Building a well-rounded makeup kit is something every woman should do. We’re not talking about 100-shadow palettes and libraries of lipsticks, though that would be nice, but the essentials that everyone should have to create the most common makeup looks like a smoky eye, statement lip, or contoured cheeks. Just like with your wardrobe, once you have an arsenal of basics, any investment products or statement colors will simply add to your kit without dictating how you wear them. It can take a while, as beauty products are expensive, but even if you’re using drug store brands, you can still build a usable and well-rounded makeup bag.
The products that you use on your face are key to looking polished and flawless. Start with a primer that you love. It is up to you which texture or formulation to use, but as you’re probably only going to buy one, pick a product that creates an even base for the rest of your makeup rather than a dramatic shimmer or corrective color. A medium coverage foundation that is exactly your shade is worth splurging on, if you can, take a tester into natural light so that you can be sure you have the right color. You’ll want to have two different concealers in your kit, one that is opaque and good for covering blemishes or pigmentation, and one that is light-reflecting for under the eyes. A translucent powder is another must-have as it will set your base and make your makeup last much longer, and the less you have to reapply, the less product you waste. Lastly you’ll want a matte bronzer for contouring, and two or three cheek colors. A coral shaded powder, pink toned cream, and red toned tint will cover all of your cheek color and texture bases. The tint and cream are also great money savers as you can use them on your lips as well.
When choosing products for your eye makeup kit, think about how you’ll be able to use them in different situations. Unless you’re really attached to a harsh line, opt for a gel eyeliner instead of liquid as you can get the smudged effect of pencil if you blend or the dark line of liquid if you don’t. If you apply eyeliner to your waterline, make sure your kit has a soft kohl pencil that won’t hurt the sensitive skin. While black is a given, think about adding a softer color such as a warm grey or brown to wear when you want less definition.
Shopping for eye shadow is a double-edged sword as there are staples that every woman should have but it’s easy to get distracted by the rainbow of colors. If you’re starting from scratch, there are a few shades you must buy, matte bone, dark to medium brown, black, and an accent color like bronze or a soft pink. With these shades you can create everything from a soft contoured eye for day to a dramatic smoky cat eye for night. This way, if you add shocking pink or glittery silver to your kit, you can balance the look. Keep in mind, if you’re using cheap shadows, it’s a good idea to get a shadow primer that will help adhere the pigment to your skin. The shadows you bought for your eyes can also work to fill in your brows, so make sure the brown shade is the color of your eyebrows. If you want a defined look, add a brow pencil or gel to your kit. Lastly, your favorite mascara in the color you feel most comfortable in, usually black or brown/black.
Your lips are an area where you can go as wild as you like but if you're new to wearing lipstick, there are a few shades you should buy first. A nude, choose a color that is not exactly your skin tone but close, a pink, go for a warm blush color rather than shocking magenta for your first buy, and a statement bright color which can be anything from lilac to bright orange. A nude colored lip liner, or concealer pencil if they don’t have your color, is great for getting definition around the lips without that harsh 90s lip liner look.
Don’t forget your brushes!