Whether you are new to the makeup world or have been obsessed with purchasing everything you see in Ulta for years lol (I am guilty of that too), it’s imperative to have a collection with makeup essentials that will help you create a go-to everyday look. After getting all the makeup basics, it is wayyyy easier to get playful or the latest makeup products to your collection and include them into your beauty routine.
That’s where I come in. Knowledge is power, and what a better time to share my knowledge with all of my beautiful audience.
In this beauty article, I’m going to take you through the most important makeup products that I have personally used for years and some new products that I am loving at the moment.
So, take out a pen and pad and keep scrolling to see my list of important makeup essentials for your face.
While some women think that face primer is not a necessary step, as a makeup artist, I view it as an extremely important step in my makeup routine.
You ask, but Why?
Here is why, face primers’ exact effects on your skin and makeup can vary, but generally, their main purpose is to keep your skin looking smooth and your makeup looking fresh all day long.
Regardless of your skin type, there is a primer for you, whether you’re looking for a formula to control oil and/or acne, moisturize, smooth out uneven texture, color correct, etc.
Laura Mercier makes some of the most famous face primers on the market. All are fabulous, but if your skin is especially prone to dryness, this hydrating pick, in particular, will be a standout for your complexion. It's a lightweight cream-gel hybrid that contains helpful things like vitamins A, C, and E alongside other essential hydrators like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. To keep things from getting too dewy, I love pairing it with a long-wearing matte foundation, which I will be sharing next. Together, they make for a flawless, satiny-smooth complexion.
Foundation has got to be the most difficult part of anyone's makeup routine to get right, as you not only have to consider the type of coverage you want (i.e. sheer/natural, medium, or full), but also your skin type and undertones.
If you are new to wearing foundation or aren’t sure what type/shade is right for you, I’d highly recommend going to your nearest Sephora, MAC, or department store and have a makeup artist help you pick out one that matches your complexion and fits your coverage needs, but here is the tricky part that you must consider, many times the lighting in department stores are unnatural and very yellow, so I always suggest to my clients to request a sample for you to take home and try before buying, so you not only test out the color, but you can also see it in your own mirrors and natural lighting.
My ultimate favorite is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.
Out of all the foundations I have used, this one is by far my favorite, so much of my favorite that I almost went broke buying all the colors for my makeup up kit so all my clients can get the same results.
"Using Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk for the first time was like falling in love at first sight. The formula is creamy, light, and most importantly, buildable. It's the most versatile foundation I own, meaning I can use it during the daytime and mix it with moisturizer on a good-skin day, or go for a more full-coverage finish with my Beautyblender on a night out. It blends perfectly into my skin whichever way I apply it, and like a good best friend, I know I can always count on it when I'm having a bad (skin) day.
There's a reason you'll find it in every makeup artist's kit (it also happens to photograph well, as my many Friday night selfies prove lol)
3. BB or CC cream
If you are just not in the mood to wear your foundation specially in the summer months, you have the option to use a BB or CC cream instead.
BB creams are an Asian import that have become super popular in the past couple of years here in the US. BB creams provide coverage with added skin care benefits like SPF and anti-oxidants, the list goes on depending on what brand you choose. They're lighter than foundation but heavier than tinted moisturizers. While the additives in BB creams can have the same efficacy as they would in stand-alone serums, be careful about counting on BB creams for adequate sun protection. "My only concern is that since BB cream is generally tinted, women use less on their face, meaning you won't slather it on the way you do or should--with a more traditional sunscreen, resulting in inadequate protection.
The difference between BB and CC creams is subtle--CC generally stands for “color correcting” and the products are meant to address issues like redness or sallowness (usually with light-diffusing particles), whereas BB creams are like lighter foundation with a few skin care benefits thrown in. “CC cream is a color corrector and will be lighter on the skin than a BB cream.
I have been using The It Cosmetics CC Cream for 3 years now during the summer months, as I get nice and tanned and use less makeup in the summer and absolutely love it mainly because it has an SPF of 50 which is my favorite part.
Here are some benefits:
Hydrates and protects your skin - won't crease or crack
Visibly diffuses skin imperfections, including dark spots, large pores and wrinkles
Infused with collagen, hyaluronic acid, niacin, peptides and antioxidants
Suitable for all skin types and an ideal foundation for dry skin
Lets face it, concealer is truly a girls best friend.
If you have acne, dark circles, or any kind of discoloration, concealer is a must-have.
Concealers come in full-coverage and sheerer-coverage formulations, and which one you should choose depends on how much you’re trying to cover up.
When choosing a concealer for acne and/or discoloration, find a shade that is as close as possible to your foundation/BB cream shade for the most natural look. That stuff we see on social media and pinterest where women wear really light undereye - It is not a good idea, please don't do that ladies, it does not look good and it is not meant to be so light under the eyes.
Dark circles are a bit more complicated, since there is so much variation in their shades and how they look on different skin tones, but in general, it’s a good idea to use a peach or pink-toned concealer to cover them up.
Hands down to Tarte Shape Tape Concealer for my most favorite.
Applying blush can have a huge effect on your overall look, and I personally never leave it out of my makeup routine. Blush is especially necessary if you’re wearing a foundation with more opaque coverage, which can sometimes leave your complexion looking a little bit flat.
When choosing a blush color, pick something that’ll give you a natural flush. Regardless of your skin tone, be careful not to go too bright or to use too heavy a hand when applying, as these things can make you look clownish.
Generally speaking, pink and peach tones work best on fair-to-medium skin, while mauve, purple, and maroon shades work best on darker skin tones.
Something that I recommend trying, no matter your face shape, is applying blush both on the apples of your cheeks and diagonally up towards your hairline. This will not only give your face a healthy wash of color, but will also serve to emphasize your cheekbones and highlight the natural contours of your face. It also looks more natural than simply applying blush to the apples of your cheeks, as long as you blend well.
I recently found this inexpensive blush during a publix shopping run, and I immediately fell in love with it, its the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
I adore it because it makes me look radiant, It is made with an infusion of shades, it blends to shape, contour and highlight your cheeks. The compact size makes it convenient to slip into a purse or handbag.
HOLLY HIGHLIGHT, I couldn’t leave highlighter off of this essential products list as one of my favorite things to apply on the face!
Like many other beauty products, highlighter comes in certain different forms: powder, cream, liquid, stick, and powder/cream hybrid. Each of these forms has its own unique benefits, but for beginners I recommend either powder or stick, as they are the easiest to work with.
My fool-proof method for applying highlighter is to lightly apply it along the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow, and just below your eyebrows using a fan fluffy brush.
You can even multi-task and use your highlighter as eyeshadow in the inner corners of your eyes!
Lastly, much like finding the perfect shade of foundation, finding the right shade of highlighter depends on your specific skin tone and undertones, so it’s ideal to test out different colors in person if possible.
I have been using The Mac Mineralize Skinfinish highlighter for years and still love it.
It is a luxurious, slow-baked, velvety soft, domed face powder with a radiant finish.
Last but not least is imperative to looking radiant and sunkissed at all times.
As someone who loves being tanned, I use bronzer practically everyday, even when I am not wearing foundation.
I recommend going no darker than one or two shades deeper than your natural skin tone , and either lightly dusting it all over the high points of your face for a healthy glow, or simply in the hollows of your cheeks (below where you’d put your blush) for a more chiseled look.
Though we think there's always a time and place for a shimmering wash of bronzer, I typically prefer a sculpted—versus flashy—result (I am also still relatively scarred by the orange, light-reflecting days of high school football games and formals). But hey!!!! You do you.
Around here, we rather stick with a matte finish to feign that post-vacay glow, we're 100% here for you.