Makeup Basics - Face Makeup - What you need in your Makeup Bag

Hi Bellas,

I get this question a lot from viewers - what makeup do I need to get started?  This is geared more towards those that are starting out...maybe a little new to makeup or those who just want to make sure they have all their bases covered.  I decided to share with you some of my recommendations that I've sent to some of my readers.  The post ended up being so long that I decided to break it up.  Today I'll start with Face Products - everything you need in your personal collection.  On Monday and Tuesday i'll follow with Eyes, Lips, and Tools.  

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Please note, these are just some of my recommendations.  You don't need all of them but I tried to provide a comprehensive list of everything you might need to do a complete face of makeup for every occasion.  I try to include both high and low end products.  You might notice that I use a lot of MAC references for colors because I'm familiar with the line.  However, this does not mean it is the best brand out there.  I definitely suggest shopping around and finding products that suit you best.  Once you get the basics, then you can go crazy and try different, more advanced products and fun colors.

First off, if you're trying to save money and you're new to makeup, there's nothing wrong with drugstore brands.  They have some amazing, high quality products at affordable prices.  Here are some of my favorite brands:  NYX Cosmetics, Rimmel, Revlon, Maybelline, Milani, L'Oreal and Wet N Wild.  Wait for a BOGO sale, this is the perfect time to build your collection.  Now let's get started!

FACE - in this post I recommend products that have to do with your skin - from skincare to foundation to blush, it's all covered here.

Skincare - you really need a complete regimen that works for your skin type whether it be oily, dry, combination or normal.  Skin is the base for your makeup - the better the skin the less makeup you'll need, and the better you'll look.  I included the basics.  Remember as you get older or if you have certain skin conditions, you may need additional products.

Moisturizer – Absolutely everyone should wear this product.  Just like you need to drink water to keep your body healthy, you need to aid moisture to the face as well.  It gives life to your skin and keeps it young.  I recommend cetaphil…it’s cheap and works really well on even the most sensitive skin.  Clinique is a high end brand also known for their moisturizers.  Try getting one with SPF so that you can protect your skin from the sun's rays at the same time.

Eye Cream- If you know what's good for you, you'll start wearing this early to protect the delicate skin around your eyes.  I'm currently using Jan Marini.  Oil of Olay offers excellent, well priced alternatives.
Face Primer – Not everyone wears it, but Primer helps your foundation last longer, especially for my oily ladies.  It is a barrier between the oils in your skin and the makeup and it also fills in pores, scarring and fine lines to make a smoother surface.  There are a million primers out on the market that apply to different skin types.  Drugstore lines have started carrying them - Revlon, L'Oreal and Rimmel to name a few.  The classics on the high end side include Smashbox and Laura Mercier but nearly every brand has one.

Toner/Astringent - I wouldn't say this is a must-have in your skincare collection, but it's great for restoring PH to your skin.  I find it especially helpful to deal with oily skin and it's great for removing dirt and residue missed after cleansing.

Makeup - Once you're taken care of your skin, you can just to face makeup.

Concealer - This product is amazing for hiding scars and discoloration.  The kind you use depends on the coverage you need.  Some popular choices by MAC include Select Cover Up (light to medium coverage with a Satin Finish) or Studio Finish (high coverage cream concealer).  A cream concealer offers high coverage where liquid can be built from light to medium.  If you're looking to cover under eye circles you might want to consider looking into a salmon concealer corrector.  Eve Pearl has some great ones.

Foundation – Foundation is an amazing tool if you use it right.  A lot of people who aren't into makeup might think foundation translates into cakey, pancake face.  Oh how wrong they are.  Foundation - whether it be liquid, powder or cream, can take years off your and make you look like you're born with perfect skin.  It's all in the application as well.  

For everyday coverage, go with a tinted moisturizer or a mineralized powder like MAC’s Mineralized Skin Finish Natural.  Some great drugstore foundations included Revlon Colorstay and L'Oreal True Match.  I really love Bobbi Brown's color range (yellow toned foundations) and I switch between several brands both high and low end in my kit.  It's also good to think about having a foundation shade for the summer and winter - that way you'll have the right color match all year round.  I definitely recommend you shop around and even ask for consultations at the department store to find the best match (color wise and feature wise) for you.

Powder - A golden rule in makeup is that anything creamy/liquidy needs to be set with powder.  Powder will help your foundation and concealer from greasing up and getting everywhere.  These days you can get away with getting a translucent powder (either pressed or loose) or you can find a powder in your shade.  Some even go straight for powder foundations like Bare Minerals or MAC Studio Fix Powder.

Blush and Bronzer - Blush gives life back to your face by offering a flush to your skin that is super flattering.  Bronzer gives you color as if you spent a week on a tropical vacation and it gives a wonderful glow.  Used correctly, these products can turn you from drab to fab.  MAC has great options.  Honestly, the blush and bronzer color depends on your skin tone and undertone.  You can't go wrong with a peachy pink blush.  For bronzers, find one only a few shades darker than your skin.  I love NYC bronzers - so cheap!  Covergirl Queen collection makes great bronzers for deeper skin tones too.  Once you start getting into more advanced makeup, you can also use bronzers as contour powders...but that's another post.  
Makeup remover - Now that you're wearing makeup you need to make sure to take it off correctly too.  Get some makeup remover wipes and liquid eye makeup remover along with some cotton pads, balls and q-tips.  Neutrogena makes some classic makeup remover solutions.  I personally love Costco Kirkland brand wipes.  Your skin will thank you.

These are some of my suggestions…I’m not sure which skin tone you have so I made recommendations based on colors that I know work on everyone…most of my suggestions are MAC products because that’s what I know best.  Hope this helps and good luck!

Stay tuned for the next post - Makeup Basics - Eyes.

FTC Disclosure:  Post not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.

Atlanta Makeup Artist