On Real-Life Makeover, we're all for streamlining and simplifying our lives wherever possible, but our makeup bags? It's like an archeological dig in there. Cluttered with free samples, broken compacts, and dried up tubes of---what is this?--it can be darn near impossible to pull together a polished look when you're sifting through make-up trends of yore. Starting from scratch, we're sharing the classic, never go out of style, sure to make you look gorgeous make-up bag essentials.
Tinted moisturizer with SPF. Talk about a multi-tasker. This product protects your skin from harmful UV rays (preventing premature aging), gives your skin a dose of moisture, and evens skin tone, all in one swipe. We love CG Smoothers and Laura Mercier for normal to oily skin, and Olay Complete Plus for drier skin.
Blush. The power of blush is pretty transforming, and yet this is a step the lazy bones among us often skip. Make-up artists sometimes recommend putting on your blush before lipstick or mascara. It has such an impact, that you might find you need less make-up overall once you apply it. In spring and summer, the dewy flush of a cream blush or a sheer gel blush tint looks just right.
Lipstick. If you've got a red-brown rolling around from 1993, it's time to toss it. You don't want to hang on to lipsticks longer than two years, and besides, Kelly and Brenda really showed us that those browns never looked all that hot in the first place. Find a sheer red or pink to keep your look fresh or a subtle coral or nude gloss. Stumped? It's no newsflash, but Clinique's Black Honey is still as universally flattering as ever.
Eyelash curler. Raise your hand if you skip this step. Now raise your hand if you've heard a make-up artist say how important it is in "opening up your eyes." Shu Uemura's eyelash curler is unanimously considered the best and should last a lifetime. But if you're in the mood for a bargain, this one should do the job.
Eyeliner. For daytime, a soft pencil is the way to go and Wet 'n' Wild stands tall as a cheap thrill that delivers. But for a little more drama on a night out (or when you just feel like channeling Audrey Hepburn), the classic swoop of a cat eye liquid line never goes out of style. The felt tip liners on Almay and Revlon are easiest to get the hang of.
Mascara. We all benefit from a swipe of mascara, but sometimes you want high drama lashes and other times you just need a little tint to make you look awake and your lashes a bit glossy. For high-impact, Cover Girl's Lash Blast grabs each and every little lash and makes you look like Marlene Dietrich; but for everyday beauty, we love L'Oreal's Bare Naturale.
Highlighter. You know how black clothes make you look slimmer? The same principle is at work with a highlighter, which makes planes on your face pop. A swipe across your brow bones, cheekbones, and inner eye corner will have light reflecting off your face as your laugh. And just to be clear, we're not talking club kid glitter; just a play of light. Here's a thrifty version by Physician's Formula and a splurge by Benefit.
- a fab perfume that makes you feel glamorous take a quiz to find your signature scent
- self-tanning lotion: utterly goof-proof, you can put this on in the dark
- a classic red lipstick when you're feeling like Marilyn; here are 5 crowd pleasing options
What are your other make-up essentials? Is there something you swear by that's not on our short list?
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