It's been a crazy few days for celeb makeup artist Francesca Tolot: She did Beyoncé's makeup for the VMAs, Gwen Stafani's for the Emmy's, squeezed in a photo shoot, and is promoting her new book out September 11, One Woman 100 Faces (which features a forward from Bey herself). Still, Tolot—whose massive client portfolio includes everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to J.Lo—managed to take some time out of her busy schedule to share some of her expert advice with us.
Here, her must-have products and quick red carpet-ready tips:
1. One-step trick: If you're short on time but want to bump up your look for night, add a deep lip color—red, burgundy, or fuschia will immediately create drama, she says. If you're not a lipstick gal, stick to a smokey eye, or simply add a second or third layer of mascara. MAC's 'In Extreme Dimension Lash' is always in her makeup bag. "That’s the one thing I apply if I don’t have time for anything else," she says.
2. Dewey skin secret: When we asked about her all-time favorite cult products, Tolot couldn't stop gushing about Chanel's VITALUMIÈRE. "For any type of skin it gives a luminescent base with enough coverage for any situation," she says.
3. What to keep in your clutch: So, what should you always keep in your makeup bag? Above all else, powder and lipstick are must haves, Tolot says. "Even if you don’t have oily skin, after a couple of hours or once you start sweating, you need to mattify the T-zone and under the eyes," she says.
4. How to contour right: "It’s very, very, very tricky," Tolot admits. "I suggest for regular women in real life, stay as light as you can. Don’t try to be dramatic and use dark colors," she advises. Instead, choose a color as close as possible to your skin color—you don't want to be able to detect that the makeup is there. She cites Smashbox as her favorite kit for natural contouring 'that won't create a clown look.'
5. Flawless full-body glow: For Tolot's clients on the red carpet, matching face color to both the neck and chest is essential. When arms and legs tend to have more sun than the face, an all-over foundation is key for creating a uniform tone (it also covers up scars and bruises on the legs for an airbrushed look). Tolot loves MAC Face and Body foundation. As the name suggests, you can use it anywhere, and it comes in a bigger bottle.