Beautyblenders, Bronzer and Scotch Tape: Top Backstage Makeup Essentials at the Oscars

Beautyblenders, Bronzer and Scotch Tape: Top Backstage Makeup Essentials at the Oscars featured image

Heading the Oscars backstage makeup is no small feat. After nearly two decades doing the job, Hollywood makeup artist Bruce Grayson is the maestro behind the scenes. His Oscars night prep involves stocking up on essentials like brushes, mascara and blotting paper, ready to tackle quick touchups. Leading a team of makeup artists, Grayson is poised to prep presenters like Ariana Grande, Charlize Theron and Issa Rae.

Reflecting on his kit essentials, he notes the most important tool in his kit is not what one might think. “Believe it or not, it’s Scotch tape,” he says. “There’s nothing more useful than Scotch tape to remove a glittery and shiny fabric that transfers from dress to dress. Or to remove powder on the shoulder from a backstage hug.”

As the countdown to the 96th Academy Awards begins, Grayson gives NewBeauty another exclusive glimpse into his meticulously curated Oscars backstage makeup kit.

1 / 23

“Tailored for quick behind-the-scenes under eye concealer and foundation touch ups, the Bdellium Studio 788V Blending and Concealing Brush ($16) is next level fluffy angled blending perfection.”

BUY NOW – $16

2 / 23

“The genius short handled eye shadow brush, MAC 217S ($30), works equally as well with concealer. Ideal for shading or blending, it’s the perfect tool to quickly fix complexion flaws that appear before talent hits the stage.”

BUY NOW – $30

3 / 23

“It’s important for us to move fast, so when laying down concealer or covering up imperfections I use the MAC 195 brush ($27). It allows me to pat or lay down the product with precision but has a tapered tip to go into the creases and corners of the eyes.”

BUY NOW – $27

4 / 23

“Not available in the U.S., Suqqu Base The Foundation ($83) has a beautiful texture and the foundation lights up skin on camera. If you’re wondering how celebrities look filtered on camera, it’s this foundation! I also love their wide color range. To apply, I take a pearl-sized amount using a spatula and gently spread from the center of the face to outwards.”

BUY NOW – $83

5 / 23

“Talk about instant glam! Take Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise in Rose Gold ($35) and add a dash on the center, inner corner, or swipe across the whole lid to light up eyes.”

BUY NOW – $35

6 / 23

“Made with the backstage makeup artists in mind, Beautyblender’s teardrop shaped double-sided Power Pocket Puff ($18) deposits the perfect amount of powder onto skin. It’s a BTS artist’s dream tool. I have multiples of these in every kit!”

BUY NOW – $18

7 / 23

“Another genius makeup tool by Beautyblender, the Blotterazzi Pro ($10) removes just the right amount of shine and excess oil to leave skin glowing.”

BUY NOW – $10

8 / 23

“I’m a big fan of multi-color concealer kits, like the Koh Gen Do Mai Fanshi Moisture Concealer ($63), because mixing two to three colors to brighten up the complexion always looks more natural.”

BUY NOW – $63

9 / 23

“This super creamy matte M·A·Cximal Silky Matte Lipstick by MAC ($25) comes in some of my all-time favorite MAC lipstick colors like Cafe Mocha, Chili and Ruby Woo, all must-haves in my kit because the colors are universal and work well on all skin tones.”

BUY NOW – $25

10 / 23

Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Eyeliners ($29) are super pigmented and blendable, making backstage last-second smokey eye touch-ups a breeze.”

BUY NOW – $29

Charlotte TIlbury
11 / 23

“Beloved by makeup artists, celebrities and supermodels, the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Kit ($54) is available in three universal shades. The lip liner and lipstick duo are super blendable, making it easy to create gorgeous, fuller-looking lips.”

BUY NOW – $54

12 / 23

Nanoblur ($25) is a primer but it can be used to blur imperfections underneath makeup or it can be used over makeup to mattify. The texture is so sheer and unlike a lot of other mattifiers it doesn’t add an extra layer.”

BUY NOW – $25

13 / 23

“I always have Beautyblenders ($20) on hand because they leave no no discernible mark when you apply either blush or foundation. Brushes are great, but you can use a sponge to help revive makeup.”

BUY NOW – $20

14 / 23

Avène’s Thermal Spring Water ($19) is perfect for reigniting foundation with a mist, which is something I still do all the time.”

BUY NOW – $19

15 / 23

“I am still a huge fan of Maybelline Sky High Mascara($13). It has such great longwear and it comes in so many different shades.”

BUY NOW – $13

16 / 23

“I’m really into cream blush right now and my go-to at the moment is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Beauty Blush Wand ($42) in Pink Pop and Peach Pop. Charlotte has been supportive of us and we’re using a lot of her products backstage.”

BUY NOW – $42

17 / 23

“I always have Dior Forever Skin Correct ($40) concealer in Warm Peach. It conceals, it’s movable, it goes on really easily and it gives a lot of warmth and an overall glow underneath the eye.”

BUY NOW – $40

18 / 23

“Some men will use foundation or some will just spot conceal on areas of the face they might need some color correcting. If a guy has a great complexion, why put makeup on him? We’re going to color correct where he needs it. If we’re going to put on a full foundation, my favorite foundation for men is Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture ($99).

BUY NOW – $99

19 / 23

“I like the earthiness of the Spray di Sol Liquid Bronzer ($45) shades and you can use it on the face and body.”

BUY NOW – $45

20 / 23

“These Boscia blotting sheets ($10) are my best friends on shows like this.”

BUY NOW – $10

21 / 23

“I can’t get enough of Jack Black Lip Balm ($10). It’s not too shiny but it really hydrates. It’s got a semi matte finish. Men love it.”

BUY NOW – $10

22 / 23

“Tweezers are a must for a big night like this. Tweezerman tweezers ($24) are always in our kits.”

BUY NOW – $24

23 / 23

Fran Wilson Eye Tees ($4) are perfect for quick eye fixes. One side is flat so you can smudge one end underneath the eye if you use a pencil or to even out eyeshadow. The other is pointy so you can be more precise.”

BUY NOW – $4

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