The one basic product celebrity makeup artist Gordana Willesee-Poljak swears by.

This wonderful nugget of beauty wisdom comes courtesy of Mamamia’s beauty show, You Beauty. For this week’s In Her Bag, Leigh Campbell rummaged through Gordana Willesee-Poljak’s beauty bag to find out which products she loves.

Gordana Willesee-Poljak is a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with the likes of Lisa Wilkinson, Cate Blanchett, Liam Hemsworth and Magda Szubanski over her 19-year career. She also runs her own business Dr Freckle and Mister Hyde that provides beauty services including makeup, body art and cosmetic tattooing.

Listen to Gordana’s full interview on You Beauty below. To ensure you never miss an episode, subscribe to You Beauty here for free. It’s a blast.

What does someone whose job is making people’s faces look really bloody good use on their own?

Gordana Willesee-Poljak has been working in the beauty industry for almost 20 years.

In that time, she’s tried and tested thousands of products on her own face, and the faces of celebrities including Lisa Wilkinson, Liam Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon and Magda Szubanski.


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The products she reaches for need to work for her high profile clients, but also the everyday person. Her job has led to her some great finds, including the foundation that could last for up to 24 hours and a cult primer so good, Gordana uses it on famous men too.


Mamamia’s executive editor and beauty journalist of 15 years Leigh Campbell took a rummage through Gordana’s overflowing beauty bags (plural) to find out more.

Environ Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion.

Image: Environ.

Why she loves it:

"It's a cleanser and a moisturiser. It's quite high in vitamin A, because I am at 'that age', the product actually provides all those anti oxidants and helps prevent the fine lines botox doesn't always cover."

asap Exfoliating Daily Facial Scrub, $38.22.

Image: Adore Beauty.

Why she loves it:

"I can only use it once a week - I have pigmentation, a bit of eczema and sensitive skin. I also shave my face at least once a week, I do it wet with a cleanser and I feel like it's a better result. All the once a week stuff is done on the same day."

Side note - Gordana also uses 100 per cent pure olive or coconut oil to remove makeup and as a 'night cream'.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage, $50.

Image: MAC.

Why she loves it:

"I do a lot of work with men on TV sets and you need to be able to make them look natural, not too shiny and not too made up. I find if it works well for that, it's going to work well for women too."

Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Liquid Foundation, $49.

Image: Sephora.

Why she loves it:

"This foundation has a nice pump that doesn't break off in your makeup bag. When I put the Lock-It on in the morning, it could easily a 24 hour flight. It's full coverage, you could also add a primer or moisturiser and mix with a brush. I can go anywhere with 40 degree heat and it won't move. I'll also mix a Tarte concealer with my foundation and then go over everything with a sponge, which is especially great for older skin and buffing everything in."

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil, $40.

Image: Estee Lauder.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara, $50.

Image: Estee Lauder.

Why she loves them:

"These formulas really stay put. I love the stay put quality of the pencil, you can blend it in with your eyeshadow, but once it's blended, you'll need a cleanser or oil to take it off. It's also great for the wet line [under your eye]. I find Estee Lauder really know their mascaras, I love the smudge-proof one - waterproof is too detrimental to the lashes and should only be used for special occasions like weddings or funerals where you're going to want to cry. Smudge-proof won't smudge underneath your lashes, but you can still remove it easily."

Side note - Gordana was wearing Ardell false lashes when she came in to chat to Leigh. She also spoke about how she likes to mix her own lip colours using a cream eyeshadow and Blistex or lip balm.

Oil'o'Eve, $40.

Image: Oil 'o' Eve.

Why she loves it:

"It's a body oil, cleanser and moisturiser. It's got essential oils that aid with all types of skin [conditions], you can use it in the shower and it'll keep a glow on your whole body. It's everything you need, it's the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow."

Dior Addict Eau De Parfum 100ml, $149.99.

Image: Myer.

Why she loves it:

"I have one different fragrance for every mood. I love the Dior Addict, and also Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau de Parfum ($160) and Dior Hypnotic Poison Eau de Parfum ($165)."

Gordana's Spendy: COSMEDIX Elite Eye Doctor High Potency Eye Treatment, $199.

Image: Cosmedix.

Why she loves it:

"When you put it on, it has this amazing effect. It's extremely concentrated because it has retinol in it, can cause flaking so go easy."

Gordana's Savey: 100 per cent Hemp Oil from your local health food store.

Why she loves it:

"It's an everything oil. Oils are my backup for everything - if I don't have a moisturiser or a cleanser, I'll use Hemp Oil."

Do you use any of Gordana's favourite products? Tell us in the comments.

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