Uses + Shopping! (My Recommendations)
We girls have always loved makeup, but I guess nowadays everyone is really serious about it. We want to create a perfect look for every occasion – from the barely-there makeup for an everyday look to a glam look for the parties.
Maybe this started with the Facebook culture, or maybe with the selfie culture. With our friends tagging us in random pictures, we really wanna make sure we look good when we meet them, just to avoid looking like a sleepy mess in that one picture forever!!
Even guys are so particular on their personal preferences. Sometimes I meet guys who know way more than my girlfriends about makeup products and latest beauty trends! From “I don’t like girls with too much makeup”, men have evolved to “I don’t like fake eyelashes and cakey foundation”.
I know people have already written about the makeup product essentials, but yet, every other time a friend of mine tells me that she wants to revamp her makeup bag, and asks me what all essential items she needs. And I’m no expert, but I can list out what I personally feel is a must-have. So if you are a girl who doesn’t wear too much makeup, but like to look polished all the time, and like to glam it up once in a while, this list of makeup essentials is for you.
So here it is! No hacks, no tricks, no backstage or runway-inspired stuff – just the basic makeup essentials every beginner needs!!
Makeup 101: The Basics of Makeup Products
Must Have Makeup Essentials
1. Perfect Base
Why I say base and not foundation is because it depends on what amount of coverage you most regularly want. If you like a flawless coverage, go for foundation. If you like more natural, barely-there finish, then go for BB cream. I personally like to use liquid foundation in a light coverage that I can easily apply with my fingers, so it gives a natural look, and I can carry it when I travel without extra foundation brush.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24H Foundation 1125 Natural Rose
2. Under-Eye Concealer
While an under-eye concealer is a must-have, care must be taken to choose what shade is right for you. Concealers are where sometimes even the pros go wrong. Google the words “celeb bad makeup picture” and you’ll see most cases with the wrong shade of under-eye concealer. It should not be too light, but it should match the rest of your base.
MAC Mineralize concealer NW35
3. Spot Concealer
You may need this if you have discoloration on your face, or blemishes or anything else that may need coverage. Spot concealer is different from under-eye concealer because it has matte finish. It should provide more coverage than your average foundation, but seamlessly match it.
4. Compact Face Powder
These are most girls’ favorite, because they are easy to carry in your handbag, and help avoid those nasty oily looks throughout the day. They are great for traveling, too!
Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup
5. Bronzing Powder
You may prefer contour sticks, or tan cream, whatever works best for your skin type. I use bronzing powder to subtly contour my face, and it really makes the overall look more sculpted. If you don’t use it yet, wait till you get one and it’ll become your favorite makeup item within no time!
Christian Dior – Diorskin Nude Tan Nude Glow Sun Powder (With Kabuki Brush) – # 006 Sienna – 10G/0.35Oz
Again, this can be whatever formula you prefer – cream or powder. My face tends to get oily over the day, so I prefer powder blush. Either way, it should give a natural-tinted flush on the cheeks, and not look overly dramatic.
L’Oreal Paris True Match Naturale Gentle Mineral Blush Soft Rose
You can use a separate highlighter for the face (cheekbones and nose), and a separate one for under-the-brows. I just like to use the same highlighter for both. Highlighter is essential because it makes the overall makeup look so much glamorous.
Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen – # 20 Beige Clair
8. Sheer Lip Balm
A few years ago I used to prefer a tinted lip-balm, but lately I’ve realized the sheer lip-balm goes an extra mile. It’s great to use by itself when I don’t want to wear any lipstick. It can hold on its own even if I don’t wear any makeup at all. It’s even a great base for my lipliner or lipstick because it keeps my lips moist and soft underneath and helps protect them. Sometimes I even use just a lip-balm and lip-liner combo. So many options!!
Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, Quenched
9. Lip Liner
If Kylie Jenner is any example, lip liner has the power to take your pout from average Jane to after-lip-job. Lip liners can be used to just give definition to your lips, or to make them appear bigger, or just add a longer-lasting base to your lipstick. I sometimes use them to mix up my lipstick colors, too!
Christian Dior Dior Contour Lipliner – # 663 Elite Pink
10. A Natural Lipstick
I love natural shades, even though lots of my friends prefer bold. I feel every girl should have one natural shade, which is just a tint darker than your original lip color. They add a nice touch when you want a no-makeup sort of look.
DIOR ADDICT LIPSTICK 433
11. Shimmery Pink Lip Gloss
For those nights when you want an extra touch of glam, a shimmery lip gloss works best. Ideally, it should be sheer enough to add gloss to your go-to lipstick, but be tinted enough to be used when you want to wear just gloss. That’s why I swear by shimmery pink lip gloss.
Christian Dior – Dior Addict Be Iconic Mirror Shine Volume & Care Gloss – No. 433 Delice
12. Eye Shadow Primer
A primer or eye shadow base evens out the original color of the eyelid, making a good base to lay whatever eye shadow you want to use. It also makes eye shadow’s pigment come out brighter and darker, and helps put the color evenly making it more long-lasting, avoiding after-hour creases.
Sally Hansen Natural Beauty By Carmindy Fast Fix Eye Shadow Base. Paraben Free
13. Pencil Eyeliner
Most girls probably already have their favorites. I prefer the ones that twist (no-sharpener necessary), are highly-pigmented and smooth, and that stay on for hours without smudging.
Givenchy Magic Khol Eye Liner Pencil – #1 Black
14. Liquid Eyeliner
I prefer liquid eyeliner over gel because it is for the lazy people like me, one quick swipe and you’re good to go! And they’re more pigmented than the sketch-on eyeliners and darker than the gel eyeliners. The ones I love best are those that come with a really thin built-in applicator that is helpful in creating wings as well as thickening it.
MAC Penultimate eye liner RAPIDBLACK
A mascara can do wonders when you’re looking sleepy and tired – it gives such a freshly awake look, making your eyes bigger! And who doesn’t love big eyes! I personally prefer volumizing mascaras because I don’t like to use false lashes.
Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara – # 10 Noir
16. Smokey Eye Shadow Palette
The most basic eye-shadow palette has 4 shades – highlighter for under the brows and inner corners, a dark base for the crease, shimmery metallic for the lids and the darkest for the outer corners. Recently I have started using a bigger palette of metallic and matte browns and golds that lets me play around with shades.
W7 Cosmetics In the Buff Lightly Toasted
17. Brow Gel
The eyebrows are so easily forgotten while applying makeup. But well-filled-in and defined natural-looking brows can really make your face look so much more glamorous. That’s why it’s essential to invest in a good brow gel that comes with a brow brush, which will help set those out of place strands and fill in any gaps nicely.
NARS Brow Gel Oural
18. A Brush Set
Brush sets come in different varieties and number of brushes, but the really essential ones to have are eye shadow applicator brush, fluffly eye shadow blending brush, blush brush and contouring brush.
Vega Set of 6 Make up Brushes
19. Makeup Remover
A good makeup remover is a must have even if you are just using eye liner and mascara. Going to bed with your makeup on is the worst idea and can age skin quickly. A good makeup remover helps keep the skin clean and toxin-free.
L’Oreal Dermo Expertise Lip and Eye Make-Up Remover
20. Cotton Balls, Sponges and Buds
This seems obvious, but it’s a good idea to put these in this list for that very reason. A bunch of cotton balls and buds always stay in my travel bags and help me with both application and removal of makeup!
3 in 1 Cotton Yellow Buds Balls Pads Cosmetic Set
Did you like this list of must-have makeup essentials for every girl? Lemme know!
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]