One question almost always pops up when I do someone’s makeup: Do I really need all this stuff?
Rest assured. The answer is no.
Not everyone will feel the need for a full face of makeup, ever. In fact, most people do not care for heavy baked contours, elaborate eye looks and blinding highlights. Whether this concerns you, or maybe you’re just starting your collection, I’ve made a list of nine makeup essentials that will allow you to create different looks, may it be for day-to-day life or for a special event.
Considering primer as an essential might be debatable, but finding the right primer can help so much with the application of foundation and its longevity. A smoothing primer can even be worn alone on a good skin day; it’ll blur pores and fine lines, and control shine and/or provide hydration.
To make the greatest use out of a foundation, I recommend buying a foundation that is buildable, whether it be from light to medium, or medium to full coverage. This way, you have the option of applying a very thin layer for an everyday look, or of building it up for a special event, or just for whenever you feel you need more coverage.
A concealer has essentially two purposes: conceal and brighten the under-eye area, and spot conceal blemishes (OK, so three). To get the most out of a concealer, choose one that matches your skin tone. It’ll serve both purposes, and will allow you to simply conceal dark circles and blemishes on days when you do not feel like wearing foundation.
Foundation will even out skin tone, which can sometimes make the face appear flat and unnatural. It’s important to give back dimension and colour to the face so you don’t have that “mask” look. Choosing a natural coloured blush will allow you to give your cheeks a nice flush, and if applied higher on the cheek bone, you’ll be able to create a subtle contour.
The power of brows is often underestimated. Filling in your brows makes all the difference in the world and brings the whole face together (it’s like adding curtains to windows). To fill in and shape the brows, I recommend a brow pencil or a brow pomade. However, if your brows are already pretty full and have a defined shape, a simple tinted brow gel should do the trick. Also, if you’re brows tend to move during the day, a good brow gel will help to keep them in line.
Mascara, even when worn alone, will open the eyes, make them seem wider and make you look more awake. Mascara is one of those things you do not need to splurge on; drugstore brands have awesome mascaras. I recommend going for the waterproof formulations, because they are better at holding your lashes up in a curl. However, they will require the use of a good waterproof makeup remover. (Always remove your makeup at the end of the day!)
7. Setting Powder/Translucent Powder
Whether you have normal, dry, oily or combination skin, I always recommend setting your foundation and concealer. Setting the product with powder will avoid it from moving and particularly with oily skin, it will help control oils from disrupting the foundation. A touch of setting powder throughout the day will also help refresh your makeup and remove unwanted shine. I recommend going for a powder with a light bone colour to it. White powders will promise to be completely translucent, but some of them will leave a white cast. (Yes. I have thrust issues with white powders)
8. Eye shadows
Eye shadows are not day-to-day essentials, but they still fall into that category. Much can be accomplished with a neutral tone palette, offering a nice mix of mattes and shimmers. Opting for a few single eye shadows can also be a good option. A nice skin toned transition shade, a softer darker colour, and a dark brown or a black can be all you really need.
9. Eye shadow Primer
I used to never wear eye shadow, because 30 minutes after applying it, it would be gone, and I thought it was a total waste of money. And then I learned of the existence of eye primers. Since then, I’ve been a firm believer in eye shadow primers (having very oil eyelids). An eye shadow primer will not only help with application and blending, but it will also keep the eye shadow in place all day and prevent it from creasing.
So, there you are. These nine products should build a decent foundation to any makeup collection. Of course, many, many items can be added along the way if so you may choose. But if you want to keep it simple, this solid kit should be more than enough!
Thank you so much for reading, xo
Products in picture:
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Oil Free
CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
SMASHBOX Photo Finish Lid Primer
MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Prism
MAC Cosmetics Eye shadow – Omega, Soft Brown, Texture, Curdoroy
L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara – Waterproof