01 July 2012

Essential Makeup Kit

I've been considering writing this post for some time now. I wanted it to be simple, concise and useful to most of you. It's aimed towards you who are not makeup freaks but like to do makeup and to you, beginners, who don't know where to start and are feeling a bit lost. Also, I think it's also good for you freaks, geeks and makeup addicts to get back to roots and revise your basic.

So, first things first – take a good look of what you already have! Empty your purses, pockets and cabinets. Throw away everything that's past expiration date, smells bad or has lost its shape or color. You won't be using that products anyway and they are bad for your health.

Now, see what's left. You probably have at least one third of makeup products that's considered essential for any makeup kit and you'll prevent hurdling similar (or same!) products instead of acquiring something you're missing. Do you really need 3 volume boosting mascaras and no blush?

Revision is done, so let's head over to products I consider to make an essential makeup kit: foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow palette, eye pencil, mascara, brow defining product and lipstick.



1) Foundation

Cream, powder, pressed powder, mineral, tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Choices are multiple and the most important is to find product that works for your skin type and matches your skin color. I'm thinking of writing a post on different types of foundation and their pros and cons.

My suggestions: Illamasqua Skin Base, Lioele BB Cream, Paris Berlin Le Fluide, Bourjois Healthy Mix

2) Concealer

For covering discoloration go for colored concealers. Apply them prior to foundation or under makeup concealer and blend them carefully.

Green concealer: Used to neutralize red tones on the skin. Use this for covering blemishes, zits, red blotches, rosacea, port-wine stains.

Lavender concealer: Used to normalize yellow-colored skin imperfections such as sallow complexions and yellow bruises. It can also help conceal very dark under-eye circles and dark spots on bronze skin tones.

Yellow concealer: Also known as Apricot in color, used to conceal bluish bruises, under-eye circles and mild red tones on the face. It should always be used to cover anything that contains a purple-like tinge to the skin, as well as some light red areas.

Minor imperfections can be covered with makeup concealers. Please remember that the color of concealer should always match the color of your foundation (aka skin). DO NOT choose lighter/darker shades.

There are also different types of concealer: liquid, creamy, in pen or stick. They mostly vary in coverage intensity so have that in mind when choosing the right one for you.

My suggestions: Inglot concealer, Bourjois Healthy Mix, Artdeco concealer

3) Blush

I'd say – go for something you like and feel most comfortable wearing. If you can't decide, nice matte natural color is always a good choice. You can go for something more peachy or rosy, depending on your skin type. I find rosy blushes to work with cold skin undertones, whereas peachy ones are flattering in case you have warmer skin undertone.
You can go for powder blush, creamy or mousse. Creamy and mousse are usually more pigmented, but it takes practice to learn how to apply and blend them well. If you're insecure, I'd suggest you stick to powder blushes.

My suggestions: Too Faced blush form World Domination Tour set (nice peachy-rosy color with gold shimmer), Inglot Face Blush in #36, Illamasqua Powder blusher in Beg

4) Eye shadow palette

Rainbow colored eye shadows always looked most appealing to me and if you're into bold and statement makeup looks, I encourage you to wear them. However, there are times when such makeup looks aren't desirable and you're expected to wear something more common. From my experience, a nice palette with a range of neutral colors is excellent for creating natural, flattering, yet versatile looks. Try choosing well pigmented eye shadows - you can test how pigmented they are just by dipping a finger in them and applying some of it on your wrist, if the color intensity is the same on your wrist as in the pot, the pigmentation is good. Also, look for palettes that have color ranging from very light (white or beige) to very dark (dark brown or black) and that have both matte and shimmery eye shadows.

My suggestions: Urban Decay Naked palette or Sleek MakeUp Oh So Special palette

5) Eye pencil

This one is simple. Black is classic. Simple line along the lashes will give them fuller look, and lining the waterline can transform a simple daytime look to more sultry nighttime look. However, brown eye pencil is very nice addition if you have very fair skin or in case you're aiming for more natural look.

Try to pick medium or soft pencil, firmer ones are more likely to irritate your skin and live a weak trace. Also, look for ones that are hard to smudge – draw a line on your wrist and run your finger over it.

My suggestions: Illamasqua Medium pencil in S.O.P.H.I.E., Illamasqua Medium pencil in Fidelity

6) Mascara

When choosing mascara, have in mind the quality of your lashes. If you have thick lashes choose mascara that has wet formula and a wand with tight bristles. Also, opt for the one with the lengthening formula. On the other hand, if your lashes are thin, get dry formula mascara with long, fine and evenly spaced tooth comb and volumizing effect.

My suggestions: Clinique High Definiton mascara, Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara

7) Brow defining product

Brows are most often to be neglected and their function is usually understated. Try covering your brows with a concealer – you'll look sick and weird. Nice, well groomed and defined brows give that extra something that makes your face look prettier and balanced.

For defining your brows you can use eyebrow pencil, but also any eye shadow that matches your brow color. The latter technique is also my favorite.

My suggestions: Illamasqua Brow Cake, any brown eye shadow (I use Go, Charlie Brown! by Catrice)

8) Lipstick

At least two lipsticks are must: lighter one for day and darker, more intense for night looks. I am not saying that you cannot wear lighter shades at night and bolder during the day. Wear them whenever and however you feel the most comfortable, but before mentioned is the most common way.

So, a lipstick in nude, peachy or pinky with glossy finish or with shimmer is good if you're looking for something to freshen up your look, and add some color to your lips.

My suggestions: YSL Rouge Volupte Perle #102 Coral Sun, Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Rosewood or English Rose, Illamasqua Lipstick in Climax

More intense colors, such as red, brown, fuchsia or orange are great for a quick look for night out. Eye pencil, mascara and this lipstick and you're good to go. However, look for long lasting lipstick or do occasional touch ups, because half eaten lipstick is hideous.

My suggestions: Burberry Lip Cover in #18 Ruby, Illamasqua lipstick in Salacious, Illamasqua Lipstick in Resist Catrice Ultimate Color lipstick in Oh Juicy!, Catrice Ultimate Color lipstick in After WORK Wine

With these products you can easily create a whole spectrum of day and night looks. Also this is a very good guide for packing makeup when travelling. You won't need (much) more.

Of course, there are some products that you can live without, but that will make your makeup life much easier (and long lasting). I will cover that product in next post.


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