What's In Your Makeup Bag?
Skin care essentials
Stephanie White of BecomeBeauty.com recommends a good exfoliator, cleanser, toner, day moisturising cream, eye cream and a tinted moisturiser with SPF protection. "These skin care essentials are needed to create a foundation so that the makeup can be applied onto a beautiful canvas. If your skin is not in good condition, makeup can be very aging."
Beauty products have become more efficient and easy to use, so if you think you don't have enough time, think again. White lists these as your tasks: "Cleanse, repair and renew your skin... [this will] slow down the aging process."
Windows to the soul
International make-up artist for glominerals, Aldo Celeste, recommends always having mascara, mascara, mascara! "It adds focus and dimension to the eyes, and it opens them up. The best kind of brush or wand is full, and to avoid clumping, the mascara should not be too thick."
Having worked on countless celebrities including Christy Turlington, Madonna and Jennifer Aniston, Celeste adds that another must-have is a lash curler.
"A lash curler helps to define and extend the lashes. It always needs to have a rounded rubber pad -- preferably silicone -- so that the lashes don't stick to it. It's also great to have a retractable spring which prevents lash tear-outs."
You glow, girl!
Pressed base foundation or setting powder is another essential item for your cosmetic tool kit. Celeste says this will even the skin tone, creating a more flawless-looking complexion. The aim is to choose a foundation that creates a natural and smooth finish, preferably mineral-based to protect the skin.
Bronzer is also a must-have because of its versatility. "In a pinch, you can use it to contour your entire face and eyes, and everyone looks good with a little extra glow. Select a bronzer that is not too orange and that has buildable coverage or colour," he says.
Don't forget the tools
To look and feel great, you will need to have the right tools to apply your makeup. If you only have one brush, it'll need to be a versatile one such as a blender brush. This brush has a full head and short handle that can apply a pressed foundation, bronzer or even a blush. "Natural-hair brushes work really well," Celeste says. "Opt for a high-quality brush that will last for years."
Want to add extra dimension to your lips and pull the entire look together? Bring on the lip gloss to freshen up your look and provide a lovely sheen. Celeste recommends finding one that nourishes and hydrates while adding colour and shine.
Illuminate the face
Emily Kumler, president of national specialty cosmetics retailer, PREP Cosmetics, recommends Shimmering Skin Perfector from Becca.
"This is the illumination product that celebs pray that no one will know about," she says. "This product gives every glam goddess her natural glow. It adds shimmer but doesn't shine up the face. It is the ideal way to make the skin look hydrated and healthy. It goes on creamy and then it just seems to disappear. When the light hits your face in the right way, it warms up and makes you glow." She also likes Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray, which does wonders for your skin and won't kill your makeup.
Put your best face forward
So by focusing on your staples -- skin, mascara and gloss -- not only will you look great, but you will feel more confident, too. Having proper makeup and good skin is like wearing your favourite little black dress -- you feel sexy, super-confident and ready to put your best face forward.