Makeup artist and entrepreneur Sonia Kashuk gives advice only an expert could.

Sonia Kashuk headshot

Makeup is something all of us have dabbled in at some point in our lives. Some women love it more than others, but there are some tricks that even the most seasoned makeup wearers don’t know. Celebrated beauty expert Sonia Kashuk has been in the biz since the 80s and has had her own prestige beauty brand since 1999. Besides filling us in on fall beauty trends, she shared some of her best beauty tips.

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SWD: What is one of your biggest beauty secrets?

SK: A little bit of foundation is definitely one of the best beauty secrets. Even if you have no makeup on, if your skin looks amazing you’re already halfway there. It’s about doing whatever you need to do to make sure your skin looks great. I often hear women say, “I don’t like the way foundation feels.” I tell them you shouldn’t really feel it, you should only be able to see what it does to transform skin. I think it can truly make somebody look as though they’ve had work done. People will say, “What did you do?” [Wearing the right foundation] can take ages off the face. Take the time to take care of yourself and your skin.

SWD: When it comes to foundation, what’s the best way to apply? Do you put it all over or just in the places that need it?

SK: Definitely in areas. It’s actually quite rare that you would need a foundation all over the face. And that I don’t have a rule about. I sell a lot of brushes; I sell a lot of sponges. But I like a combination of using brushes, sponges and then working in fingertips. To me, it’s not how you apply it, it’s really making sure the color is right and the texture is right.

Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set

Sonia Kashuk 5-Piece Brush Couture Set ($16.99,

SWD: What’s the best way to test, on your hand or on your face?

SK: On the face. 100%.

SWD: Women have been wearing eyeliner on their waterline for years. Do you have any tips on how to make it stay on?

SK: I think there’s a lot of new waterproof long wear formulas that will definitely do the trick. And even some of our new push-up gel liners will have longer wear.

Sonia Kashuk Twist Up Longwear Eyeliner

Sonia Kashuk Twist Up Longwear Eyeliner ($7.99,

SWD: How do you keep blush from fading away?

SK: I like to layer. So I will start out with a little bit of a cream blush and then you can set it with just a hint of powder using a very small brush. And then use your powder blush on top of it. Anytime you’re layering, blending and using powder to set makeup, it can definitely help add longevity to wear.

SWD: What’s one beauty product you can’t live without?

SK: I would have to say probably my Illuminating Bronzer. It’s one of those products people will say to me all the time, “God, you’re so tan, where were you?” And I’m like, “In my bathroom.” So I think that it just gives such incredible tone and luminosity. The thing I love about it is it’s not shimmery it just gives beautiful illumination to the skin.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer in Goddess ($12.99,

SWD: Can you wear bronzer all year round?

SK: Totally.

SWD: Where do you get your inspiration for new products and colors?

SK: I think a lot is from traveling. Diana Vreeland, God bless her, said the eye has to travel. And I think that’s so true. It’s getting out of your day to day and looking at the bigger picture. I try to pay attention to everything. I also tend to spend a lot of time in antique stores and looking at a lot of home stuff. I think that it’s a really inspiring. There’s so much texture and different things that come into play.

SWD: What is your beauty pet peeve?

SK: I think that women fear makeup and think, “Oh my God, I don’t know,” so they just don’t wear it. When I feel like there’s a lot of information and opportunity. I don’t think everybody has to wear a lot of makeup and there’s a time and a place for it. I don’t wear makeup every day. If I’m in my office I stay with my lotions and potions on my face. But understand that when worn correctly, makeup can truly be transforming and make you feel better. That little bit of makeup is like slipping on a pair of high heels.

Read Sonia Kashuk Talks Fall Beauty Trends

SWD: Why do you like to go to the spa?

SK: I just like to take time out on a Saturday or Sunday for me. It’s really about mind and body. I notice when I’m not working out and doing those things I react differently and my stress level goes up. It’s a great stress buster.

SWD: Do you recommend that other people go to the spa regularly?

SK: 100%. There’s nothing that feels better than after you’ve worked out, gone into a steam and have your shower. The way your body feels after that is you can’t replace that with anything. You’ve treated it really well and it feels very cleansed and pure.

SWD: What made you start going to the spa?

SK: It’s the feeling I would have after I would spend the time doing it. It put me in such a peaceful state of mind that whatever I had to go through to get there was worth it because the end result is intoxicating. It totally takes over everything about making you feel healthy and pure.

Laura Knipping is the Special Projects Editor at Spa Week Daily.

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