Photo: Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images
When the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry need to serve up a picture-perfect, flawless face for a glossy editorial spread or a stroll down the red carpet, they call on makeup artist extraordinaire Mario Dedivanovic. Luckily for us mere mortals, Dedivanovic is all about sharing the wealth when it comes to tips and tricks of the trade. Just ask his Master Class devotees or the 6 million Insta groupies who study his contouring tutorials.
It's no surprise the makeup master has a huge arsenal of products to choose from when painting a famous face, but he still counts on a handful of tried-and-true essentials. From high-end to affordable drugstore finds, here are the mainstay beauty staples he swears by. Consider these the only five items you'll ever need in your makeup bag if you get shipwrecked on a deserted island with a crew of paparazzi.
Dedivanovic's pick: No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation (Buy It, $16, target.com)
This one's a game-changer: skin care and makeup wrapped up in one affordable package. Dedivanovic adores this double-duty serum foundation packed with anti-aging ingredients like hibiscus and vitamins A and C to improve pigmentation (buh bye age spots and discoloration!).
The lightweight, flexible formula stays put all day without getting stuck in your creases while it improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plus firms, lifts, and brightens. Talk about multifunctional! And that's not all. The formula also contains special optical blurrers that reflect light and leave your skin with a healthy, J.Lo-worthy glow. Oh yeah, did we mention it's formulated with SPF 15 too? (Related: The $7 Product J.Lo's Makeup Artist Uses to Create Her Head-to-Toe Glow)
Still not convinced? He especially loves this serum foundation because it works well for most skin types. And with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, it hydrates all day and keeps your skin as plump and supple as a cherub's.
Dedivanovic's pick: Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (Buy It, $24, ulta.com)
"I love this versatile cleanser because it removes both dirt and makeup while still being gentle and non-drying on the face," says Dedivanovic.
And beauty buyers agree. With around 3,000 5-star reviews on Ulta, this is definitely a fan favorite. One shopper gushes: "I remember the first time using this face wash. My skin was suffering from acne and I decided to try it out, and I mean INSTANTLY after the first wash my skin looked completely different. It was crazy. I've never had a face wash do that before. My skin looked glowy and clean and clear, and I was instantly hooked and still to this day I can't live without it." (P.S. KKW apparently also loves this $9 face cleanser.)
Not only does this cleanser deep clean pores and melt away dirt, oil, and makeup, it also hydrates and conditions with natural extracts.
3. Setting Powder
Dedivanovic's pick: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (Buy It, $39, sephora.com)
If setting powder isn't a part of your makeup routine, you better get on board, stat. "Setting powder is essential to keeping your makeup lasting hours without creasing or moving," according to Dedivanovic.
And this product is the gold standard. "I always carry the Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder in my kit. This powder is perfect for all skin types and comes in a few different shades to accommodate all skin tones."
At $39, this setting powder is a bit pricy, but it's worth the splurge. The lightweight formula absorbs oil, reduces shine, and blurs imperfections, creating a soft photo finish without looking cakey. "Not only does it set makeup for long hours but there is no flashback—making it perfect for any red carpet look," he says.
Basically, it's like Photoshop IRL. #NoFilterNeeded. Nuff said.
4. Lash Curler
Dedivanovic's pick: Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler (Buy It, $30, sephora.com)
Looking to up your lash game? Forget falsies, you need an eyelash curler in your makeup bag. "I think a lot of people are neglecting to curl their eyelashes," says Dedivanovic, "but it's actually an important step to open your eyes and make them look brighter, especially if you have a bold look on the lid." (Related: What I Learned from Trying Latisse to Boost Eyelash Growth)
Dedivanovic recommends the Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler. "It hugs the lashes right at the lash line and helps protect against breakage." To achieve a seamless, natural curve and prevent those fake-looking hard angles, he suggests counting to five on each side. Voilà—perfectly symmetrical lashes for days.
Dedivanovic's pick: L'Oréal Waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara (Buy It, $8, ulta.com)
You don't need to be an A-lister to afford bold, beautiful lashes. "This drugstore product rivals any high-end mascaras I've come across," says Dedivanovic. At less than $8, that's music to our ears and our pockets. (FYI, Lea Michele's makeup artist *also* swears by an $8 L'Oréal drugstore mascara.)
Dedivanovic raves about how buildable the clump-resistant formula is. "You can go from an everyday to a bold look with just a few extra coats." Plus, it's fragrance-free and allergy-tested, so it's safe for sensitive eyes. And the waterproof formula won't budge if you get caught in the rain.
Dedivanovic's pro tip: Before applying mascara, use a lash primer. This will help fight against flakes and smudges and can make the product easier to remove.