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When was the last time you looked in your makeup bag and took inventory of all of the makeup products inside? If you haven’t taken stock of the essentials in your collection in a while, now is the perfect time to do just that. In fact, there are quite a few items that you might not have in your possession but probably should. Ready to upgrade your makeup bag with the latest and greatest products, including foundation, mascara, lipstick, and more? Consult our guide to find out all about the 20 makeup essentials needed to make your collection complete. Once you’ve read through and marked down everything you desperately need, it’s time to go shopping!
After spending time creating a stunning makeup look, you surely want all of your hard work to last, which means investing in a makeup primer is a must. A primer will even out your skin, prep it for makeup application, and keep your other makeup products looking fresh throughout the day.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer. This primer hydrates skin for better makeup application while leaving you with a healthy, radiant glow.
How to use it: Simply apply the primer all over your face before reaching for any other face makeup.
Regular ol’ foundation just not doing it for you anymore? It’s time to get your hands on stick foundation! Stick foundations feature a creamy, glide-on formula housed in compact packaging. For this reason, stick foundations are way more travel-friendly than bulky bottles, as you can easily toss one in your purse for midday touch-ups, your suitcase if you’re traveling, or your work bag if you plan to do your makeup during your commute. You can also use them to easily contour your face by using varying shades!
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Foundation Shaping Sticks. Their buildable, creamy formula provides medium to full coverage that lasts all day long.
How to use it: Using a shade that's one to two shades lighter than your skin tone, apply the shaping stick in an upside-down triangle below each eye, down the bridge of your nose, on the center of your chin, and on the center of your forehead. Then, use a shade that's one to two shades darker than your skin tone and apply it to the hollows of your cheeks, jawline, and temples. Use a makeup blender to buff out the product and create a perfectly sculpted face.
Full coverage foundation may be your go-to for a night out, but a BB cream is a great daytime alternative. Not only will it smooth imperfections, but BB creams also have skin care benefits to offer.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Anti-Fatigue (For All Skin Types). This BB cream has color-transforming pigments to counteract signs of fatigue. The ultra-light lotion will leave you with a flawless, bare skin finish.
How to use it: Blend and buff this BB cream onto your face using a makeup blender for even application.
You know those pastel-colored concealers you’ve been seeing everywhere lately? Well, if you have any complexion imperfections you want to hide, they’re what you need! Seriously, pick up a color-correcting concealer palette or crayon pronto. Color correction relies on the basic principle that colors can be canceled out by their opposites—and that idea can be applied to your makeup! You can use a peach concealer to hide bluish dark circles, yellow to hide purple discolorations, green to hide redness, and purple to hide dull, yellowish skin.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Color Correcting Kit. Containing the four most popular color-correcting shades (peach, yellow, green, and purple), this palette can be used to disguise almost any imperfection.
How to use it: Apply your color corrector sparingly to targeted areas (such as underneath your eyes to mask dark circles) and build coverage as needed. Use your color-correcting concealer before regular concealer and foundation.
Oftentimes, blush gets a bad rap—but we swear it doesn’t have to make you look like a clown. With the right color and proper application, it can actually elevate your look. To avoid entering clown territory, choose the right shade of blush for your skin tone. If you have fair skin, stick to a baby pink or peach; if you have medium skin, try a mauve or apricot shade; if you have olive skin, reach for rose; and if you have dark skin, opt for raisin or berry.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Fruit-Scented Blush Makeup. Not only is this blush available in captivating shades with a range of finishes, but it also has a delightfully-fruity scent, making blush application all that much more enjoyable.
How to use it: Apply the blush on the apples of your cheeks to add color and dimension to cheekbones.
Oh contouring, we just can’t quit you. This is the makeup trend that continues to be oh-so-popular among celebrities and girls-next-door alike. Contouring entails applying dark and light makeup to enhance—and even slim down—certain facial features. As such, it’s no surprise that nearly everyone is obsessed with this trend.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit. Complete with four creamy shades of concealer, you can use this palette to contour to your heart’s content.
How to use it: Using a concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone, highlight key areas of your face (under your eyes, down the bridge of your nose, between your brows, and on the center of your chin) to add extra dimension. Then, use a concealer that’s two shades darker than your skin tone to contour anywhere you want to accentuate, such as along your hairline, under your cheekbones, and down the sides of your nose.
Glowing skin is all the rage right now, and a highlighter stick is just what every woman needs to stay on trend. It allows for easy, convenient, and mess-free application, while providing instant radiance.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Highlighter Shaping Sticks. The shimmery pigment of this highlighter will give you a glowing complexion that looks completely natural.
How to use it: Apply the highlighter directly to the high points of your face before blending out with a makeup blender.
Sure, you could apply foundation or concealer with your fingers, but when you do so, you may transfer germs from your hands to your face—something you surely don’t want to happen. Instead of relying on your hands—no matter how handy they are—reach for a makeup blender, which can help to provide a much smoother finish than your fingers ever could.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender. This makeup blending sponge has a pointed tip and rounded edges for easy application and effortless blending.
How to use it: Apply a small amount of foundation onto the pointed end of your blender, then use the rounded side to dab and roll the foundation onto your skin.
When it comes to mascara, it’s just one swipe and go, right? Well, not exactly. You may want to consider applying a lash primer before you put on mascara. You know that primer is essential if you want to help keep your makeup in place and create a smooth canvas to work on—and the same holds true for your lashes. A good lash primer can help to make your mascara application smoother, condition your lashes, and add volume and length to your fringe.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise™ Mascara Primer/Base. This primer, which comes in a pretty pink shade, can help mascara adhere to lashes and thicken their appearance.
How to use it: Place the brush at the base of your lashes and gently sweep it up to the tips. Apply primer and mascara to one eye at a time, making sure you put on your mascara before the primer dries. For more impact, use two coats of primer.
Speaking of mascara, go ahead and toss your tubes of black mascara to the side in favor of something with a little more pop. Burgundy mascara is trending in a big way, and it can seriously open up your eyes for a brighter look. Burgundy and other colored mascaras are perfect for spicing up your look for a party or any weekend activity—and trust us, you’ll turn heads when you give it a try!
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara in Deep Burgundy. Whoa, baby! This mascara is formulated to resist clumping, soften lashes, and build lashes evenly for a dramatic look in a trendy color.
How to use it: Place the brush at the base of your lashes and gently sweep upward. Use the mascara primer first to really maximize the color effect.
Think colored mascara is too wild for you to wear on a daily basis? That’s where brown comes in! While you may consider black your go-to when it comes to mascara, don’t be so quick to disregard brown mascara. A brown formula will give your lashes the length and volume you desire without the harshness that comes with a black hue—basically, it’s perfect for daily wear.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise™ Washable Mascara in Black Brown. The silky-smooth formula of this mascara glides on evenly and easily, leaving your lashes with intense length and voluptuous volume.
How to use it: Start by placing the brush at the base of your lashes, then gently pull up and through your lashes.
The only thing better than one eye shadow is four. Whether you want to create a smoky eye or just play around with multiple shades, having an eye shadow quad can help you get the job done.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow. Available in eight visually arresting color combos, this eye shadow quad makes makeup experimentation easy.
How to use it: You can use the applicator, your fingers, or individual brushes to apply your shade of choice to your lids.
While an eye shadow quad is certainly an essential, having a neutral eye shadow palette in your makeup stash is also totally necessary. A natural eye makeup look will never go out of style, and neutral shades can be used for both day and night.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette. With 12 wearable, warm-toned shadows, this palette has plenty of opportunity for different eye shadow looks. You’ll find shades ranging from coral pinks to bronzed ambers to rosy nudes, all of which have a velvety texture that allows for ultra-blendable application.
How to use it: The sky’s the limit! This eye shadow palette gives you the freedom to create your own eye shadow looks.
Eyeliner can instantly transform your eye makeup look, especially if you opt to apply a bright color on your waterline. However, without a waterproof formula, your liner is bound to fade and disappear throughout the day.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner. This creamy eyeliner has a long-lasting, smudge-resistant formula that’s perfect for all-day wear.
How to use it: Simply glide the liner wherever you choose, using a makeup pencil sharpener first if needed.
Whether you fill in your eyebrows or not, a brow mascara is a makeup product essential. Not only will it thicken the appearance of your brows, but it will also keep them in place throughout the day so you don’t have to worry about any awkward stray hairs showing up.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara in Clear. The gel-mousse formula of this brow mascara boosts volume for a naturally thicker-looking eyebrow.
How to use it: Use the angled skinny brush to apply the product to clean brows in short, upward strokes.
There’s just something so chic about a matte lip. For some reason, it looks more mature than a shiny finish. So, when you’re after a sophisticated look, matte lipstick is the way to go.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Les Macarons Scented Liquid Lipstick. Whether you want to show off a subtle mauve or an eye-catching orange, this line of seven matte lipsticks features an alluring hue that fits what you’re looking for.
How to use it: Outline your lips using the pointed applicator, then fill your pout in. Make sure to exfoliate your lips first and apply a primer too—this will make for more even application.
Think you don’t have a need for lip liner? Think again. Everyone needs a lip liner in their collection to help define the shape of their lips and make their lipstick last even longer. That’s right, you can fill in your pout with a lip liner and it will act as a primer, extending the life of your lip look. Who knew?
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner. Don’t assume this pencil’s matte finish means it’ll make your lips feel dry and in dire need of lip balm (more on that next, though). This matte liner offers comfortable wear and can even be worn without lipstick for a low-key look.
How to use it: Prime and line lips with lip liner. Fill in to wear alone, or apply lipstick to complete the look.
As we mentioned, matte lips are in—but don't discount the value of a good lip gloss. A pout with lots of shine and luster is equally as sought after, and perfect for achieving this season's trending throwback beauty looks.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 HR Le Gloss. Available in 20 sheer, luminous shades, this gloss has a hydrating formula that lasts for hours.
How to use it: Start at the center of your upper lip, working your way out toward the outer corners. Do the same for your bottom lip.
If a fuller-looking pout is what you’re after, create that effect in one step with a lip plumper. Instead of going through a tedious routine of using lip liner and lipstick to make your lips look bigger, this allows you to achieve the same look in less time.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Plump and Shine Lipstick, Sheer Lipstick. This plumping lipstick provides lips with an instant volumized, look and moisturized feel. It also coats lips in an on-trend shine. Equally notable, each shade is accompanied by a delightfully fruity scent.
How to use it: Apply starting in the center of your upper lip. Work from the center to outer edges of your lips, following the contour of your mouth. Then glide across the entire bottom lip.
Makeup primer is amazing for locking in your look, but it doesn't hurt to have another line of defense against makeup fading and smudging. A setting spray is another way to help keep your makeup in place all day and night.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray. This lightweight mist will give you a “just applied” makeup look throughout the day.
How to use it: Spray your face in an “X” and “T” motion four to six times.
What more beauty essentials? Read our article on 10 Beauty Essentials to Stash in Your Gym Bag, next.
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