inside cassandra garcia makeup kit

Kate McKinnon’s Makeup Artist Has a Mascara Hack for Voluminous Lashes

Cassandra Garcia let us raid her New York beauty closet and kit.

Alec Kugler
We like to consider ourselves among the most afflicted beauty addicts around here, but every once in a while we meet someone who lives and breathes makeup and skin care on a whole other level. A beauty junkie in the best sense. As soon as we stepped inside makeup artist Cassandra Garcia’s Manhattan apartment and spotted her walk-in closet stacked to the brim with products (and a few CHANEL bags for good measure), we knew we had officially entered beauty wonderland. “I think it’s so important to use other cosmetics so you know what’s out there or what’s good or what you love more,” she explains as we stare blissfully into the depths of her beauty closet. “It’s fun to experiment.”

The bubbly San Diego native first made a name for herself in the industry by assisting makeup legend Bobbi Brown (whose products she still swears by), and now works with celebrities like Gabourey Sidibe, Jenna Lyons, and Kate Upton for red carpet events and editorials. She’s also close friends with many of the powerhouse women on SNL like Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant, the latter of whom asked Garcia to do her makeup for her recent nuptials. “She has beautiful freckles,” she explains of her friend’s bridal look. “We just made her look like a flushed, blushing bride. I did a heathery soft purple on her eyes. I love using colors that enhance the eye color. It’s kind of a secret way to enhance the natural beauty that you already have.”

Lucky for us, Garcia was full of helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of your makeup, especially drugstore buys, of which she is a fan. “I love mascaras [and] lip glosses from drugstores,” she says, snagging a few recent additions from her kit for us to try. “The way they’re all displayed is so fun! It’s not a huge investment—you can still play around. Especially with bright lip colors. And drugstore lashes, they’re my favorite.” We explain how applying lashes is the one makeup step we’ve still yet to master. “A technique I learned to create this beautiful lash where you can’t see the base is doing individuals of all different sizes. More is more. I love the KISS ones. I always start by matching the size of your natural lashes and then go from there. It’s such a beautiful, personal touch.” Given that her clients always look stunning on the red carpet, rest assured that we’ll be trying this technique at home ASAP.

Check out what other products she swears by for the perfect matte lip, how she prevents under-eye concealer from creasing, and the one makeup trend she still hasn’t embraced.

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“I first became interested in makeup in sixth grade. My mom got me these two Maybelline palettes—one was blue and one was purple. She would only let me do my eyes, [and] I became an expert. Then I started branching out into really random MAC colors, the craziest ones like Electric Eel and oranges and pinks. I would somehow make them work. When you’re young, you’re attracted [to] these bright colors, and then you kind of scale back and see what you like.”
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In The Kit

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