When it comes to looking their best, celebrities like Michelle Williams, Chloë Grace Moretz, Amy Adams, Kim Kardashian and Lena Dunham all turn to makeup artist Nick Barose. Barose recently invited us to take an exclusive look inside his enviable travel case and shared his background and must-have favorites while we were poking around.
I was born and raised in Thailand with two sisters and tons of girl cousins. That's how I ended up learning how to do makeup, by experimenting on them using my mom's YSL, Mary Quant lipsticks and crayon eye shadows. Many years later I moved to New York City to study environmental design at Parsons, but I realized it wasn't really for me. Luckily I met the great [makeup artist] Kevyn Aucoin by writing him to ask if I could assist him. He said yes and the rest kind of happened.
I'm known for creating fresh, clean faces that are glamorous, chic and elegant. My clients come to me because I don't give them a drastic makeover, but rather enhance and bring out their awesome personalities with makeup. Here are some of my makeup kit essentials:
The seashell: I love carrying this little seashell from back home in Thailand in my kit. Sometimes when I'm having a rough day that's really long, it's nice to hold it in my hand and it reminds me of the beach. I pour a bit of water in it when I need to wet my brush or mix powder pigment with water for wet eye shadow that has more intensity. This looks cooler than just using a small plastic jar for sure.
YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat: Most foundation can make your skin look pasty or flat, especially when you're going for fuller coverage. I love Le Teint Touche Éclat because it has a natural sheen with subtle highlighting pigments in it that brightens your complexion and doesn't flatten out your face. The light-reflective pigments also add a soft candlelit glow to skin. I used this with a dampened sponge for sheerer coverage on Lena Dunham at the Met Ball this year.
Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer: This concealer's staying power is amazing, especially under the eyes. It won't fade and the pigment is great, so you need very little to cover a lot. It also doesn't build up or get cakey over time.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Powder: This pressed powder can be used wet or dry, and it covers everything but still look like skin because it's not completely matte. Sometimes I just apply this with a dampened sponge for quick, perfect coverage that looks beautiful on the red carpet.
Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit: Ideally when you're contouring your face, it should look like natural shadows to help sculpt certain features you're trying to enhance. I've found this kit looks the most believable, especially when used on the nose and cheeks. Even on fair-skinned clients of mine, like Michelle Williams and Amy Adams, this doesn't turn stripy or look too obvious and harsh.
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder: You can't beat this classic. A lot of bronzers look fake and that cheapens you. This looks so natural because it's not too red or orange and doesn't have too much shimmer. It adds a natural-looking sun-kissed glow that looks classy.
Shiseido Eyelash Curler: Ashley Simpson turned me onto this product. She loved it so much that she actually gave me one and I've been hooked since. It shapes lashes differently than most curlers. The curved pad is less severe, so lashes get elongated more and fan out on the outer corners, making eyes look more sultry. Other eyelash curlers curl all the lashes upward, which makes eyes look more round and innocent.
YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres: This eye shadow palette has the perfect combination of light, medium and dark tones that range from matte to shimmery finishes so you can create a huge array of eye looks. The colors are very well edited, too, so you'll end up using all five instead of just two.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil: This long-lasting liner is so rich that it adds drama to eyes in an instant. It's perfect for lining the inner rims of eyes, too, because once it dries it doesn't budge.
Lancôme Hypnôse Star: This is my favorite mascara. Its rich, pitch-black pigment adds drama to lashes without clumping. Curl fringe and apply two coats of this formula for a serious false lashes look.
Lancôme Blush Subtil: This powder blush is offered in wearable shades with a fine pigment that makes it easy to apply. It gives you a healthy glow in an instant. The matte ones are never too matte so they look believable, and the shimmery ones aren't too shimmery so they don't look bumpy on skin. It's my go-to powder blush on clients like America Ferrera and Vera Farmiga who love a natural-looking flush.
Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Brush: The hairs here are so soft that, to me, it makes it the best blush brush. It's the perfect size so colors can be easily controlled on cheeks. There's no blotchiness with this brush.
Japan B&C Laboratories Honey Lemon Lip Cream Balm: This lemon balm is a good gimmick in my kit. Everyone thinks it's a real lemon! I got it from Tokyo and everybody wants to steal it from me.

Photo: Courtesy of Nick Barose