The Top 10 Makeup Products You Need According to Celebrity Makeup Artist Renee Garnes

Discover your new favorite staples from this beauty expert.

Renee Garnes. Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike Sue Bird, DiDi Richards and Te’a Cooper.

SI Swimsuits Beauty Boost series offers expert advice on makeup, hairstyling, fashion and all things beauty from leading professionals in the industry. This month, the series features tips from Black hair and makeup stylists who have worked on SI Swimsuit photo shoots.

Looking to upgrade your makeup game? You’re definitely not alone! As someone who shamelessly uses mascara long past its expiration date (seriously, who knew it was only good for two to four months?), I’m always on the lookout for new products to add to my collection. With all the celebrity makeup lines and TikTok trends out there, it can be tough to know what products are worth investing in. That's where expert guidance comes in, and who better to lead the way than celebrity makeup artist Renee Garnes?

With over 15 years of experience and an impressive client list—including the likes of Angela Bassett, Naomi Campbell, Alicia Keys and Serena Williams—Garnes is a true beauty guru. You’ve seen her work in Sports Illustrated before, featured on the WNBA players highlighted in the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

But it’s not just celebrities who swear by her skills. Elite fashion models like Joan Smalls and Jasmine Tookes can’t get enough of her unique artistry, which has graced the pages of top publications like Vogue Italia, Allure and Marie Claire. And let’s not forget her work on global ad campaigns for high-end brands such as Chanel and Givenchy.

So, what are Garnes’s must-have products? Keep reading to find out and discover your new favorite beauty staples.

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish, $68 (

“I just adore my Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealers,” Garnes gushes. “They are so great to be used sheer or full coverage. Just the best!”

Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Foundation, $22 (

“Such a big fan of Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Cream Cover foundations. So smooth and very buildable. It is a staple in my kit,” she says.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, $33 (

“Another must that I always use is Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for under eyes,” Garnes notes. “I have been using this product for many years.”

Ardell Lashes, starting at $6 (

“My favorite lashes that I use are Ardell. They always have an assortment of lashes for all occasions,” she says. “They are my go-to and are always a good choice when I need lashes. I can get them at the nearest drugstore.”

CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Volume Mascara, $12.99 (

“Also another drugstore brand that I can’t do without is CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Volume Mascara (waterproof). However, they do make it regular too,” Garnes adds. “It really volumizes your lashes to full effect.”

Mally Roncal’s Face Defender, $36 (

“I’m not a big fan of face powder, especially for mature skin types but a great alternative is Mally Roncal’s Face Defender,” she advises. “It definitely mattifies the face without that dry powdery effect. It is one of my faves.”

Scott Barnes Chic Cheeks Palette, $58 (

“I love my Scott Barnes, Chic Cheeks Palette,” Garnes says. “It comes with eight great colors for all skin types.”

Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, $62 (

“I live for Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen,” she admits. “It is a very black liner that is double-sided for the perfect wing. I can’t be without it!”

Ashunta Beauty Unicorn Duochrome Highlighter, $24 (

“My go-to shimmer is Ashunta Beauty Unicorn Duochrome Highlighter in assorted colors for all skin colors,” Garnes says. “It can be used sparingly or for full-on glam!”

NARS Audacious Lipstick Palettes, $35 (

“Last but not least is my NARS Audacious Lipstick Palettes,” she adds. “I have them in all colors and it really is convenient when traveling. It is a must-have in my kit.”

Mara Milam


Mara Milam is the managing digital producer at SI Swimsuit. The California based video and digital content producer joined the “swim team” in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was settling in. Mara is a lover of all things travel and wellness and is passionate about elevating the voices and stories of people often not heard.