The Products This Emmy-Nominated Makeup Artist Says Are Absolute Musts for Both the Red Carpet and Real Life

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Last night, celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern—her clients include Reese Witherspoon, Cara Delevingne, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Maya Rudolph to name a few— was, like everyone else in Hollywood, sitting tight and watching the very virtual big show. (Stern also had the not-so-shabby honor of being nominated for an Emmy for outstanding makeup for Big Little Lies.) We caught up with Stern today, and she shared her top skin-care and makeup musts she relies on for on-set, on the red carpet and in real life.

Exfoliate Now
For starters, Stern says she “always recommends a lot of skin care, as I want the skin to have a natural and amazing glow to it.” To that end, she’s a fan of regular gentle exfoliation of the skin. “The Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel ($63) is a favorite [to use] a few times a week. Its clean ingredients lend itself to a non drying exfoliation, which leaves the skin super smooth and glowing.”

Oil Spill
“I am a huge fan of face-oil serums,” she says, pegging her “current obsessions” as Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum ($125). “It leaves the skin feeling soothed and radiant.”

Tool Box
A self-described “tool freak,” Stern contends that adding stimulation to your routine makes a “gigantic difference” in the achieving that radiant result. “I go between Jillian Dempsey’s Gold Sculpting Bar ($195) and the Pause Well Aging Fascia Stimulating Tool ($115). The Gold Bar vibrates and releases tension in the skin, while lifting and toning the overall complexion. The Fascia Stimulating Tool is a medical-grade device that stimulates the regeneration of collagen-producing cells. Both improve blood flow and makes the skin look more sculpted and firm.”

C Level
“The key to having the tools do their work you need a killer moisturizer in your kit. I am a gigantic lover of NaturaBisse Vitamin C+C moisturizer ($132). It glides on and works wonderfully with stimulation tools or just with fingers doing the massaging. Its rich texture firms and offers amazing vitality to the skin.”

Set the Foundation
Once the skin has its skin care—and what Stern calls the “stimulation glow”—she adds “a sheer application of the always-glowing and stunning Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64), with touch-ups courtesy of the amazing Armani Luminous Silk Concealer ($38), a moisturizing and extremely buildable pick that is great for a long day on set.” As for her go-to, DIY, glowing-skin trick: “Once I have applied all of my skin-care delicacies and evened out the skin tone with foundation, I recommend my client take their own clean hands and press them into their face. There’s something about getting your own body chemistry to mix with the makeup that gives a finished look that is fresh and natural—while still looking polished and done.”

Flush Factor
Stern counts blush as her desert island product. “Nothing beats a flushed glow. I like to layer my application for a fresh and super dewy finish, and I always base the cheeks with a cream blush. I love to build the depth by starting with a rich tone like Tower 28 West Coast Bronzer ($20), and then top that off with a finishing dust of Beautycounter’s Satin Powder Blush ($30) in Nectar.

Lip Service
“Lips need to be constantly cared for as well. I am a huge fan of Epicuren Anti-Aging Lip Balm ($11.50),” Stern says. “Long-wear lip color has really changed the on set game. The amazing range that Armani Lip Maestro ($38) offers makes it really easy—because it wears so beautifully and for so long, it means I don’t need to maintain the lip as much. The finish is rich with great color payoff and it lasts…and lasts.”

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