Most women would just as soon leave home without makeup as they would walk out the door without wearing pants. Makeup is an essential, which is why one of a woman’s most important accessories is her cosmetics bag — the little pouch that holds every tool she needs to look fresh-faced throughout the day and night.
For some women, that little pouch isn’t so little anymore. When you have to buy a bigger purse just to accommodate your makeup bag, you’re carrying around way too much stuff.
So, what are the true essentials? It’s slightly different for everyone, of course, but there are some old standbys you can always use to touch up your look. They’re the basics you don’t want to be without — and the products you can justifiably spend some cash on, since they can make or break any look.
In this article, we’ll check out the 5 items that definitely belong in your go-to kit, and find out why they’re essential. We’ll also learn how to pick the best types makeup basics for your skin, and see how the must-haves can work together to create a great-looking face.
Applying a layer of makeup over dry, parched skin is like trying to paint the surface of a cracked desert floor. To keep your skin hydrated, and provide a smooth palette on which to create your makeup magic, you need to have a good moisturizer handy and use it every day.
Moisturizers and lotions are designed to lock water inside your skin so it doesn’t dry out. Yet you don’t want a product that’s too heavy or greasy–it will just block your pores and lead to breakouts. Look for the words “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic” on the label–those are cosmetic-speak for, “it won’t clog your pores.” Some moisturizers incorporate an SPF 15 or 30 sunscreen, which will do your skin the extra favor of protecting it against sun damage.
Unless you’re uniquely blessed by nature, your face has blemishes and imperfections, like dark spots, scars or dark circles under your eyes. Concealer can make those blemishes fade, if not disappear entirely.
Concealer comes in liquids (good for dry skin), creams and sticks. Liquids are the lightest form of concealer, while sticks are the most solid and opaque.
Concealers also come in a variety of shades, and you want to make sure you find the one (or one palette) that best matches your skin tone. The general guideline is to go one-half to one shade lighter than your skin. A lighter concealer is best for minimizing darker areas–like those circles under your eyes. Darker concealers help hide puffiness.
3- Translucent Powder
Makeup should never scream “made-up.” Ideally, it should look natural and effortless. Translucent face powder can give you that effortless look. When applied correctly, it’s invisible, but it creates a flawless, perfectly blended look.
Translucent powder is a sheer, fine and colorless substance. It’s applied all over the face in a light layer, and it has a few different benefits:
- It smoothes out the borders between each makeup element (foundation, eyes, cheeks)
- It controls oil and shine
- It “sets” foundation and concealer so they last longer and don’t streak
- It can tone down mistakes (like too much color on the cheeks)
You can apply translucent powder to your eyelids, and around your lips, nose, forehead and chin to reduce shine.
4- Eyelash Curler
Nothing can take you from drab daytime to dramatic nighttime like an eyelash curler. Within seconds, an eyelash curler can make your eyes pop, and turn even the measliest lashes into a beautiful frame for your eyes.
You have three options when it comes to eyelash curlers:
- A crimp curler is the classic design. You close it and then pull it along the length of your lashes to create a dramatic sweep. Just remember to always use a crimp curler before applying mascara. Otherwise, you risk ripping your lashes right out.
- A precision eyelash curler uses the same basic technique as a crimp curler. However, it’s narrower, so you can fit it all the way to the base of your lashes to get more oomph out of them.
- A heated eyelash curler lets you curl without crimping, and it can take on even the most stubbornly straight eyelashes. Unlike precision and crimp curlers, you use this curler after you’ve applied mascara. If you want to get the same look but can’t afford a heated eyelash curler, just warm up your regular curler with your hair dryer for a few seconds.
5- Lipstick/Lip Gloss
No matter your skin tone or style, chances are you wear something on your lips. Polished lips can complete an overall makeup look or stand on their own as attention-grabbers.
So, lipstick or lip gloss? Lipstick is more opaque, and tends to stand out more than gloss (although that depends a lot on color choice). Gloss provides more of a subtle shine, and can make lips look plumper.
Both glosses and sticks come in a huge array of colors. Your lipstick color should match your skin tone, not the bright blue shirt you’re wearing. Brownish pinks, soft pinks, light red and beige lipsticks are the best accents for lighter skin, while darker reds, burgundies and browns play better off dark skin.
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