Whether you’re a beauty guru or someone who just wants to highlight some natural features and take care of your skin, there are some essentials everyone should be using. This doesn’t mean you have to go out to Sephora or Ulta and spend hundreds of dollars on makeup and skincare products, though. When using these beauty basics, you don’t have to spend much to look and feel your best.
Whether you’re using a primer water or spray, like this NYX one, or a more traditional primer, like this one from ELF, primer is a must. I’m sure you’ve probably heard this statement — or ones similar to it — a lot, so let’s dive into why.
According to this article from The Huffington Post, the purpose of primer is to set a base for your foundation or other face makeup which lets that makeup have a smoother application and last longer. Sounds beneficial right? Similarly, in this article from Stylcaster, “A primer gives your foundation something to stick to and acts as a protective layer between your skin and your foundation
Sounds great but possibly not worth your time or money, right?
Go to your local drug store and pick up an inexpensive primer like this one from NYX, or this one from ELF. This way you can try it out for yourself, see and feel the difference, and decide if this is a practice you want to continue without breaking the bank.
Decided this truly is a beauty essential?
You can stick with an inexpensive primer, or you can upgrade to the ones all the beauty gurus are using. Check out these recommendations:
2. Moisturizing lotion
Moisturizer is one of those things that should be on every essential list — both makeup and skincare — but are we really sure how important it is? This article from Early Care is.
According to the article, moisturizer has many positive benefits such as repairing and preventing dry skin, “protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections,” and protect skin from sun, wind, and other environmental factors that can prove harmful to the skin.
Not convinced moisturizer is truly important for you?
According to this article from Good Housekeeping, not using moisturizer has several negative effects on skin. Some examples include the development of wrinkles, a “dull and flaky complexion,” worsening of existing acne, makeup not looking as good, and itchy skin.
Do you ever get those creases in your under-eye concealer? According to that same Good Housekeeping article, waiting five minutes after applying moisturizer can allow your primer and face makeup to absorb correctly and prevent or lessen those creases.
Which moisturizer is right for you?
The Early Care article mentioned earlier is a great resource for determining this, but here are some recommendations that’ll leave your skin feeling its best:
- Dry skin: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream
- Dry to normal skin: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
- Normal to oily skin: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
- Oily Skin: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Clinique products are also allergy tested so if you have sensitive skin or an allergy to an ingredient commonly found in makeup and skincare products, Clinique is a great brand to use.
3. Beauty Blender or Other Similar Makeup Sponge
There isn’t a scientific explanation why a Beauty Blender or makeup sponge is on this list, but kind of like primer, it’ll change your life, you just have to try it. Not only is the application easier, but the overall appearance of your foundation or other base face makeup will be nicer.
4. Contour and/or blush
This essential adds dimension to your face, leaving you looking your best.
If you’re a makeup newbie, I’d hold off on this essential until you get the base face makeup (whether that’s liquid foundation, a powder, or a BB or CC Cream) down. Find a shade that matches your skin as closely as possible, then play around with contour, blush and highlighter shades.
I recommend a palette that has all three in one like this one from Maybelline to start out. It can be found at your local drug store or Target and won’t break the bank.
To start out I would use just blush or just contour. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go contour crazy, just add a little on your lower cheek and top of your head to add some dimension.
If you want to be sure you’re using it right, check out a tutorial or get ready with me video on YouTube like this one from Tori Sterling or this one from Danielle Carolan. This one from both of them is great too.
5. Setting Spray/powder
These products do just what they sound like they do — set your makeup. According to this article from Stylecaster, using a setting spray or powder helps your makeup to last longer.
Should you use setting spray or setting powder?
If you have drier skin, a setting spray will be better for your skin, but if you have more oily skin, a powder would be better. Check out some recommendations here:
Think something’s missing from this list? Comment below your top beauty essentials!