When it comes to women who use beauty products, there are a few different types. There are the minimalists who keep a small cache of the essentials at the ready should she need a little enhancement. There are the aficionados who have cosmetics pouring out of every storage outlet in their homes. And there are those who have no clue which essential beauty products to own, let alone how to use them for contouring.
I used be to one of those women. Once upon a time, the idea of walking down the makeup aisle would send me into a tearful, slightly anxious tailspin. I sought advice from the Sephora beauticians, only to leave more confused and short some moolah. (Damn you and your $50 eye cream!) But over time I learned that a woman doesn’t have to own two vanities’ worth of products to make herself look better (In fact, she doesn’t have to own any. But every once in awhile she may want a little lipstick.) She just has to own some essential cosmetics, master a few makeup tricks, and hold her head high. By having these ten essential beauty products at ready, you’ll have no trouble enhancing your natural features.
Lipstick, whether applied to an otherwise bare face or finishing off a perfectly made-up look, is quite possibly the quintessential beauty product. If you haven’t found the lipstick that works for you, don’t give up hope. Use your skin tone as a guide for finding the perfect shade.
2. Lip Liner
To avoid touching up your pout throughout the day, you’ll want to invest in a smooth lip liner. This must-have creates a foundation for your lipstick, helping the color last all day long. When shopping, choose a lip liner that’s the shade of your natural lips or one that matches your go-to lipstick.
3. Lip Balm
If you put makeup on a dry face, you’re setting yourself up for a fail. Smooth, glowy skin makes a perfect canvas for applying makeup. Celebrity makeup pro Rachel Goodwin tells Glamour to “wait five minutes before you apply foundation to let moisturizer sink in.”
So many things can go wrong with foundation, from mismatched shades to a cakey appearance. But once you get over your foundation fears and learn how to choose a foundation that’s right that’s right for your, this product will become your BFF. It smooths out imperfections, gives you a glowy complexion, and doesn’t result in cake-face at all.
Don’t let the frightening visages of Tan Mom and other overly-orange women (and men) scare you off from bronzer. The right product will make your skin look like it has a natural sun-kissed glow. But what’s makes for the perfect shade? Celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip told Cosmopolitan that you, “should only go two shades darker,” than your skin tone.
To a makeup novice, mascara is a feared product associated with raccoon eyes, Tammy Faye Bakker, and eye infections. But a true makeup connoisseur, mascara is a face-saving tool that transforms eyes by lengthening, plumping, and curling lashes. Not to mention there are plenty of fantastic mascaras to buy for under $20.
8. Eyebrow Filler
Back in the day, I thought it would be a great idea to shave my eyebrows. I was terribly, horribly wrong. Not only did it look bad, but my new brows grew back much thinner than before. Thank the beauty gods for brow filler, which returned my seemingly slender brows to their once lush state (or, at least, gave off a fuller appearance.) Eyebrows are a striking, valuable facial feature that taken care of and groomed, not shaved off because someone saw Girl With the Dragon Tattoo too many times.
Blush should not bring to mind clowns, a high fever, or deep, profound embarrassment. When chosen and applied correctly, this cosmetic should define your facial features and bring a little extra glow to your complexion. No matter what your skin and tone, the perfect blush is out there waiting to warm you up and soften your look.
10. Makeup Remover
Now that you know which essential beauty products to apply to your face, you need to know how to take them off. As tempting as it may be to hit the sheets with a full face, you’re only doing your complexion a disservice. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Dermatologists Eric Schweiger Erin Gilbert noted all the ways sleeping with makeup ruins your face, from the explained to The Huffington Post the many, many ways you’re doing yourself a disservice by sleeping with your makeup on, which ranges from the temporary bacteria build-up to the more frighteningly permanent signs of premature aging. Do yourself and your skin a favor, and utilize a makeup remover before bedtime.