Some women dream of having a huge makeup and hair product collection and don’t know where to start, while others just want to purchase the basics, stuff them in a bag or on a shelf and call their shopping spree a success in one swoop. Here’s a list of basic beauty products every woman needs.
Most women can get away with black liner, but if you’re fair-skinned with light or red hair and light-colored eyes, you may prefer a dark brown or even a deep jewel tone. Gel liners are a wonderful choice and fairly versatile, too, but a kohl will line your lashes, lower lash line, smudge for a smoky effect with little effort, and can even act as a shadow base in a pinch if you’re using dark eye shadows. Try MAC’s Eye Kohl in Smolder (maccosmetics.com, $17.50).
Why layer mascara when there are so many options on the market that can do it all? Most ladies can work with a lengthening and volumizing mascara every day. Just add another coat if you need more drama. Give L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise (Target, $4.59) a try.
THE PERFECT BLUSH
Look at the color in your cheeks after you take a brisk walk and try to find a shade that matches that for everyday wear (snap a selfie in natural lighting for reference). If you like bold lip shades or smoky eyes on a regular basis, you can pick an additional nude shade that will balance things out, but you can stick with a single blush shade if those dramatic looks aren’t for you.
There’s no universal shade that works for everyone in this way, but NARS’ 413 BLKR Blush Duo (narscosmetics.com, $42.00) is a good place to start. For a cooler-toned option, try MAC’s Plum Foolery (maccosmetics.com, $23.00).
An everyday neutral, rosy or tawny shade is the first must-have. Look to the rosy end of the spectrum if you have cool undertones and tawny if your undertones are warmer. Neutral undertones? Take your pick, but keep your blush color in mind so your lipstick and blush will be from the same color family.
Choose a deeper or brighter shade for when you need your makeup to look especially polished and make a statement. Go for a berry, wine, or even a deep blackberry for something more daring than your average bold lip.
Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick range has you covered. Try Lolita for everyday and then take your pick of a bolder, braver shade. They’re $20.00 each at Sephora.
Regardless of the length of your hair, a deep conditioning treatment is nice at least once per month (or once per week, depending on your hair type). For a luxurious, spa-like experience, try the Macadamia™ Deep Mask (Target, $16.39).
QUALITY FLAT IRON
If your hair is very short or perfectly straight and shiny on its own (lucky!), you may be exempt from this one. A quality flat iron won’t pull and break your hair, and if you choose one with curved sides and a width of about one inch, you can even get beach waves with it so you won’t be limited to straight styles.
Getting the small flat iron close to the roots can add volume, too. You don’t have to buy the most expensive one on the market to get good results, but this is a beauty product worth splurging on, at least a little. Consider the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Prima 3000 Styling Iron (Ulta, $179.95).
A MATTE SHADOW PALETTE
Matte shadows aren’t always as pretty to look at as their shimmery sisters in the store, but they are some of the most versatile items you can have in your collection. Use a lighter shade to highlight the high points of the face, even out the skin tone on your eyelids, or even hide mascara smudges that didn’t completely disappear when you tried to remove them. Use a darker shade as a contour color or bronzer. e.l.f.’s Mad for Matte palette is only $10.00 (elfcosmetics.com) and features 10 versatile shades.
Use this guide to start or whittle down your makeup and hair product collection. You don’t need a lot to look your best. Begin with a few basics and if you have the urge to experiment, you’ll have your staples to come back to and use as an anchor as you play around with new things on the market.