have the creamier, peach-to-orange shades suitable for colour-correcting the under-eye area. On the other side you have the drier, more yellow-to-olive and deep chocolate to conceal red areas as well as concealing the blemishes of a wide array of skintones. Great for pros but they all come separately in regular retail too. Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage is an absolute Make-Up Artist classic. Often mistaken for use under the eyes (unless you are very young, or have oily skin, it is a little too dry for under eyes), this gem of a duo comes in many shades, for a multitude of skintones. Givenchy’s Mister Light is a kind of ‘highlighting Concealer’ and I use it as a ‘pick me up’ on myself and clients if you are particularly tired. Clinique Airbrush is another perennial staple, I love the peachy tone for under the eyes and I often mix them together to make the perfect under-eye, dark shadow concealer. YSL’s Touche Eclat is also just as great for this.

I’m experimenting with Eye ‘Canvases!’

These bad boys took my fancy, I’m never convinced about primers (unless for very open pores) but I will try these out on myself and at work and let you know if they get the thumbs up.


Anyone who says they don’t like powder has never dusted the loose stuff on the T Zone with a soft brush and seen how polished their make-up looks… I’m ALL for dewy skin, but dewy chin? Not so much. Certain areas just don’t look good with sheen in real life; nostril creases, chins, tips of noses and foreheads, ergo- the T Zone.

From Top: Autograph Invisible Powder is a new find as until recently (NEW BEAUTY HALL, HELLO), I confess I never looked for Make-Up in M+S. It’s finely milled, sheer and inexpensive so what’s not to love? Laura Mercier Translucent Powder is another classic and I love to use it when there is very strong light and I need a matte, yet sheer finish. The Laura Mercie Secret Brightening Powder does no service by being secret, excuse me while I shout it out: THIS PRODUCT ROCKS for under eye, post lunch, late night, whenever tired touch ups. Nuance by Salma Hayek comes in a variety of shades and is also very sheer and reasonably priced. Available at CVS as above. Jurlique Rose (and Citrus and Lavender) Scented Powder is my number one. The Rose scent never ceases to cheer up an exhausted actress and makes my constant prodding with a powder brush more bearable.

Share The Love


  1. It absolutely thrills me to see some of favorites in here Kay! But alas, only some… My ever growing list gains a few rows.

    • kaymontano

      Nice to hear! There are many basics to choose from Kate and here, I didn’t mention the brilliant Estee Lauder Double Wear range…and others..

  2. Love this post Kay, thanks for putting this info out!

  3. Stacey

    Awesome read, lovely article and very useful. Thank you :)

  4. Great read, great post some favourites of mine in there and some ones I thave quandered over but no more. Thank you Kay x

  5. wow, lots of stuff i didn’t know about like Salma Hayek’s range. i wonder though for extreme tropics like Singapore, sometimes loose powder gets very cakey after perspiration and humidity, so we blot lots :-/
    thanks for all this info Kay

  6. This Make-Up Artist’s Basics |
    cheap ugg on sale

  7. 999 “And evidently it was not anything particular versus their staff,” Enjoy said. Dove shouldn’t be into fashion.
    how to get likes on facebook

  8. Wow lots of products there. Didn’t know Salma H had a makeup range. Will try the M&S autograph powders as my kit needs new powders. Our post was very informative, with plenty to choose from.
    Thank you
    PS Are you know writing mainly on your new blog ?
    Best Anne Marie

  9. You’ve gotten astonishing information right here.|

One Trackback

  1. By Beauty Bytes: September 21, 2012 21 Sep ’12 at 11:03 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked:*


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>