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Top 10 Makeup Products You Need in Your Makeup Drawer

by Sandy Taylor

Whether you are brand-new to the world of makeup, or you think you need to hit a hard refresh on your makeup drawer, there are some beauty basics that no makeup drawer should be without. With these timeless classics, you will have all of your bases covered for any look you may wish to achieve. 

From a professional daytime look to a sultry evening style, or even the “no-makeup” makeup look for a day outdoors when you hope to look like you just rolled out of bed. Hopefully, though, it’s not the way you actually look when you roll out of bed.

For the sake of clarity, these instrumental products are listed in the order in which they should be applied.

Moisturizer Must-Have

Everyone’s morning makeup routine must begin with a good moisturizer with SPF sunscreen protection. This applies across every type of weather. Exposing our faces to damaging UV rays will cause signs of early aging, such as fine lines and sunspots, so it’s never too early to begin protecting the only face you’ll ever have. Moisturizer with sunscreen is formulated to be lighter than typical sunscreen and works well under foundation.

And no—a foundation with SPF protection is not enough. Dermatologists tell us that foundations with sunscreen are spread too thin to be able to cover adequately enough for sun protection.

A Brush With Love

Every makeup drawer needs a great set of makeup brushes. A complete set of makeup brushes will have brushes for everything from blending foundation and concealer to applying contour and eyeshadow. Most makeup professionals agree that a set of at least six makeup brushes will apply and blend all of your makeup product necessities. 

Foundation Situation

In the makeup drawer, right next to your moisturizer with SPF protection, should be your foundation. Just as the word “foundation” indicates, your foundation is the base upon which everything else will be built. Foundations come in many consistencies, including liquid, cream, mineral powders, and sticks. Liquids and creams generally provide a dewy finish, while powders and sticks are more mattifying.

A foundation covers imperfections and provides a smooth, even canvas on which to add your contours and shadows for a flawless look. Many of the best foundations of today contain skin-nourishing benefits to add hydration and improve your skin while it covers. Based upon individual needs, foundation can be chosen in light, medium, and full coverage.

The Deal with Concealer 

Concealer is another tool highly integral to your makeup drawer. Concealer comes in liquid, cream, or stick forms. Liquid concealers work well on older skin because they are less likely to settle into fine lines than a thicker stick or cream. Stick and cream concealers work well for covering blemishes.

Whether you choose a stick, cream, or liquid concealer, it will be your best friend and sometimes your hero. A good concealer can erase not only a pre-prom pimple but also the ravages of a long night out, a hangover, or a night up with a baby. It can even erase a few years by covering fine lines and dark under-eye shadows. You can use a concealer for more than just concealing blemishes and imperfections. A good concealer can be used to brighten and highlight your entire eye area. Simply dot it on and blend it beneath your eyes and in the inner corners of your eyes to lift and brighten them.

Never Forget Blush

The next thing to reach for from your makeup drawer is a blush or bronzer. Either product can be used to add a little color and contour to enliven your face and bring out the shape of your features. Blush or bronzer should be lightly dusted across your cheekbones. If you choose a bronzer, it can also be brushed across the hairline, jawline, and even the sides of your nose if you want to minimize it. Without a blush or bronzer, your face will look flat and one dimensional.

Draw the Line

No makeup drawer is complete without an eyeliner. Eyeliners typically come in pencil, liquid, and mechanical twist-ups. The basic looks only require black or brown liner. Eyeliner is applied at the lash line, concentrating on the upper lids and following the lashes. When using it, begin in the middle of your eyelid and work your way outward, flicking upward at the outside end. 

If desired, you can also apply eyeliner along the bottom lashes or at the waterline. You can blend the liner for a smokey look or leave a sharper line. You can also lightly cover the line with a dark eyeshadow to enhance your dramatic look.

In the Shadows

Which brings us to the next essential in your makeup drawer—an eyeshadow palette. Beginners can’t go wrong with a neutral palette, but you can also find the perfect palette to complement your eye color. The basic application method for eyeshadow palettes is to apply a medium shade on the eyelid itself, a slightly darker, contouring shade along the crease, and a light shade under the brows to highlight. You can also use the pointed end of the eyeshadow applicator and a dark eyeshadow shade as an eyeliner, or you can use them to blend over your eyeliner for a sultry or smokey look.

Mascara—A Must

Every makeup drawer needs a good mascara. Even if you have no other makeup on, mascara alone can give you a more finished look and draw attention to your face’s most important feature—your eyes.

To apply mascara simply begin at the base of the lashes and sweep upward in a zig-zag motion,  then repeat as desired. Lightly brush the lower lashes as well.

Eyebrow Pencils Are For The Win

Nothing gives your face a more finished and classic look as well-defined eyebrows. Every makeup drawer needs an eyebrow pencil. Choose a shade darker than your hair if you are light-haired, and a dark brown shade if you are brunette or have black hair. Use the pencil to fill in, shape, and define your brows. You’ll find that this—more than anything—changes your face to an impressive degree.

A Pop and a Pout

Finally, every makeup bag needs two lipsticks or tinted lip balms. One should be a natural or neutral color, which should be a shade darker than your natural lip tone, for a naturally lush pout. The second, on the other hand, should be a more dramatic color to add a pop of color for a special night or occasion.

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