Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be particularly talented to be able to apply makeup that suits your face and the occasion. It’s made to look so difficult by beauty gurus, magazines, YouTube tutorials and of course the Instagram world. It makes you feel like there’s a never ending list of products that you need to have in your makeup kit in order to recreate said makeup look. The reality however is very different, and it’s rare that your everyday girl will need to contour or strobe her face every single day before going to work. Therefore I have compiled a simple list of things you will need for your everyday makeup kit.
Let’s start with the base. Although I would warn against including a thick cakey layer of foundation into your everyday makeup routine it is definitely a necessity for your kit. The reasons I don’t promote foundation as an everyday staple are threefold. Firstly it agitates your skin by blocking your pores and exacerbates pre-existing break outs or even worse creates a perfect environment for new breakouts. No matter what kind of foundation you get even if its particularly labelled for “acne-prone” or “oily” skin, you are still effectively filling every hole in your face with product. Doing this on a daily basis is catastrophic (not to be dramatic or anything). Secondly, removing foundation everyday is time consuming and also takes up a lot of external resources (enter expensive makeup removers) to get rid of it. Thirdly, any foundation that is even worth having is going to be quite pricey. You’re looking at a minimum of $40 a fortnight if you are using foundation to cover your whole face everyday. As I mentioned before, this, coupled with the expensive makeup removing “tools” that you need are not worth the effort and the results they produce.
Hence, you need foundation but not everyday. And here is my recommendation:
Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. The perfect build-able foundation that can be taken from light coverage to heavy. Perfect for all skin types, however it does tend to oil slightly so I recommend a good solid setting powder on top ( we will get to that later). I have to note that it does also oxidize after your initial application. Keep an eye on the colour because it will get slightly darker after you first apply it but it has so many vitamins and minerals it is really like putting a beautiful fresh layer of skin all over your face (ewww sounds kinda creepy).
2. Concealer (that’s actually your skin colour)
Everyone and their dog has seen the infamous photo of Kim Kardashian with all that yellow crap under her eyes. She pioneered the “highlight under the eye” movement when her makeup artist released his secret technique of brightening her face by putting a concealer two shades lighter than her natural skin tone under her eyes. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but if its not coupled with the rest of the contouring steps it will look wrong and misplaced. Therefore concealer is necessary in your kit but make sure it is your colour!
3. Setting powder
If you’re going to use foundation on any given day then its also imperative you use a setting powder over the top. Even if your not a shiny or oily skin tone, setting powder allows for the makeup to stay all day and not slide around. Although I have tried and tested many powders, my favourite one has to be Ben Nye Banana Powder. It is perfect for all skin tones and is extremely finely milled. You only need a tiny splash of powder in your hand to cover your whole face. Although it is a little bit more difficult to purchase in store, online is still a great alternative and you can buy it from e-bay for a reasonable price also. Banana powder will last you a very long time and is one of the only powders i’ve used that has not given my skin a grey or ashy overcast and does not have flash back in photos. It is a great product I really recommend.
4. Eyebrow pencil or powder
Next we move on to eyebrows, for many people this is the most imperative step in their entire makeup look. I’m aware of the fact that many girls can’t leave the house without fixing their eyebrows first and that’s why Microblading has become such an epidemic. I’ve tried many different eyebrow pencils that have all been good to use. They have had great staying power and they very rarely smudged. However my reoccuring problem was finding a pencil to match my eyebrow colour. Brown was too light and black made me look like I was attempting a halloween costume. The only brand that was able to combat all three of my issues was Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (suprise suprise). The large range of colours available and the fine tip winding pencil meant that it was easy to fill in just the sparse places in my already extremely full brows. Regardless of eyebrow type I recommend the Brow Wiz for everyone whether their eyebrows are extremely sparse or full. I’ve also included another alteranative which is the Rimmel eyebrow pencil which is also a great product and it is half the price of the brow wiz.
I do know that there are some people who prefer eyebrow powders but seeing as this is somewhat of a ‘beginners guide’ I would recommend starting with a pencil as sometimes using a powder can be difficult especially if you apply it with a heavy hand, taking it off is more difficult than putting it on.
Where do I even start with the wonder that is blush. Blush completes the look, blush is the staple makeup product that has existed in a women’s beauty room since the beginning of time. When you find the right blush, every single makeup look is automatically better. Although I mentioned before that one doesn’t need any particular set of skills to be able to apply makeup nicely, the only time I do think you need a little bit of an eye for colour co-ordination is with blush. When selecting a blush you have to consider your natural skin tone colour and your foundation colour. You have to consider the makeup look which you’ve done on the rest of your face and ensure that it complements the colour on your lips and your eyes. You also have to consider the type of blush it is. Is it matte? shiny? or perhaps it has a built-in highlighter? You always have to consider the blush type because that directly correlates on how it shows up on your skin. The formulation of the blush is going to do alot in either hiding or highlighting some existing skin problems such as rosacea, enlarged pores, acne, acne scares, or surface bumps on skin. Blush also tends to highlight peach fuzz which possibly exists on your face so finding the right colour and texture blush is important.
If you suffer from acne scarring or currently have acne, I warn against any blush that has any form of shine or highlight to it. Matte is the way too go. If you suffer from pink cheeks or rosacea, bright mattes blushes in pink or dark pink should be avoided. Instead go for a peachy cool tone colour to cancel out the redness. For this reason I will avoid recommendations here as it really depends on your skin colour, tone, texture and personal colour preference.
Highlighter is a newly introduced makeup concept which isn’t really a necessity in your makeup kit but more so a novelty and something that is fun to use and play with (sparingly). You can totally live without it but if it is used correctly it can give a beautiful dewy youthful looking skin tone. Apply it to the tops of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, and on the top of your cupids bow in a very soft, gentle, light handed sweep. As highlighter usually has some form of glittery pigment in it, if its applied too much it can kind of make your face look like you’re sweating. As previously mentioned it should also be used sparingly or entirely avoided if you have some skin issues which you don’t want to draw particular attention to. My personal favourite and recommendation is this highlighter trio from Urban Decay. The three different kinds of highlighters means it is suitable for all skin tones and will suit a range of different makeup looks.
7. Lip Liners, Lipstick, and Lipgloss
How many should you have and how to choose them? Unfortunately lipstick is an entirely subjective decision to make and perhaps one day I’ll write an extensive blog post on how to choose colours that compliment your skin tone and makeup (and even teeth). But for now lets keep it simple: 1x Red, 1 x Nude, 1x Pink lipstick and corresponding Lip Liner colours should suffice. You only need one clear lipgloss and one glittery lipgloss, finished off with a whole array of Chapsticks and Carmex lip balms that you found at the bottom of your bag.
The one, the only, the indespensible piece of makeup that every person needs. If there was a prohibition on makeup and all production was banned, mascara is the only thing I would be illegally smuggling. In my opinion it is the most imperative part to any makeup look, and your saving grace from the “are you sick?” question people ask you when you’re makeup free. It is fast, cheap and easy to apply.
Therefore my top three mascaras are as follows: Cover Girl “Lash Blast” (Left) Covergirl Supersizer (Middle) and Essence “I love Extreme” (Right). Lash Blast and I love extreme coupled together are the perfect combination. Lash blast adds volume and makes the lashes “crunchy” whilst I love extreme adds definition and thickness, blackness and length. They are the ultimate mascara duo and all under $20 with Essence Mascara being $7 and worth every penny. Supersizer is great on its own but can also work well coupled with last blast.
So there you have my beginners guide to a makeup kit. It may be unusual that I omitted eyeliner and eyeshadow from the bare necessities post, but that is only because I feel that in order to be successful in sourcing and applying these makeup tools correctly you need to have a little bit of experience in using them. So therefore I would leave them as a stage two makeup product.