When it comes to makeup, there are some products which you can’t get by without. If you like to live life makeup free, that’s one thing. But if you like to get glammed up every now and then, you’re going to need a few essential items.
Your makeup style might be drastically different from someone else’s, and that could mean that you’ll need even more products specific to the look you’re going for. But the most common looks, including a natural-looking work face, glam day face and heavier night face, require these simple, basic products that will work together to complete your look.
It’s easy to get bombarded when shopping for makeup, and if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you could end up wasting a whole lot of money on products you don’t really need while missing out on those you should be buying. Don’t fall into that trap! There are no less than 25 items we believe are essential, but since you’ll use them again and again for a variety of looks, they’re worth the investment. Keep reading for a checklist of the items that are crucial in a complete makeup kit, and should be next on your shopping list.
25 Face Primer For Prep
Trying to put on makeup without priming your face first can have a range of consequences.
Many primers are intended to keep your skin looking smooth and your makeup fresh all day long, and to stop it from running.
If you have particularly dry skin and you try to put on foundation without face primer, you’ll end up with crusty clumps of product scattered around your face. To avoid all that, it’s best to always start your makeup routine with a simple face primer.
24 Eye Primer For Prep
In the same way that face primer prepares your skin for the rest of your makeup, eye primer readies your eyes for products like eyeshadow and eyeliner. Eye primer is so essential, in our opinion, because it stops your eye makeup from sliding off within hours. It also prevents creases from appearing over your eyes, which can be a problem with heavier packed on eyeshadow. Like face primer, eye primer comes in versions for oily, dry and combo skin.
23 Foundation As The Base
When it comes to your makeup routine, a good foundation is one of the trickiest things to nail.
That said, it’s also one of the most important elements to your look.
When picking out the right foundation for you, you should take into consideration the type of coverage you want, whether you want to go matte or shimmery, and also what will match your skin type, tone, and undertone. A good makeup artist at Sephora should be able to help you make the right choice!
22 Concealer For Spots And Under-Eye Skin
Many people use foundation in the place of concealer, but most makeup artists advise against this. Concealer is specially designed to cover problem spots like dark circles, pimples and other discoloration issues that ruin your complexion, making it a must-have item. The skin directly under your eyes is thinner than the rest and usually takes better to concealer than foundation. Like foundation, though, concealer comes in full-coverage or light-coverage options, allowing you to choose the best product for your needs.
21 Highlighter To Glow
Even if you don’t often glam up for a night event, we still think highlighter is too important to leave out of your makeup kit! By lightly applying it on the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, below your eyebrows and along your cupid’s bow, you can change the total look of your face.
Highlighter comes in many different variations, including liquid, cream, stick or powder.
Many beauty gurus recommend a powder for beginners since it’s easy to apply.
20 Liquid Eyeliner Or Pencil Eyeliner
You don’t have to rock both liquid eyeliner and the regular kind, but one or the other should appear in your makeup kit. Black is the traditional and most popular color which helps to add oomph to your eyes in a matter of seconds, but going for a white or beige can actually make your eyes look even bigger. Liquid liners can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to get that perfect wing, but all it takes is practice (and endless YouTube tutorials).
19 Basic Eyeshadow Palette
Those who are new to makeup might think eyeshadow is reserved for dramatic looks, but basic, neutral tones actually complete your simple day-time face.
The best thing about eyeshadow is that you can have fun with it and suit it to your style by buying literally whatever shades you like.
Go for browns and beige tones if you want to keep it natural, but also consider playing around with different colors, like purples, blues, and greens, to make your eyes really pop.
18 Mascara That Doesn't Clot
Mascara is a girl’s best friend. There are endless formulas to try out, each promising to lengthen your lashes, thicken them up and even curl them. Mascara is also one of those products where it’s possible to find something of real quality without spending too much money. Play around with a few drugstore brands, making sure you don’t go with something that clots your lashes together in clumps. Black is most people’s go-to, but you can try brown if you have very fair lashes.
17 False Lashes If Mascara Isn't Working
To be clear, false lashes aren’t essential for everybody.
If you’re not into going for a super glam look or you can get the lashes you want with just mascara, then go for gold.
But if your lashes are on the shorter side and you just can’t get the length and volume that you want from mascara alone, falsies are an option. They’re fiddly, but they do make all the difference to someone who’s not happy with her current lashes.
16 Essential Brushes For Powders
There’s no point in having good makeup if you don’t have the right tools to apply it with. A makeup artist’s full range of brushes isn’t necessary, but you should have a few decent powder brushes which will allow you to properly put on foundation (if you use a powder), blush or bronzer, highlighter and eyeshadows. If you go with a good quality brand, which you might find at Sephora, the brushes should last you a long time.
15 Essential Brushes For Liquids
n addition to the powder brushes you’ll need, there should also be the essential liquid brushes in your kit. Some people put on liquid foundation with sponges or even their fingers, but many makeup artists and beauty gurus recommend getting a good foundation brush.
Similarly, you should think about a brush for your concealer and even much smaller brushes for lipstick and liquid or gel eyeliner.
You should clean all brushes regularly with either proper brush cleanser or shampoo.
14 Angled Brush For A Fierce Contour
The angled brush technically falls under the powder brush category, but you can’t look past this particular style if you’re looking to get a contour with powder that the Kardashians would be proud of. The angled shape helps to really apply the product in a defined area that will give you the look of sharp cheekbones and a slimmer face. Angled brushes can also be used for blush and bronzer, so it’s worth it to invest in a good one.
13 Basic Sponges And Applicators
Brushes aren’t always the answer, and a complete makeup kit should have some other applicators too, like some basic sponges. You can substitute brushes with sponges and vice versa as you get comfortable with achieving the look you want.
Many beauty gurus like to mix up applying their foundation and cream highlighter with brushes and sponges, depending on the finish they’re after.
Like brushes, good sponges also need to be properly cared for if you want them to last.
12 BB Cream As A Foundation Substitute
BB cream usually gives a much more natural look than foundation, so many women like to use it for work or other day-time events. Some BB creams also have the added benefit of moisturizing and priming your skin, so it can feel more comfortable to wear. It can be applied with your fingers and is really hard to mess up, making it ideal for beginners. BB cream is also great to wear in the heat, as the lighter feel won’t make you feel so sweaty.
11 Blush That Suits Your Skin
When many people think of blush, they think of the high school drama department, and it can look a bit like that if you don’t choose the right product for your skin tone.
Sometimes foundation can leave your skin looking a little too even and dimensionless, which is why a good powder, cream or gel blush is almost always an important addition.
Go for a color that is a natural pair with your skin tone, avoiding anything that’s too bright.
10 Bronzer That Suits Your Skin
Bronzer helps you to achieve a sun-kissed, bronzed (funny about that!) look, and should be applied to certain parts of the face to help you glow. You can either put it on the high points of your face or if you’re looking for a more defined look, you can apply it in the hollows of your cheeks. You should only go one or two shades darker than your regular skin tone and gage from your other products whether you should go matte or shimmery.
9 Cream Contour Stick (Or Contour Powder)
If you watch the beauty gurus on YouTube, you’ll see that people will use just about anything to contour their face.
The exact product you use is up to you, but we recommend a cream stick if you’re after a very chiseled look.
The beauty of a stick is that you can apply it swiftly and with ease exactly where you want it, to get the definition you’re after. Just take the time to blend it in properly once applied.
8 Makeup Remover That Does The Job
Some people choose to avoid makeup remover altogether and just use a cleanser, but we find it’s less messy, especially if you’re wearing a full face of makeup if you use some makeup remover before cleaning your face. Some brands can be really harsh on the skin, so look for products that have fewer chemicals in them. You might also have to play around with a few brands to find one that leaves your skin feeling the best while still getting rid of all the makeup.
7 Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Because many makeup removers are harsh on the skin, they’re not suitable to use on your eyes.
And unfortunately, this is the area where much of the tough-to-remove makeup happens to go, like waterproof mascara and eyeliner.
For this reason, it’s important to get a makeup remover especially for the eyes that will get all the product off without burning or irritating you. Most eye makeup removers will claim to be gentle, but don’t settle until you find one that doesn’t burn.
6 Lipstick You're In Love With
When a lipstick really suits you, it’s your secret weapon. Not only does it complete the look and help you come across as polished, but the right shade can also help you to stand out. Again, you’ll need to play around with colors to find out exactly what suits your face shape, skin tone, and style. It’s a good idea to have a low-key shade that’s close to your natural lips, and a classic red that you can wear on special occasions.
5 Lipliner To Match Your Lipstick
Lip liner isn’t really a big deal on more natural shades of lipstick, but if you’re going for a bold look, like a matte red, a good lip liner that matches that color will keep the lipstick inside the lines.
That stops you from looking more like a clown than a glam goddess.
Many makeup artists recommend lining your lips with the liner first so you know the edges are pristine, and then filling in the rest with the lipstick, which is harder to control.
4 Go-To Lip Gloss For When You Aren't Feeling Lipstick
Sometimes, the occasion just doesn’t call for lipstick. You might find yourself in a rush, without an extra ten minutes to spend making sure lipstick is applied correctly, or without access to a good mirror. Or, you might be wearing heavy makeup that would turn into stage makeup if paired with matte or satin lipstick. In these situations, a light lip gloss is the answer to your prayers. Not only is it subtler, but it’s low maintenance and easy to apply.
3 Eyebrow Gel For Manicured Brows
Beauty trends of late have been all about the brows. Realistically, most of us can’t afford to book in with our eyebrow ladies every time they start looking a little unruly, which is where eyebrow gel comes in handy.
This product will help you to mold your eyebrows into the shape you want, although they tend to look best when they follow their natural shape.
This is a dream come true for those of us with dark hairs that just won’t stop growing.
2 Eyebrow Pencil To Fill In Your Brows
An eyebrow pencil gives you control over your eyebrows and allows you to apply as much or as little color as you want. This is perfect when you have fair hairs that you wish were darker, or have sparse eyebrows that need filling in to look complete. It’s best to be very light-handed with brow pencils, as too much color can end up making you look pretty artificial. Again, most makeup artists would recommend following the natural shape of your brow.
1 Setting Spray For The Final Touch
The last step of the traditional and essential makeup process is a good old setting spray or setting powder.
This pretty much ensures that your makeup will stay in place and is especially important if you won’t have many chances to touch it up, or if you’re going out in the heat or somewhere sweaty, like a nightclub.
You can opt for a matte finish or something shinier, as well as products that have other benefits, like oil absorption.
References: collegefashion.net, cosmopolitan.com
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