Allan Avendano gives us the scoop.
Celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendano has helped transform Zendaya from Disney kid to Dolce and Gabbana campaign star (she’ll front the Italian fashion house’s #DGMillennials spring 2017 ads). And he counts the right highlighter and perfect neutral eye shadow palette as his secret weapons.

A pro in the understated glamour game, Avendano has made seamless yet strategic contouring and highlighting his specialties. He’s used his surefire techniques on a client list that includes Chrissy Teigen and Sarah Hyland, creating looks that are clean, gorgeous and never overdone.

Here, Avendano shares the secrets of his makeup kit including the items he can’t live without and the brands currently dominating the five heavy cases he lugs from hotel suites to advertising shoots.

Pret-a-Reporter: In a word (or two), how would you describe your kit?

Allan Avendano: “Organized clutter” or “So heavy.”

Are there one or two brands that dominate the kit?

I’d say that Dior and Tom Ford dominate my kit at the moment.

How long have you been building your kit?

I’ve been building this kit for 12 years but most everything is new (because product expires) except for a few eye shadows and colored pigments that have been discontinued.

What made you want to become a makeup artist?

I grew up with psoriasis and it really affected my self-esteem growing up. It gave me this fire to help people feel good about themselves inside and out. As I got older, I also developed a fascination with fashion and the glitz and glam of Hollywood. My passion for both is fulfilled doing makeup.

What’s the most amazing location you’ve ever had the chance to go for a shoot?

I’ve been so fortunate to travel to so many places but I have to say that my favorite so far has been Zermatt, Switzerland… we were so close to the top of the Matterhorn! My second favorite would be Bora Bora, Tahiti with its water that has 50 shades of blue.

What would you consider your secret weapon?

I feel like my signature look always features glowing, dewy skin. My secret weapon is Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. I use my fingers to dab it onto the skin and then blend it out with a Beauty Blender for that strategically placed subtle highlight.

Which few items are you the most excited about at the moment?

I am really excited about Rituel De Fille’s products, especially their Rare Light Luminizers in Ghost Light, Phospene and Anthelion. They add the subtlest sheen to the skin and are easy to apply with your fingers. I love Forbidden Lipsticks as well, especially in Blackthorn. It’s the perfect deep black berry color that stains the lips but never feels like you’re wearing caked on lipstick. Another product of theirs that I love is the Ash and Ember Eye Soot in Golden Age, Viscera and Sigh. It can be used as shadow or eyeliner and won’t melt with the warmth of your skin so it stays put!

I also love the Burberry Eyeshadow Palette in Plum Pink. Don’t let the name fool you. This is a great neutral palette for everyday that has bronze and gold shades with a tiny touch of plum. Specifically great for women with green eyes but everyone can wear it.

Hourglass Vanishing Seamless Foundation is also a must have. It comes in easy to travel and apply sticks with a semi-matte finish. It goes on beautifully and has buildable coverage. I use this all over the face or on areas that need a bit more coverage. Can’t live without it.

I’ve also been very interested in skincare and have re-discovered Malin and Goetz. Skincare has to be simple and effective and light enough to carry around. I’ve found Malin and Goetz skincare is that! Current obsession from their line is the Replenishing Face Cream. Over time, it really balances your skin and you’ll feel a difference in skin texture.

If your kit could talk, what would it say?

“I’m heavy and full and come in 5 pieces, but without me they’re nothing! Muahaha.”

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